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
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.

The World Glassware Hall
Hot Springs

Oze Hinoemata Onsen

Oze Hinoemata Onsen has hot springs fed to every household, as well as bathing facilities run by the village for day visits. Aruza Oze no Sato, Hiuchi no Yu, Koma no Yu are all names of hot spring establishments in the town. Hinoemata area is also famous for Kabuki, a form of traditional performing art in Japan. Traditional Kabuki performances with a rich history dating from the Edo Period are still performed to this day on Hinoemata's kabuki stage, which is over 250 years old. There are three performances per year (May 12, August 18, and the first Saturday of September). Explore historical and cultural treasures such as the kabuki stage, the unique shrine featuring a stone statue of Hashiba-no-Banba, itakura (wooden storehouses), the six jizo statues, and the Hinoemata Folk Village by foot. Make sure to try Hinoemata area's 'Yamodo Cuisine': a characteristic cuisine centered on 100% buckwheat noodles, which features dishes such as 'Hatto soba' and rice cakes. Visitors can also enjoy walking and fishing at Hinoemata Mini Oze Park, a spacious park which comes to life with bright colours throughout the year as various flowers take turns to bloom. Oze Hinoemata Onsen is at the gateway to Oze National Park, making it as a base for hiking around Ozegahara Marsh, and for climbing mountains such as Mt. Hiuchigatake, Aizu Komagatake, Teishakuzen, and Tashiroyama.

The World Glassware Hall
Museums & Galleries

Yamada Momen Cotton Mill

Aizu momen (Aizu cotton) products are still greatly valued for their high quality and their traditional manufacturing techniques. The Yamada Momen Orimoto Company dates back to the start of the Edo Period (1603-1868). Aizu momen (cotton) has been produced here for over 400 years. Everything produced at Yamada Momen is made using the same techniques that have been practiced here for over 100 years, and the machinery is also old. Visitors are free to take a look around the cotton mill floor. The establishment also includes a small shop in the main office building.

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To-no-hetsuri Crags
Nature & Scenery

To-no-hetsuri Crags

A national natural monument, To-no-hetsuri Crags consists of tower-shaped cliffs overlooking Okawa River. Hetsuri is an Aizu word meaning "a cliff overlooking a river" or "a steep slope" in the local dialect. These strange-shaped cliffs are thought to be made of various types of rocks formed around 28 million years ago and feature deep cracks along the vertical joints. Thanks to trees growing between the white multi-layered rocks the view in autumn is quite spectacular. In spring and summer, the lush greens create a beautiful carpet down the rocks; in winter, the heavy snows make To-no-hetsuri Crags look otherworldly. The 200-meter long, natural cliff formation has alternating types of rocks that also include a relatively soft strata, which have been eroded by rain and wind, resulting in distinctive and eye-catching dips and curves in the rock face that resemble a forest of towers. Each of these tower-like rocks has its own name: Eagle Tower, Hawk Tower, Lion Tower, House Tower, Turret Tower, Nine-Ring Tower, Elephant Tower, Goma (fire ritual) Tower, Eboshi (tall hat worn by male aristocrats in the Heian Period) Rock, Folding Screen Rock, Stage Rock, and Sumo Arena Rock. Visitors to the area of To-no-hetsuri Crags can best enjoy the dynamic scenery by crossing the nearby suspension bridge. The suspension bridge offers a breathtaking sight of the river and cliff sides. At the foot of the cliff there is also a small shrine dedicated to the Bodhisattva of Wisdom. Another great way to enjoy To-no-hetsuri Crags is from the observatory neighboring the area where guests can view a panoramic scene of Okawa River, To-no-hetsuri Crags, and the suspension bridge. After enjoying the beautiful sight, head over to the local shopping area for restaurants and souvenirs.

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