Raina's Japan Travel Journal
by Raina, staff writer of japan-guide.com

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2014/10/20 - Autumn Color Report: Towada

View of Oirase stream from Nenokuchi

Today I visited Lake Towada and the Oirase stream in the Tohoku Region. Located way up in the northern most part of the region, Lake Towada straddles the border between Akita and Aomori prefectures, and is the largest caldera lake in Japan.

This famous autumn color spot lies along a beautiful forested gorge on the east side of Lake Towada. Visitors can walk along Oirase stream on a nine kilometer trail that runs along the stream; it is an easy and enjoyable hike through nature and visitors can enjoy the scenery of the forest and see several waterfalls along the way that cascade down from the 20 meter high gorge walls that tower above the stream.

I drove towards my first stop, Lake Towada from Hachinohe Station. While it was bright and sunny on the train, the skies became overcast the closer I got to my destination. It was also windy and most people were dressed warmly and those who were underprepared were visibly cold. I was glad that I brought warmer clothes on this trip.

I took the bus from Towadako to Makadobashi and began my walk towards Nenokuchi. There are infrequent buses from Hachinohe Station to Lake Towada and Oirase stream and while not impossible by public transit, getting around by rental car is by far more convenient. The autumn colors around Oirase stream are usually best from late October to early November. Today the colors at Lake Towada and Oirase Stream look like they are at their peak lots of nice yellow, orange and brown leaves. Like most of the autumn color reports this year, the colors are about a week early than average. Depending on which part of the trail you are on, some places are greener while other places are covered in yellow and brown leaves.

There were lots of photographers with tripods here
Maple leaves against the overcast sky
Along the stream one
Yellow maples blocking my view of the trail
Along the stream two
Old men painting the scenery
More photographers here taking pictures of the rapids
Large groups of tourists at Choshi falls
Stream between the trees
Part of the trail
Fallen leaves on moss
A bit of red peeping out from all the green and yellow
Hiking etiquette signs along the trail
Yellow, green and brown leaves along the stream

From Nenokuchi, I took the sightseeing boat back to Yasumiya. I am pleased to report that the sightseeing boat between Nenokuchi and Yasumiya are up and running till November 10. The one way trip costs 1400 yen, and takes about 50 minutes with a Japanese commentary of the scenery along the way. Not only is it a convenient way to get back to Lake Towada, it was a beautiful way to see more autumn colors from the water. The autumn colors along the route are at their peak and most people enjoyed the scenery from inside the boat where it was nice and warm, while a small number braved the cold winds outside for pictures.

I ended my trip with a stop at a viewpoint to get a bird's eye view of Lake Towada. The overcast skies and setting sun provided a romantic view, and trees with yellow-brown leaves lined the road back to Hachinohe.

Saying goodbye to Nenokuchi
Passing another sightseeing boat
Braving the cold winds for pictures
The statue of women from the boat
Swan boats in a row
Passengers getting off the boat
Orangey leaves near the shoreline
Walking along the shoreline
Curled up leaves
Close up of the statue of the women
View of the lake from the top

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List of Posts:
2019/03/20 - Moominvalley Park opens near Tokyo
2018/12/31 - 2018 Travel Highlights
2018/10/25 - Business as usual at Tsukiji Outer Market
2018/08/19 - Hello Kitty Shinkansen
2018/05/16 - Cruising Tokyo's waterways
2018/04/17 - Wisteria blossoms in Ashikaga Flower Park
2018/01/18 - Shinanomachi, the Backcountry of Nagano

2017/12/31 - Travel Highlights 2017
2017/10/25 - The 45th Tokyo Motor Show
2017/10/11 - Dipping into the three onsen towns of Yamanaka, Yamashiro and Katayamazu
2017/07/24 - Remote Riches in Toyama
2017/07/03 - Spiritual Chichibu
2017/05/02 - Fuji Shibazakura Festival
2017/04/14 - Sneak Peek from Ginza Six
2017/03/21 - A bit of everything in Fukui
2017/03/13 - Nikko Toshogu Uncovered
2017/02/15 - Subculture in Ikebukuro
2017/02/07 - Travel to the Goto Islands
2017/02/06 - Nagasaki Lantern Festival

