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Home - Travel - Sightseeing Guide - Tohoku - Aomori - Towada
Oirase Stream 
# 2   of 5 most visited
sights in Lake Towada

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Oirase Stream is a picturesque mountain stream in Aomori Prefecture that is one of Japan's most famous and popular autumn colors destinations. The stream flows along the floor of the Oirase Gorge, winding among trees which, while a lush green in spring and summer, turn brilliant shades of red, yellow and orange from late October through early November. Over a dozen waterfalls cascade down into the stream all along its length from the walls of the gorge.

Oirase Stream is the only outlet draining Lake Towada. It starts at Nenokuchi where there is a bus stop and a boat pier with connections to nearby Yasumiya Town. An easy-to-walk hiking trail leads along the most scenic, upper passage of the stream between Nenokuchi and Ishigedo, with many bridges, waterfalls and bus stops along the way. The trail is about 9 kilometers long and takes about 2.5 hours to walk one way.

Unfortunately for hikers, a busy road runs alongside the Oirase Stream, often crisscrossing the stream and hiking trail. This can be a distraction from the natural surroundings, although the traffic noise is somewhat overpowered by the rushing stream and absorbed into the forest. At the same time, the buses that travel on this route provide convenient transportation along the stream and an escape from bad weather.

Many cars and tour buses travel through here, and there is a good view of much of the stream from the road. It has become so congested in recent years, though, that it is now closed to cars on certain days during the peak tourist season in autumn. Free parking is available in Yasumiya and Yakeyama.

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How to get there
On April 1, 2014, the consumption tax increased from 5% to 8%, causing widespread changes to transportation fares. This page has not been updated yet, and some of the fees and fares in this section may not be up-to-date.

The Oirase hiking trail runs between Nenokuchi and Ishigedo with multiple bus stops along the way. The hike can be made in either direction, utilizing buses for the return journey.

There is roughly one bus per hour between Yasumiya (Towadako bus stop) and either Aomori City (165 minutes, 3000 yen) or Hachinohe (135 minutes, 2600 yen). The buses run along Oirase Stream, serving all the bus stops along the hiking trail, including Nenokuchi and Ishigedo.

The Towada Lake excursion boats provide an alternative to buses for transportation between Yasumiya and Nenokuchi. The cruise, which offers excellent views of Towadako's forests from the water, takes 50 minutes and costs 1400 yen one way.

How to get to and around Towada

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User Ratings
Ratings for Oirase Stream:
japan-guide.com Rating:
  outstanding  
User Rating (by 75 users):
91/100
  highly recommended

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English Links
JR Tohoku Bus
Official English website.

Japanese Links
JR Tohoku Bus
Official website.
Towada Lake Excursion Boat
Official website.
Oirase Stream Information
Website by the Oirase Eco Tourism Project Committee.

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Related Pages
Travel
Sightseeing
Tohoku Region
Towada-Hachimantai National Park
Aomori Prefecture
Towada

Nature
Autumn Leaves

Oirase Stream
Lake Towada (Towadako)
Mount Hakkoda
Towada Art Center
Christ's Grave

Towada: Access and Orientation

News and Reports
October 30, 2013
Towada Autumn Color Report
by scott
October 31, 2012
Towada Autumn Color Report
by scott
October 27, 2011
Towadako Autumn Color Report
by schauwecker

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