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
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


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Atsushio Onsen

Atsushio Onsen – which means ‘Hot Salt Onsen’ – gets its name because of the high salt content and hot temperature of its source water (70 degrees). For generations, this onsen has been hailed by local people as having healing properties. Also known as ‘Kodomo Takara no Yu’ (‘The Sanctity of Children Onsen’), Atsushio Onsen is home to a Buddhist statue dedicated to the act of raising children. Here you often see mothers paying their respects to deities after their wishes have been realized.

The World Glassware Hall
Historical Sites

Tsurugajo Castle

Tsurugajo Castle allows visitors the opportunity to experience history, nature, and tradition with all five senses. Despite being mostly reconstructed, the surrounding park's stone walls remain in their original state. In 2010, for the first time since it was refurbished in 1965, the castle underwent a cosmetic restoration. Following completion in 2011, the same red-tile roofs seen by the Byakkotai (during the Boshin War and finals days of the Tokugawa shogunate) are now displayed for all to see. This castle is one of the final strongholds of samurai that remained loyal to the shogunate and today stands as a symbol of courage and faithfulness. Within the castle tower's museum, the swords and armor of the castle’s successive lords are on display. Visitors can watch a CG-enhanced theatrical video reflecting on the great history of Aizu. In addition to the historical atmosphere surrounding Tsurugajo, visitors can sense the changes that have occurred throughout history, thanks to the engaging and informative museum within the castle walls. It’s fun to gaze across Aizu from the fifth floor, like a feudal lord admiring his domain—the viewing platform up here provides panoramic views taking in Mt. Bandai and Mt. Iimoriyama. The castle is also a must-see in the springtime when approximately 1,000 cherry trees offer a magnificent display within the castle's grounds. When you’re in the mood for a rest, visit the Rinkaku Tea Rooms for some freshly-prepared matcha green tea. This tea house on the grounds of Tsurugajo was vital in the spread of this traditional art—and had it been destroyed during the Meiji Restoration, tea ceremony as it is known in Japan might have vanished. Tsurugajo Castle is truly a place where the modern visitor can slip into the past and become immersed in history.

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Kannonji-gawa River Cherry Trees

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Inawashiro Herb Garden
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Inawashiro Herb Garden

The breeze from the nearby Lake Inawashiro, seasonal flowers, and art displays of the Inawashiro Herb Garden await your visit! The outdoor garden area is around 100,000 square meters and is filled with various herbs, flowers, and plants that bloom at different times on the year, creating a unique visitor experience that changes with the seasons! The park has around 500 varieties or herbs, flowers, and plants including: lavender, mint, chamomile, nanohana blossoms, poppies, sunflowers, cosmos, and kochia!  There is an indoor greenhouse area, so, even on rainy days, visitors have plenty of greenery and flowers to see! In addition to the herbs, flowers, and plants you will also find seasonal decorations and original art displays that are created and updated for guests to enjoy. The outdoor garden area of the Inawashiro Herb Garden also features 5 m-tall wooden statues carved by a Canadian artist, Glen Greenside. The 12 statues, one for each zodiac sign, were carved over the course of twelve years as part of a now-discontinued annual chainsaw festival that took place at the garden. Inside, at the shop, visitors can find products and snacks that are made from various herbs and flowers.