Lake Sohara

Lake Sohara

With a diameter of 3.5 km, Lake Sohara is the fourth largest lake in the wetlands of the Urabandai highlands. Blessed with bountiful plankton and aquatic plants such as potamogeton distinctus and water shield, many wild birds flock to its waters. Walking the shores of this lake, you can feel as if you're in a wild highland oasis.

Venue Details

Venue Details
Websitehttps://www.urabandai-inf.com/en/?page_id=24976
Contact

Urabandai Tourism Association

(+81) 241-32-2349

staff1@urabandai-inf.com

Best SeasonAll Year
ParkingAvailable
Access Details
AccessLake Sohara, Soharayama, Hibara, Kitashiobara Village, Yama-gun, Fukushima Pref. 969-2701
View directions
Getting there

By Car: 30 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 Sohara, which takes 8 min.

Nearby

The World Glassware Hall
Gourmet & Shopping

Tsurugajo Kaikan

Tsurugajo Kaikan is a shopping complex next to Tsurugajo Castle. Here you can try local cuisine, from Wappa Meshi and Sauce Katsudon, to soba noodles and Kitakata Ramen. The French restaurant "Racines" is also on the premises, so that both Japanese and western-style cuisines can be enjoyed in one location. The restaurants have seating for approximately 1,000 guests. The first floor contains a tax-free shop that sells local Aizu goods and souvenirs, from ready-to-cook Kitakata Ramen, soba noodles, Japanese pickles, and sweet treats, to traditional crafts like Akabeko lucky red cow. You can even try painting your own Akabeko cow (a traditional folk toy which is said to bring luck), and take it home as a souvenir of your trip. Painting an Akabeko takes about 30 minutes, and a reservation is required for groups. The parking area accommodates full-size buses as well as personal vehicles.  

The World Glassware Hall
Nature & Scenery

Goshiki-numa Ponds

The Goshiki-numa ponds of Urabandai are a cluster of five volcanic lakes at the foot of Mt. Bandai. When Mt. Bandai erupted in 1888, Goshiki-numa - which translates as "Five-Colored Ponds - were formed.In actuality dozens of lakes were created due to the 1888 eruption, but the Goshiki-numa Ponds are the most famous. It was thanks to the eruption that the lakes each took on rich color; the various minerals found in each lake give them a unique color and create a mystical aura.The colors of the Goshiki-numa Ponds also change throughout the year depending on weather and time of day, a truly mysterious phenomenon. The lakes have become a popular tourist destination. The five main lakes are Bishamon, Aka, Ao, Benten, and Midoro, and their colors range from a lime green to deep turquoise to a topaz blue. A scenic walking route guides visitors around the ponds. At 3.6 km in length, this walking route - which will take you past many of the ethereal colors - takes about 70 minutes to complete.If you’d like a view of all five lakes at once, why not take the 4 km walking trail from Bishamon-numa (largest of the five lakes) up to nearby Lake Hibara. Alternatively, if hiking is not on your itinerary, enjoy a simple rowboat out on Bishamon-numa. It’s especially lovely in autumn as the color of the autumn leaves reflects on the deep green surface of the lake. In winter, there are even snowshoe trekking tours offered. The color of the lakes looks particularly vivid in winter, seeing as the minerals in some of the lakes stop them from freezing over, meaning you can see their colors contrasted with the white of the snow.Be sure to stop by the Urabandai Visitor Center, which is a large and well-equipped facility. You can find great information here about tours as well as the various geography, wildlife, and even the history of the area. It’s a great chance to learn more about the ecosystem that makes up the Goshiki-numa Ponds.

