Lake Inawashiro

Lake Inawashiro

Japan's fourth-largest freshwater lake, Lake Inawashiro is situated in Bandai Asahi National Park. It is also known as the “Heavenly Mirror Lake” and has a surface area of 104 square kilometers! The combination of Lake Inawashiro and Mt. Bandai form one of Aizu's representative landscapes. And being less than three hours from Tokyo by shinkansen and local train means that you have easy access from a major transport hub.

The lake offers year-round fun. Enjoy cherry blossoms in spring at Iwahashi Shrine, one of Aizu’s five famous cherry trees. Summer at Lake Inawashiro is slightly cooler than the rest of Fukushima, so take advantage of camping by the lakeshore, and a wide variety of marine sports. Colored leaves and hikes are the popular thing to do in autumn, view the fiery hues and take in the crisp air. In winter, visitors can enjoy fresh powder snow and winter thrills in the form of skiing and snowboarding; and you can even catch a glimpse of migrating swans on the shores.

It’s truly a beauty no matter when you decide to visit. There are also a wide range of scenic spots from where visitors can take photographs and soak in the view. It’s a great place to escape from the stress of work and life or just to experience Japanese nature and landscapes.

Lake Inawashiro's size means that it is accessible from a number of sightseeing spot, including Tenkyokaku stately house and Hideo Noguchi Memorial Museum (a museum dedicated to the life and work of a Japanese scientist famous for his research on yellow fever). There’s plenty more to do nearby: view some amazing works by international artists at the Morohashi Museum of Modern Art, or visit the rainbow-colored Goshiki-numa Ponds.

Venue Details

Venue Details
Websitehttp://inawashiroko.jp/web/index.html?language=en
Best SeasonAll Year
ParkingAvailable (parking areas can be found around the lake perimeter – please check the official website for exact locations)
Access Details
AccessMinamieboshi-639 Osada, Inawashiro Town, Yama District, Fukushima Pref. 969-3283
View directions
Getting there

Northern Side

  • The closest train station is Inawashiro Station (JR Ban-etsu West Line), which can be reached directly by train from Aizu-Wakamatsu Station or Koriyama Station
  • From Inawashiro Station, the northern side of the lake is between a 5km-7km walk, or a taxi ride.
  • By car, the northern side of the lake can be reached in around 45 minutes from either Koriyama City or Aizu-Wakamatsu City.


Southern Side

  • The easiest way to reach this area is by car, as there are no nearby train stations.

Related trips

Nearby

The World Glassware Hall
Shopping & Souvenirs

The World Glassware Hall

The World Glassware Hall is located at the foot of Mt. Bandai, by the side of Lake Inawashiro. About 25,000 handmade glassware items, imported directly from countries all over the world, are exhibited and sold at the World Glassware Hall the museum. You can even try your hand at glass etching, or glass blowing. Next to the Glassware Hall is a local beer brewery and a sweets shop. Local Inawashiro beer has received the gold prize in an international beer competition, and can be purchased on site. In the sweets shop, you can try a line up of famous local delicacies.

The World Glassware Hall
Historical Sites

Yunokami Onsen Station

Yunokami Onsen Station is one of only 2 train stations with a thatched roof in Japan. The station is known for its great location as a cherry blossom viewing spot with a unique atmosphere. There is an irori (sunken fireplace) where tourists can warm themselves up in winter, and a foot bath sourced from natural hot spring water just next to the station. Yunokami Onsen town is a popular place to stay the night for those visiting destinations such as Ouchi-juku and To-no-hetsuri are located in the same area.

The World Glassware Hall
Historical Sites

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. Built as the main structure during the Heian period to the Kamakura period, its thatched roof is supported by 44 massive pillars, each one 45 cm in diameter. This comprises a single large, open stage with no walls, and is 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 the wooden rod. There is also a famous copper pot where, allegedly, rice was rinsed before being offered to the gods; it was designated as an Important Cultural Property in 1959. This treasure is housed at the shrine along with many others and are on display for visitors along with national and prefectural designated cultural assets. Also not to be missed in the lion statue in the center of the treasure hall. It is known as a guardian of wisdom and there is a local legend that says if you can pass under the belly of the lion your own wisdom will blossom. It’s 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 is bathed in yellow and makes a beautiful contrast with the Nagatoko. This ancient tree has also been designated as a Natural Monument of Kitakata City. in November of every year, you can even see a special illumination of the ginkgo tree for a limited time.

The World Glassware Hall
Historical Sites

Maezawa L-shaped Farmhouses

The deep snows of the Aizu region meant that, in the past, cut off from other areas for months at a time, its residents had to use all their wits just to make it through the winters. These L-shaped farmhouses known as "magariya" conceal a number of the innovations developed by this local people. As you can see in the layout of the house, the long earth floor stretches out towards the road. Long ago, horses were indispensable in farming, but the deep snow of winter meant that keeping them tied up in external stables was cruel. Therefore, stables were built into the house, meaning that the unfloored working area inevitably became larger. Having this area far from the road made getting to the road through the snow more difficult, as up to a meter can fall overnight. Accordingly, with the aim of reducing work, locating this working area as close as feasible to the road ended up with the house being laid out in an L-shape. Many of these houses were built in Maezawa and throughout Tateiwa Village, as a way of living with horses in the deep snows of the Aizu region. The houses have become more and more comfortable over time, with the "magariya" design lasting until the present day. While this magariya-style farmhouse used to be built everywhere that saw heavy snow, they are gradually disappearing. Accordingly, the Maezawa magariya have been designated as historical cultural assets. In 1985, the village began actively preserving these houses, and this area now attracts many visitors. One of the magariya buildings have been repurposed into a museum in the village where visitors can learn about life in Maezawa.

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Kannonji-gawa River Cherry Trees
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.

Kagamizakura
Nature & Scenery

Kagamizakura

Kagamizakura is a huge Sargent's cherry located in the Numanotaira area, Yamato-machi, Kitakata City. Numanotaira is also known as the home of one million Fukujusō (vibrant yellow flowers). Rich with nature, the area contains many wildflowers and wild mountain vegetables. The single Sargent’s cherry is located on the edge of a pond called “Kagami Ike” (lit. Mirror Pond). The age of the tree is unknown but it is estimated to be over 100 years old. The trunk consists of dozens of roots growing from the foot of the tree. The tree's branches spread out widely, making it look as if the tree is leaning over toward the pond. When the flowers of the cherry tree blossom, the scenery with the reflection on the surface of the pond is exceptionally beautiful. The dark pink flowers typical of Sargent’s cherry are simply gorgeous.

Shibuki-gori (Naturally-forming ice sculptures)
Nature & Scenery

Shibuki-gori (Naturally-forming ice sculptures)

If you head to Tenjinhama beach on Lake Inawashiro in the depths of winter, through the trees at its south towards the mouth of the Nagase river, you will see the "shibuki-gori" natural ice sculptures. Lake water is picked up by strong winds from the west, and meets the trees on the coastline. There it creates a very unusual phenomenon with a beauty that rivals the "juhyo" (ice-covered trees) seen at the tops of mountains. Local peoples and visitors alike never tire of these sights. You can also see other shapes formed by ice here, such as ice drifts and the prominent "Omiwatari" cracked, rising ice on the beach and lake surface. Please note that Shibuki-gori are natural ice sculptures, and therefore their appearance and size change by the day. Please check before visiting.

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