Lake Hibara

Lake Hibara

The rock slides caused by the steam eruption of Mt. Bandai in 1888 blocked countless rivers, and lead to the creation of over 300 lakes and ponds spread throughout the area. Lake Hibara is the largest of these lakes, and with a length of 10 km running along the ravine of the Hibara River, and a shoreline of 37 km, it is Japan's largest lake to be created by natural dams caused by a volcano eruption.

Lake Hibara is now the focal point of tourism in the Urabandai region, and from rambling along sightseeing trails in summer to Japanese pond smelt fishing in the winter, there are countless ways for visitors to refresh and invigorate themselves. Guides are available with a reservation.

Venue Details

Venue Details
Websitehttps://www.urabandai-inf.com/en/?page_id=24968
Contact

Urabandai Tourism Association

(+81) 241-32-2349

Best SeasonAll Year
ParkingAvailable
Access Details
AccessHibara, Kitashiobara, Yama District, Fukushima Pref.
View directions
Getting there

By Car: 25 min from the Inawashiro Bandaikogen I.C. exit off the Ban-etsu Expressway

By Train: From Inawashiro Station (JR Ban-etsu West Line), take the Bandai Toto Bus and get off at Onogawa-ko Iriguchi Bus Stop (小野川湖入口バス停)- this journey takes around 35 min. Then take the Free Community Bus to Lake Hibara, which takes an additional 35 min.

Useful Links

The Sunken Village of Hibara

Hiking Mt. Bandai

Smelt Ice Fishing

Nearby

The World Glassware Hall
Nature & Scenery

Kannonji-gawa River Cherry Trees

Only a one-minute walk north of Kawageta Station (JR Ban-etsu West Line) is this beautiful 1 km-path along the banks of the Kannonji-gawa River. In the spring the path transforms into a spectacular tunnel of Yoshino cherry trees and weeping cherry trees. Kannonji-gawa River is perhaps the most fantastic place to see cherry blossoms in Fukushima Prefecture; the calming river and the lovely petals falling like snow are a sight that can’t be beat. The lush green bank contrasting with the pale pink blossoms creates an unforgettable scene. Altogether there are about 200 trees growing along the Kannonji-gawa River on both banks. Additionally, the river maintains its natural curves and bends as it hasn’t undergone any work to adapt its shape to the city surrounding it. It’s one of Fukushima’s most splendid and respected natural landscapes. Currently, the Kannonji-gawa River cherry trees rank number 11 of the best places to see cherry blossoms in the entire Tohoku region! While enjoying the delicate blossoms and the sweet, fresh air, visitors to Kannonji-gawa River can also enjoy some of the tasty food from street vendors available only during the cherry blossom season. We’d really recommend a springtime picnic right on the river bank with various yatai (food stand) delicacies. Be sure to come back during the evening when the trees are illuminated, and the river transforms into a magical dreamscape.

The World Glassware Hall
Nature & Scenery

Nakatsugawa Valley

Nakatsugawa Valley is famous for its beautiful fall foliage. The Nakatsugawa River is a clear stream flowing down from Bandai Kogen (Bandai Highland) to Lake Akimoto. In autumn, the leaves of the many trees, such as maples, alders, and wild cherry trees, turn brilliant and bold colors. The valley can be reached via the lakeside cycling road or by following the trail from the Nakatsugawa Valley Rest House Lake Line Parking Area. Take a relaxing stroll along the ravine while breathing in the mountain air full of healthy negative ions.

The World Glassware Hall
Hot Springs

Tokusa Onsen

Tokusa Onsen derives its name from the tokusa (common horsetail plant) which is abundant in the region. It was discovered as a hot spring source approximately 1000 years ago, and has long been known as "Aizu's hidden hot spring". In the public stone outdoor bath, where the hot spring rises directly from the riverbed, you can heal your heart and body while listening to the soft murmuring of the clear stream, which has been unchanged for ages. There are more than 16 ryokan inns and pensions dispersed throughout the Tokusa Onsen region, and it is widely known as the "hamlet of the hidden hot spring". You can take a tip in the stone public bath 24 hours a day, but please be mindful that onsen use is not segregated by gender, nor is it shut off from public view! Not for the faint of heart.