The World Glassware Hall
Hot Springs

Higashiyama Onsen

Established over 1,300 years ago, Higashiyama Onsen is a well-known retreat area in Aizu-Wakamatsu City. The recognized historical onsen town is said to have been founded by the Buddhist priest Gyōki. According to legend, he found the area by following a bird with three legs, an auspicious and mystical omen. The area was popular with people from all over Aizu during the Edo Period and was developed as a retreat area. Today it is listed among the top three onsen towns of old Tohoku. Being only 10 minutes by car from the heart of Aizu-Wakamatsu City, visitors are sure to enjoy their time at Higashiyama Onsen.The traditional Japanese ryokan (inns) of Higashiyama Onsen line both sides of the Yukawa River, giving the area a picturesque air. Let your mind and body relax in the warm sodium-sulphate waters and clean, crisp air. A visit in autumn treats ryokan and hotel guests to the fantastic experience of bathing in a hot springs while viewing autumn leaves.The ryokan in the area are a mix of modern and traditional, perfect to suit any taste. For sightseeing, there are plenty of shops and restaurants in the area for you to enjoy local goods and cuisine. Moreover, staying in Higashiyama Onsen is a great option for those who would like to sightsee in Aizu-Wakamatsu. Higashiyama Onsen is also home to geigi (geisha), whose traditions have been passed down through the generations. If you make a reservation, you can watch them perform. These classically trained entertainers are skilled in song, dance, and music. Their breathtaking performances reflect historical ballads and stories—the tale of the Byakkotai is especially popular. It is the tragic story of teenage samurai who committed ritual suicide at Mt. Iimoriyama.

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Urabandai Highlands
Nature & Scenery

Urabandai Highlands

The Urabandai highlands of northern Fukushima Prefecture, are situated at an altitude of 800 meters and surrounded by Mt. Bandai, Mt. Adatara, and Mt. Azuma. The highlands were created by Mt. Bandai erupting in 1888. Urabandai is part of Bandai Asahi National Park and offers a variety of seasonal attractions. Cool weather in summer and deep snow in winter make Urabandai a perfect place for both indoor and outdoor enjoyment. About 300 lakes and ponds, including the Goshiki-numa Ponds and Lake Hibara, are scattered across Urabandai. The harmonious beauty of nature created by the abundant woodlands and lakes will certainly touch the hearts of all visitors.

Natural Sparkling Water in Kaneyama Town
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Natural Sparkling Water in Kaneyama Town

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?

Kannon-numa Forest Park
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Kannon-numa Forest Park

Kannon-numa Forest Park (観音沼森林公園) is a picturesque natural area in the Minamiaizu District of Southern Fukushima Prefecture.A wide variety of vegetation, flowers, and birds can be found at Kannon-numa Forest Park. There are nine walking trails, each offering unique sights. The main trail covers about 1.2 km and goes around the Kannon-numa swamp, which is one of the main highlights of the park. The park becomes transformed in each season, with cherry blossoms in spring and hydrangeas in the summer, and it is particularly popular with visitors during the autumn. The colorful trees reflected on the swamp’s waters make for a lovely sight, making it one of the main autumn attractions in the area. The best time to visit to see the autumn foliage is typically from late October to early November. There is also a shrine, Dake Kannondo, believed to have been built over 1,000 years ago.Located about 35 minutes from Ouchi-juku by car, this park is the perfect place to bask in the natural wonders of Shimogo Town. 

Bandaisan Gold Line
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Bandaisan Gold Line

The Bandaisan Gold Line road connects Bandai Kogen, a highland rich with lakes diverse in shapes and size, and various alpine plants, and the Aizu area, which has an immensely rich and fascinating history. This submontane sightseeing road offers diverse views of Mt. Bandai (known in Japanese as 'Bandai-san') and can lead visitors to either the mountain's rugged caldera or to the picturesque Lake Inawashiro. Visitors can discover new hidden gems every time they explore the Gold Line by car, making it a very popular spot to return to among tourists and locals. The area surrounding the road is known as a foliage-viewing spot with hairpin curves that carve through the woodlands. On the walking trail that leads to Baya-ike, a "phantom" waterfall, visitors can take in the beauty of the landscape as they hike. The most highly recommended walking course extends from Happodai to the Oguninuma wetlands, where in late June, visitors are greeted by ban array of beautiful, broad dwarf day-lilies.

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