An Exquisite Experience Along the Oirase Gorge; Mountain Torrent in Aomori Prefecture

Sep 17 2020
Sep 17 2020

The Towada Lake is the largest Crater Lake in mainland Japan and was formed from volcanic activity. It is a lake located between Aomori and Akita Prefecture in the Tohoku region. It is known for its pellucid blue waters given off from its depth of 327 meters. The Oirase Keiryu flows from Towada lake between Hakkoda-san and the Nonokuchi mountain.Nature here is verdant, and all visitors will surely feel calmed by the natural landscape.

Take a fresh breath of air along Oirase Keiryu

The Oirase Keiryu flows from the Towada Lake and meanders through 400-meter high mountains. The stream is covered with rich vegetation, and here, you will be able to see the dynamic forces of water. The cliff was formed from the accumulation and compression of pumice and volcanic ash, making this location unique in terms of geography. In the upper stream, numerous waterfalls showcase the indefinite and dynamic flow of water. Along the middle stream, the flow speeds up, and in the lower stream, the water gently slows down. Along the valley, some sidewalks stretch across a length of 14km. Here you can observe the stream flowing nearby.

The view of the stream along Oirase Keiryu

Along the 14km along Oirase Keiryu, there are multiple locations to stop by. The “Shimeikei” is a beautiful spot to visit during winter. The water is very clear, and you will be able to see the streambed covered in cobblestone. Although sediment has piled up compared to the past, this site remains as one of the best. “Samidare no Nagare” is where you can see the “Murasakiyashio,” a vibrant dark pink flower in May. The area has a wider stream, and the flow is much slower. “Ishikedo no Se” is an area that is so photogenic with an abundance of vegetation. “Kedo” in the local dialect means “Koya,” which is a hut in standard Japanese. This location translates to “a hut made out of stones.” This calming location has a myth that has been passed on for centuries. A demon called “Omatsu” lived in the area, taking the form of a beautiful woman. She preyed upon travelers and stole their treasures. She would kill the travelers by asking for help to cross the stream. When they tripped along the stones, she would stab the travelers with her short sword. The large Judas tree where she lived by is believed to be 200 to 400 years old. However, the tree fell in 1988 leaving only 4m.

Ashura no Nagare

Ashura no Nagare

“Ashura no Nagare” is another location where you can feel and experience the delight and transcendence of nature. The contrast between the dense forest and the stream is a highly popular scenery, and on weekends, many visitors’ paint and take pictures.

Kumoi no Taki

Kumoi no Taki

Choushi no Ootaki

Choushi no Ootaki

The two representative waterfalls are the “Kumoi no Taki” and the “Choushi no Ootaki.” The “Kumoi no Taki” is a waterfall on a cliff located deep in the forest. There are three floors, and the water drops from a height of 20 meters. A large amount of water dramatically falls at high speed, making this location very memorable for visitors. The “Choushi no Ootaki” is a waterfall that has a height of 7 meters and a width of 20 meters. The water falling here flows from the mainstream. This is the only waterfall that flows from the mainstream. The water crashes on the rocks and forms a foggy mist, and the sun gently illuminates the area through the deep vegetation. This waterfall prevents the fish from swimming upstream, which is the reason why “Towada-ko” does not have any fish. This scenery is enjoyable during all four seasons.

From the end of April to early November, there are guided tours available from experts in the area. The Oirase Keiryu is a perfect weekend getaway from the city.


By Bus:

From Shin-Aomori Station or Hachinohe Station, take the JR bus (in the direction of Towadako Kyuya) to Yakeyama Station
From Shichinohe Station take the public bus (in the direction of Towada) to Towada City Station, transfer to the public bus (in the direction of Yakeyama) to get to Yakekeyama Station

Lake Towada National Park Association
486 Yasumiya, Okuse Towada Kohan, Towada City, Aomori 0185511

Tel: +81 176-75-2425

Oirase Gorge Aomori

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