The World Glassware Hall
History & Culture

Shingu Kumano Shrine Nagatoko

Built in 1055, the Nagatoko is Shingu Kumano Shrine's worship hall and translates to “long floor”. It is designated as a Nationally Important Cultural Asset. Its thatched roof main structure was built between the Heian period and the Kamakura period and is supported by 44 massive pillars, each one 45 cm in diameter. It is a large, open stage with no walls, said to have been used for ascetic training by priests, as well as kagura dance festivals. Housed inside a nearby large wooden frame is the shrine bell, which visitors to the shrine are welcome to hit with a wooden rod. There is also a famous copper pot in which, allegedly, rice was rinsed before being offered to the gods; the pot was designated as an Important Cultural Property in 1959. This treasure is housed at the shrine along with many others and is on display for visitors along with national and prefectural designated cultural assets. Also not to be missed is the lion statue in the center of the treasure hall. It is known as a guardian of wisdom: a local legend says that if you can pass under the belly of the lion, your wisdom will blossom. It is a popular place for students to visit before the exam season and even politicians before election season. Come autumn, the magnificent 800-year-old ginkgo tree at the site is bathed in yellow, contrasting beautifully with the Nagatoko. This ancient tree has also been designated as a Natural Monument of Kitakata City. In November each year, you can even see a special illumination of the ginkgo tree for a limited time.

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Tatsuzawa Fudo Falls

Breathe in the cool, crisp negative ion air and relax under the shade of trees as you marvel at the beauty of the Tatsuzawa Fudo Falls. Two waterfalls make up the Tatsuzawa Fudo Falls; Odaki is considered the male fall and is the larger of the two (16 m tall), while the smaller of the two is considered female and called Medaki. The sight is indeed lovely to behold as the silvery waterfalls over the rocks below. The Tatsuzawa Fudo Falls are located in Inawashiro Town and are beautiful year-round. These falls are also a treasure for photographers because of how serene they are surrounded by nature on all sides. In spring and summer, the lush greenery makes the whole forest feel alive; in autumn, the vibrant colors of the leaves reflect off the water and give it a painterly feel. With proper snow equipment, you can even visit in winter and see the stark contrast falls against the white snow. The drive up to the falls is only 15 minutes from central Inawashiro Town, and there’s a small parking lot about a 10-minute hike from the falls. The walk itself is easy and smooth. You’ll first pass Lady Medaki before arriving at the main Odaki falls. And with maple trees framing the waterfall just perfectly, you’ll want to be sure to remember your camera and perhaps a tripod as well. There is even nearby onsen for you to stay and relax afterward. So why not visit the falls to relax your mind and soul, and then go for a soothing dip in the hot springs to rejuvenate your body. You won’t be disappointed with the vista of the falls or the nearby area.

Sannokura Plateau Sunflower Field
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Sannokura Plateau Sunflower Field

In summer, the 5.4 hectares of land within the Sannokura Ski Resort grounds become painted yellow with 1.5 million sunflowers. The sunflower field consists of 3 main areas, which can be enjoyed from early August to early September. Also, visitors to Sannokura Plateau between March and June can enjoy impressive views of fields of bright, yellow canola flowers. What's more, no matter the season, the panoramic views overlooking the Aizu basin from an elevation of 650 m make a visit to Sannokura Plateau very worthwhile.

Natural Sparkling Water in Kaneyama Town
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Kaneyama Town is a scenic, rural town surrounded by woods. One of the most famous things about Kaneyama Town is its well of naturally carbonated water. Such water is rarely found in Japan. Small bubbles are infused into the water, giving it a gentle and smooth taste. Locals and visitors take empty bottles to the well to fill and take back home. There is a pot at the well that can be used to collect water from the base of the well. Pulling up water from the bottom with a rope definitely makes for a fun and unique experience! Why don’t you try this natural sparkling water while enjoying the beautiful scenery in Kaneyama?

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