In the following article we’ll be heading to Aomori Prefecture, looking for breathing some pure air in Oirase.
What’s special about Oirase?
Oirase is a small river streaming from the banks of Lake Towada in Aomori Prefecture. This river follows the Oirase Valley by creating countless small waterfalls and painting-like beautiful forests. During spring and summer the incredibly lush vegetation is gorgeous, if you visit it during the autumn, the variety of autumn colours is impressive.
The Oirase River is about 9 kilometers long. During the autumn weekends there could be quite many tourists coming to see the colors. Nevertheless, we think it’s the most suitable place to do some soothing hiking. The difficulty level of the hiking route is not too high, it’s popular either with beginners and families with kids.
Moreover, since the Oirase River flows from the Towada Lake, you can also take the occasion to visit the latter too. Lake Towada is the biggest caldera lake in Tōhoku, the surrounding mountains are astonishing, especially when their top is covered by snow. During the autumn you can enjoy a cruise across the lake to enjoy it at its best.
How to get there
Click here to see how reach this charming river.
We went to Oirase by car, which we parked the in Yakeyama, where the river starts (be careful because there are places where parking is forbidden). We then followed the promenade towards the mouth of the river.
We went there in June, and because of the melting snow there was an extreme amount of water, and the waterfalls were strong and vigorous. Among the several waterfalls, the one who impressed me the most was Chōshiōtaki.
After walking along the promenade for nearly two hours, the Towada Lake appeared before our eyes. In this area, called Nenokuchi, around the lake shore there are restaurants and many other facilities. There you can rent a boat or take a 50 minute long round trip on a ferry.
We got back to the parking area where we had left our car riding rental bicycles.
The rent was about 700 yen (this fee allows you to leave the bicycle at any station).
Oirase is a place with beautiful fresh vegetation and flowing water, there are many picturesque sceneries, like the Chōshiōtaki waterfall. Other than waterfalls we were able to see many other named spots, like Samidare stream or Ashura stream. The next time we’ll try to catch some autumn colors, even if it is hard to believe that this place can become even more beautiful than it was in June.