Check It Out

No.195 (9/9/11)

Oirase Gorge and Lake Towada Explorer

By Nao H. Kauffman
Chief Editor

Summer in Tohoku is very short. However, soon all of nature's green will turn into beautiful autumn colors. The foliage in Lake Towada is absolutely gorgeous around late October. The long tunnel of green trees along the Oirase gorge starts changing their colors to red and orange. After passing through the scenic path, you encounter the dark blue water of Lake Towada with the color contrast of the surrounding fall mountain... just one of the breathtaking views in the Tohoku Region. Living in Japan would guarantee you enjoy four seasons and feel a lot of atmosphere.

To fully enjoy your visit to Lake Towada, our sponsor, Rakuchari offers a unique way to highlight your visit. Since the drive route along the gorge is very narrow and winding, it is inconvenient for visitors to park their cars on the side and take moments in order to enjoy their relaxing time at scenic points. Rakuchari can make your trip easier and more enjoyable by riding rental bicycles. There are two types of bicycles; one is an electrical bicycle for 1000 yen/four hours, and the other is a regular bicycle for 700 yen/four hours. You can rent it from three locations (check the map in the next page.) I would recommend visiting the Oirase Stream Museum right after passing the bridge on Route 102 and the Grand Hotel on your right. You will find a few brown flags of coffee. They also offer wood craft workshops for 300 yen. That is definitely something to do for families with young children.

At the facility, there is a small cafe area inside the building, and they serve tasty coffee which is brewed by fresh springwater from the Oirase Gorge. They also serve a gourmet plate called Bishoku plate limitedly on weekend for 650 yen -- fresh rice bread, brewed coffee and water jelly made from Lake Towada. That will be a quick snack before you start your day. The ice cream called Soft Cream made from the local dairy milk will be a good snack after your bike ride. If you are hungry, nearby the museum, there is a nice restaurant called North Village, which previously The Insider introduced in the July 9th edition, No.167. (Check our homepage for the archive.) The museum staff, Ms. Sugiyama, who is fluent in English, definitely recommends the place for lunch. Fresh baked pizzas in the brick oven are particularly delicious. Since the place is always busy for lunch hours, you can order the pizzas for to-go. There are still many things to do in Aomori till the first snow touches the ground. Enjoy the nature in late summer and fall!

Courtesy information:

Insider Art & Design Co. Ltd.
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