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Largest City

Lake Towada

Get ready to paddle in this big blue puddle!

  • Feb. 2 - February 25, 2024 (Closed on Tues. and Wed.)
Lake Towada in Aomori Prefecture resembles the intersection between the earth and sky on fine days. The scenery alone is worth the trek to this northern spot, but it’s also popular for camping and water sports.

Photo by: ©Aomori Prefecture/©JNTO Autumn at Towada!

As the largest crater lake (formed in a volcanic caldera) of the main island in Japan, Lake Towada accounts for an area of more than 60 square kilometers on the border between Aomori and Akita prefectures. The popular tourist spot’s depth, 327-meters, conceives the lake’s rich blue color, a charming accompaniment to both blue skies and picturesque colors of the surrounding forests. Essentially, the lake is a double caldera with an inlet — trapped between two peninsulas — called the nakaumi (literally meaning “in the sea” in Japanese). This unique shape adds to the allure of the area.

Excursions by boat

One of the most popular ways to explore Lake Towada is to take the excursion boat. The boat takes you to spots that are not usually easily accessible. Although the boat service is suspended during winter, a ride in autumn is recommended for fall foliage.

Photo by: Cara Lam View from above.

If you’re looking for some adrenaline rush, hop on a Gumotex rafting or kayak tour instead. These tours show you just as many charms of the lake as the excursion boats do — but from a different perspective. It’s probably a lot colder to be in a raft or kayak, but you’ll get to see more hidden spots that are only accessible to smaller carriers!

In the area…

If you are in search for more than just Lake Towada’s natural colors, make sure to take a stroll in the Towada town right in front of the lake. When you are there, it is inevitable to miss the one-way human traffic towards the Otome-no-Zo (“The Maiden”) Statue. This statue was crafted by sculptor and poet Kotaro Takamura in celebration of the 15th anniversary of Lake Towada Park’s national park designation. The statue depicts two nude women facing each other holding their left hands. It is a romantic destination located among local shrines on a relaxing boardwalk around the lake.

Restaurants and souvenir shops fill the shoreline of Lake Towada. However, the best way to enjoy the lake’s scenery is probably biking along the lakeside followed by a picnic on the benches.

Still looking for more soul-soothing waters? Make sure to check out Oirase Stream. It’s only 30 minutes away, and houses a dynamic cluster of 30 waterfalls. Whatever you decide to do in the area, it’ll be a gorgeous trip.

How To Get There


Japan, 〒034-0301 Aomori-ken, Towada-shi, 国道102号線

By train

Public transport is also available in non-winter months: Take the Hayabusa train on the JR Tohoku Shinkansen from Tokyo to Hachinohe (3 hours, seat reservations required) and change to a JR bus bound for Towadako (135 minutes, 2,670 yen, 3-4 buses per day from mid April to early November, no service in winter). The bus makes stops along the Oirase Stream before terminating in Yasumiya.

By car

It is most convenient to access Lake Towada and its surrounding areas with a car. It’s about an 8-hour drive from Tokyo.

By plane

Flights operate daily to Aomori Airport. The flight takes around 80 minutes. From the airport take a bus to Aomori station and transfer buses.

Where To Stay

Hotel Towadaso
  • Okuse (Aobuna, Kotatamiishi, Towada, Towadakohanutarube, Towadakohannenokuchi, Towadakohanyasumiya), Towada-shi, Aomori, 018-5501 Japan
  • ¥8,800 - ¥17,600
  • 8.1 km

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