Located just south of Towada-Hachimantai National Park, Lake Tazawa (田沢湖, Tazawako) is a scenic caldera lake that has not been overly developed and retains a natural and rustic atmosphere. The lake is often visited in conjunction with nearby sites like Nyuto Onsen or Mount Akita-Komagatake, which also offer rustic scenes that are typical of the Tohoku Region.
Lake Tazawa has much in common with Lake Towada, another popular lake in the area that lends its name to the Towada-Hachimantai National Park. While Lake Towada is the largest caldera lake in the country, Lake Tazawa is Japan's deepest lake with a depth of 423 meters. Both lakes offer similar scenery and water related activities like pleasure boat rides.
At the northern end of the lake stands the Goza no Ishi Shrine on a site where the local lords used to come to admire the water in the feudal past. At the western end of the lake there is a famous golden statue of a woman named Tatsuko that has become a local symbol. According to legend, Tatsuko was a beautiful girl who prayed to retain her beauty forever but was instead cursed and turned into a dragon and eventually sunk to the bottom of Lake Tazawa.
The majority of the lake's waterside remains undeveloped. At the lake's eastern end surrounding the bus stop area, visitors will find a few shops, restaurants, rental bicycles and the sightseeing boat pier. Sightseeing boats operates from late April to early November and travel to the Tatsuko Statue and back. The round trip takes 40 minutes and costs 1200 yen.
There are multiple buses per hour from Tazawako Station to Tazawa-kohan bus stop on the lake's eastern shore (12 minutes, 360 yen one way), including buses in direction of Nyuto Onsen and Tamagawa Onsen.
For travel around the lake, there are six buses per day that run along the northern half of the lake as far as the Tatsuko Statue. Alternatively the sightseeing boat can be used to travel between Tazawa-kohan bus stop (Shirahama pier) and the Tatsuko Statue (Katajiri pier) from late April to early November. By car it is possible to drive around the entire lake in about half an hour (without stops).