How to travel between Lake Towada and Tokyo
By train (outside winter only)
Take a Hayabusa train on the JR Tohoku Shinkansen from Tokyo to Hachinohe (3 hours, about 16,000 yen, hourly departures, seat reservations required) and change to a JR bus bound for Towadako (135 minutes, 2,670 yen, 3-4 buses per day from mid April to early November, no service in winter). The bus makes stops along the Oirase Stream before terminating in Yasumiya. The Japan Rail Pass and JR East Tohoku Area Pass are valid on the JR buses, but the JR East South Hokkaido Pass and JR Tohoku South Hokkaido Rail Pass are not.
By air (outside winter only)
JAL operates multiple flights per day between Tokyo's Haneda Airport and Aomori Airport. The flight takes around 85 minutes, and the regular fare is about 34,000 yen one way. Discount tickets are typically available for around 16,000 yen, and with an air pass you can fly for even less.
From the airport take a bus to Aomori Station (35 minutes, 700 yen), and transfer to a JR bus bound for Towadako, which stops along the Oirase Stream before terminating in Yasumiya. The one way bus ride takes about 2.5 hours and costs 3,090 yen. There are 6-7 departures per day from mid April to early November. During winter, bus service is only provided between Aomori and Mount Hakkoda (Sukayu Onsen). The Japan Rail Pass and JR East Tohoku Area Pass are valid on the JR buses, but the JR East South Hokkaido Pass and JR Tohoku South Hokkaido Rail Pass are not.
By car (around the year)
Many roads in the area around Lake Towada and Mount Hakkoda get closed during winter (typically from late November to around April), including the road between Lake Towada and Mount Hakkoda. However, Lake Towada remains accessible by car from Hachinohe via the Oirase Stream around the year. Likewise, the road from Aomori to Mount Hakkoda remains open around the year. Winter driving skills are required during the winter months. Car rental outlets can be found at Hachinohe and Shin-Aomori Station.
Above fees and schedules are subject to change. For the current yen exchange rate, click here.
The small town of Yasumiya is the only major development along the shores of Lake Towada. Yasumiya serves as the area's transportation hub with both the boat pier and the Towadako bus stop. The rest of Lake Towada is largely undeveloped save the occasional residence, hotel and viewpoint, and a few tourist facilities at Nenokuchi for visitors to the Oirase Stream.
The main means of public transportation is the JR bus, which operates from mid April to early November between Yasumiya (Towadako bus stop), Nenokuchi, the Oirase Stream and either Aomori City or Hachinohe (no service in winter). The bus is covered by the Japan Rail Pass and JR East Tohoku Area Pass, but not by the JR East South Hokkaido Pass and JR Tohoku South Hokkaido Rail Pass. Furthermore, there are boat connections between Yasumiya and Nenokuchi outside of winter.
A car is the only option available if you wish to travel around the whole lake. Note that some roads are closed during winter, and that cars are restricted along the Oirase Stream on certain days during the autumn leaf season. Rental car outlets can be found in Hachinohe, Aomori City, Aomori Airport and central Towada City, but note, that central Towada City is located quite distant from Lake Towada.