community-forum community-penpal community-userReports destinations-admission destinations-beenThere-solid destinations-bookmark-solid destinations-city_outline destinations-city_solid destinations-closedDays destinations-date destinations-getThere destinations-hotels destinations-hoursFees destinations-itineraries-3 destinations-nearbySpots destinations-pin-simple-outline destinations-pin-simple destinations-sortBy-dots destinations-tours destinations-town interests-agriculture interests-amusementParks interests-beaches interests-castles interests-city_solid interests-contemporaryArt interests-events interests-festivals interests-flowers interests-foodDrink interests-gardens interests-hiking interests-historicSites interests-industry interests-koyo-single interests-koyo interests-mangaAnime interests-museums interests-nature interests-onsen interests-parks interests-pottery interests-sakura-single interests-sakura interests-scenicRides interests-shopping interests-shrines interests-skiing interests-snow interests-sumo interests-temples interests-traditionalArts interests-traditionalTheater interests-viewpoints interests-volcanoes interests-wildlife interests-winterIlluminations news-section planning-tickets-2 planning-transportation-access planning-transportation-bicycle planning-transportation-boat planning-transportation-bus planning-transportation-car planning-transportation-plane planning-transportation-shinkansen planning-transportation-tickets planning-transportation-train planning-transportation-walk shapes-chevron-down shapes-circle shapes-star social-fb social-gplus social-instagram social-twitter social-youtube ui-alert-construction ui-alert-warning ui-calendar ui-confirmed-outline ui-confirmed-solid ui-date ui-globe ui-lightbulb ui-no_entry ui-ok ui-pencil ui-reverse ui-search ui-time ui-video-play ui-x user-avatar
Autumn Color Report 2015
Official autumn color reports by japan-guide.com

Where to see autumn leaves? - When do trees turn colors? - What trees turn colors?
Schedule of upcoming reports - Post your own report

previous post
list all posts
next post

2015/10/14 - Towada Report
by joe

The rocky shores of Lake Towada

After a cold and unexpectedly snowy night on Mount Hakkoda, I continued my autumn color reporting from Japan's northern Tohoku region today making my way deeper into the heart of Towada-Hachimantai Nation Park. After yesterday's astounding peak colors on Hakkodasan, I was curious to find out how the season status of my next destination: Lake Towada.

I started my journey as the sun was finally coming out from behind yesterday's persistant storm clouds, and couldn't help but admire the beautiful colors on the drive between Hakkodasan and Towada (about an hour drive) on National Route 103 in Aomori Prefecture. The route passes through highland marshes and forest, which were stunningly at their peak autumn color today.

Jigokunuma pond and Mount Hakkoda, freshly frosted in a layer of snow
Autumnal mountain pastoral
Suirennuma Marsh in front of Takada-odake Peak of the Hakkoda mountains
Amazing colors along National Route 103 in Hachimantai National Park

After an hour or so, I finally reached my first destination within the Towada area of Towada-Hachimantai National Park: the Oirase Stream. The mountain stream flows from Lake Towada in a beautiful forest, and the 14-kilometer stretch starting at the lake is a well-loved autumn color spot. While the colors around the stream usually peak around late October, today I found many patches of colors already well-developed. While the forest around the stream is still a week or two away from seeing its best color, the brisk autumn air (and the off-and-on freezing rain and hail) were signs the season is moving fast here, too.

The hike through this pristine forest was magical today. Waterfalls pouring down both walls of the gorge into the stream, flashes of yellow and orange in the trees, and a pervasive calm (even despite the nearby road) made the trip well worth it.

The lovely Oirase Stream
Trees and shrubs around the stream are approaching their peak color, but most are still a little ways off
A hint of red creeping in
Colorful foliage on the forest floor
Hairline streaks of water pouring into the stream
Shirabu-no-taki Falls, surrounded by a scaffolding of shirakaba (birch) trees
Blowing yellow leaves against pouring water
Every bend in the stream was gorgeous, accented by flashes of autumn color
Lots of Japanese maple (kaede) were turning yellow around all around the stream
A photographer finds a perfect subject

After hiking about 5 peaceful kilometers upstream along the Oirase Stream, I made it to the Nenokuchi port of Lake Towada itself. I was lucky enough that the passing rain and hail storms that have been chasing me yesterday and today seemed to clear up just as I boarded a sightseeing boat to take in the colors from the water. The colors around the lake were breathtaking today. In some spots, the mountainous slopes that plunge into the water were carpeted in pure orange and red, while in others the trees were still approaching their peak color.

In all, I think visitors still have a good two weeks (or more) to enjoy the colors around the lake; and they don't disappoint.

The slopes around Lake Towada, parts of which were bursting with color
Just after the boat departed across the lake, the sun came out... and a DOUBLE RAINBOW!
What does it mean?
Incredible fall colors of Lake Towada
Lake Towada showing off its best autumn beauty
Passengers were glued to the ship's deck rail, as if they'd just spotted Maleficient walking around on shore
Another lake cruise ship rounding the peninsula
A solitary Japanese pine at the tip of a peninsula
A biker riding towards the lake

previous post
list all posts
next post

List of Posts:
2015/12/09 - Tokyo Report
2015/12/04 - Kyoto Report
2015/12/03 - Tokyo Report
2015/12/01 - Kamakura Report
2015/11/27 - Tokyo Report
2015/11/27 - Kyoto Report
2015/11/27 - Nara Report
2015/11/26 - Osaka Report
2015/11/25 - Miyajima Report
2015/11/24 - Kyoto Report
2015/11/20 - Kyoto Report
2015/11/19 - Tokyo Report
2015/11/19 - Kankakei Report
2015/11/18 - Mount Mitake Report
2015/11/18 - Korankei Report
2015/11/17 - Fujigoko Report
2015/11/17 - Kyoto Report
2015/11/16 - Mount Takao Report
2015/11/13 - Kyoto Report
2015/11/12 - Tokyo Report
2015/11/11 - Hakone Report
2015/11/11 - Fukuroda Falls Report
2015/11/10 - Kyoto Report
2015/11/09 - Koyasan Report
2015/11/08 - Miyajima Report
2015/11/07 - Dazaifu Report
2015/11/06 - Fujigoko Report
2015/11/04 - Tokyo Report
2015/10/30 - Kyoto Report
2015/10/28 - Nikko Report
2015/10/26 - Bandai Report
2015/10/22 - Northern Alps Report
2015/10/21 - Northern Alps Report
2015/10/20 - Mount Fuji Report
2015/10/15 - Hachimantai Report
2015/10/15 - Nikko Report
2015/10/14 - Alpine Route Report
2015/10/14 - Towada Report
2015/10/13 - Hakkoda Report
2015/10/08 - Nasu Report
2015/10/06 - Nikko Report
2015/10/05 - Route 292 Report
2015/09/28 - Oze Report
2015/09/24 - Alpine Route Report
2015/09/17 - Daisetsuzan Report
2015/09/16 - Daisetsuzan Report

Tours and Experiences