Lake Tazawa (田沢湖) is a luminous blue lake in Tohoku and the deepest lake in Japan. It’s a great place to spend a morning or afternoon. Even during the busy holidays, it remains a quiet and relaxing place to visit.
Budget travel tips
- Be super careful with train times, as local trains to Lake Tazawa are not very frequent. The more frequent Shinkansen (bullet) trains are very expensive, so check train times before you come.
- There is a Tourist Information Center in the station, with free maps and bus routes in English.
Places of interest
Famous golden statue on the lake. based on a girl who wanted eternal beauty. Best viewed via the boat cruise, but you can spend more time around it (and the souvenir shops) by going to Katajiri bus stop.
A fun cruise around the lake, showing off all its surrounding shrines, mountains and the statue, plus its strange, almost luminous water. Definitely worth the price. The ticket office is right next to the Tazawa Lakeside (Tazawakohan) bus stop.
Price: 1200 yen
A cool little free shrine on the lake side. Included on the boat cruise and next to Gozanoishi Shrine bus stop.
A nice place to sit down with a beer and look over the lake and into the mountains. Go to Tazawa Lakeside (Tazawakohan) bus stop and walk across the road, then walk down to the right.
A 1,300 metres tall mountain, whose summit only takes 90 minutes to reach from the bus stop. Lots of interesting alpine plants and a great view over the surrounding mountains. Take the bus to ‘8th stage of Akita Komagatake’ bus stop (only available summer and autumn).
Take a nice walk near the lake and up into this little forest, giving a good view over the lake. Next to the Statue of Tatsuko. (above)
How to get there
With the Japan Rail Pass
From Tokyo station, take the JR Akita Shinkansen (JR bullet train) to Tazawako Station station (about 3 hours).
Without the Japan Rail Pass
Get an overnight bus with Willer Express (click link at the top for English) to Omagari or Morioka, then take the local train from there.
Recommended Hostels and Cheap Hotels
Tazawako Youth Hostel
The cheapest option in this area, this old fashioned hostel is right next to the lake and easy to access. Book on their website.