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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

AOMORI Lake Towada & Around

Contemporary art, skiing and snow monsters, a mountaintop lake and lush wetlands

Aomori's Lake Towada is a dual crater lake that formed after a huge volcanic eruption. With the Towada Art Center as its anchor, the city's charms include an unspoiled natural environment and a community around the lake that now draw tourists up to this northern prefecture from all over the world.

Don't Miss

  • The Towada Art Center's bold contemporary treasures
  • The atmospheric beauty of Oirase Mountain Stream
  • Riding the Mt. Hakkoda ropeway

How to Get There

You can reach the Towada area via car or a combination of train and bus.

Towada is not directly accessible by train. The primary means of transit to Towada is by car or bus. Shichinohe-Towada Station on the Tohoku Shinkansen is the most convenient place in Aomori to get a bus going to Towada. It takes about three hours and 20 minutes by shinkansen to get to Shichinohe-Towada from Tokyo, and 35 minutes from there by bus to Towada.

There is also a bus from Tokyo direct to Towada. The bus takes a little more than 10 hours, including rest stops.

How a commitment to art changed everything

Towada Art Center is the creative nexus of this region and a grand symbol of its revitalization. When the city of Towada made the bold decision to transform the town center, it put the art center at its heart.

In less than a decade, Towada became a popular venue for contemporary art lovers and other tourists, featuring works by 33 world-renowned artists such as Ron Mueck and Yayoi Kusama. There are hundreds of reviews about Towada Art Center on travel sites.

Liquid poetry in motion

Oirase Mountain Stream is clear, beautiful and magical—a meandering, cascading route that stretches for 14 kilometers. You can hike along all or part of it, since there's a bus route that runs roughly parallel to the flow. You can also rent bicycles and ride alongside.

The many waterfalls in Towada are definitely a highlight, but the trees, moss, deep greenery and dark soil, the sounds of cascading water and the solitude of bridges crisscrossing the stream are what make the stream a magical, meditative experience.

Land of the snow monsters

Mt. Hakkoda is really two volcanic mountain ranges. The Hakkoda Ropeway takes visitors up the secondary peak, Mt. Tamoyachi, which is the site of the Hakkoda ski area, a renowned backcountry powder ski and snowboard mecca.

From the gondola you'll be able to see the rare "snow monsters" that populate the area—trees with shaggy coats of snow that look like fantastic creatures.

The best way to see the snow monsters is up close, while skiing or snowboarding. You can even ski through "tree tunnels" surrounded by these monsters.

Marshlands, ponds and other wilderness wonders

There are many more beautiful spots around Lake Towada and in the Mt. Hakkoda area. One is Tashiro Marshland, a bog created by a volcano eruption nearly two million years ago. You can traverse this marshland over 1.5 kilometers of wooden plank walkways.

Suiren-numa Pond is surrounded by a marsh, with the Hakkoda mountains as a backdrop. Suiren, a type of water lily, grows wild in the water, and the delicate white flowers create a scene reminiscent of a landscape painting by Claude Monet.

There are several great onsen in the area, including Yachi Onsen, a secluded inn that has been around for over four centuries.

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