2016/12/31 - Travel Highlights 2016
2016/12/19 - Winter Illuminations in Tokyo
2016/10/24 - The way of old on the Kunisaki Peninsula
2016/10/11 - Following the Tadami Line in Oku Aizu
2016/08/27 - Fool's Dance at Koenji Awa Odori
2016/08/16 - The three sacred mountains of Dewa Sanzan
2016/06/20 - Train travel into the Ise-Shima region
2016/04/03 - Setouchi Triennale 2016
2016/03/08 - The hunt for Namahage on the Oga Peninsula
2016/03/02 - Sake Sangria
2016/02/20 - Tokyo Plum Blossom Report
2016/01/26 - Tour de Reinan: Obama, Oi and Takahama
2016/01/25 - Tour de Reinan: Tsuruga, Mihama and Wakasa

2015/12/31 - Travel Highlights 2015
2015/12/10 - 48 hours in Tokushima
2015/11/20 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2015/11/19 - Autumn Color Report: Kankakei
2015/11/18 - Autumn Color Report: Korankei
2015/11/17 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2015/11/13 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2015/11/10 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2015/11/09 - Autumn Color Report: Koyasan
2015/11/08 - Autumn Color Report: Miyajima
2015/11/07 - Autumn Color Report: Dazaifu
2015/10/28 - The 44th Tokyo Motor Show
2015/10/21 - Hirado, where East meets West
2015/10/20 - Kujukushima Islands and Winter Illumination at Huis Ten Bosch
2015/10/19 - Navigating the Christian sites in Nagasaki
2015/10/18 - Cosplay at Haco Stadium Tokyo
2015/10/15 - Autumn Color Report: Nikko
2015/10/05 - Autumn Color Report: Route 292
2015/09/28 - Autumn Color Report: Oze
2015/09/24 - Autumn Color Report: Alpine Route
2015/09/16 - Nakanojo Biennale 2015
2015/08/19 - Traditional culture and hot springs of the Aizu Region
2015/08/17 - Nature and Hot Springs at Naruko Onsen
2015/08/04 - Echigo Tsumari Art Triennale 2015
2015/04/30 - Sapporo Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/29 - Hakodate Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/23 - Kakunodate Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/22 - Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/21 - Kitakami Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/16 - Sendai Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/09 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/08 - Fukushima Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/06 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/03 - Kyoto Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/02 - Nara Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/01 - Osaka Cherry Blossom Report
2015/03/31 - Kyoto Cherry Blossom Report
2015/03/27 - Fukuoka Cherry Blossom Report
2015/03/26 - Kumamoto Cherry Blossom Report
2015/03/25 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report

2014/12/31 - Travel Highlights 2014
2014/12/15 - Seasonal Illumination: Sendai
2014/12/09 - Seasonal Illumination: Tokyo
2014/12/04 - Autumn Color Report: Kanazawa
2014/12/03 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2014/11/21 - Autumn Color Report: Osaka
2014/11/20 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2014/11/19 - Autumn Color Report: Korankei
2014/11/18 - Autumn Color Report: Miyajima
2014/11/17 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2014/11/13 - Autumn Color Report: Fuji
2014/11/04 - Autumn Color Report: Fuji
2014/10/31 - Autumn Color Report: Karuizawa
2014/10/21 - Autumn Color Report: Bandai
2014/10/20 - Autumn Color Report: Towada
2014/10/01 - Autumn Color Report: Oze National Park
2014/09/29 - Autumn Color Report: Alpine Route
2014/06/19 - Toranomon Hills opens in Tokyo
2014/04/24 - Kitakami Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/23 - Morioka Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/22 - Aizu-Wakamatsu Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/16 - Matsumoto Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/15 - Kyoto Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/14 - Yoshino Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/13 - Osaka Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/12 - Kanazawa Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/10 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/06 - Kyoto Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/05 - Hiroshima Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/04 - Osaka Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/03 - Kyoto Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/02 - Nagoya Cherry Blossom Report
2014/03/31 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report
2014/03/26 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report
2014/03/04 - Early Tokyo Blossom Report