The clear water filled in the lake Tazawa represents the purity of Akita. The sunlight dyes the water of lake varying from jade green to indigo blue depending on the depth the light reaches. This wide range of colors comes from its inordinate water depths measuring 423.4 meters, which is the deepest in Japan. On the ground of its unusual depth, even the snowy winter wind in Akita cannot turn the whole water into ice. In 2010, the Lake Tazawa original fish “Kunimasu” was found after 70 years of disappearance in Lake Nishi in Yamanashi prefecture. The whole area of Lake Tazawa is designated as the prefectural natural park and it is counted as one of “the hundred sights in Japan.”
The hidden story of Tatsuko
When you google for the typical tourist place around Lake Tazawa, the first thing you find would be “the statue of Tatsuko.” The “Lake Baikal in Japan” hides secret folk tale of Tatsuko in the bottom of its deep blue water. Tatsuko was a raving beauty who craved for the eternal beauty and youthfulness so much that she prayed for it to the Kannon god. According to his oracle, she drank the water from the spring in the mountain beyond the full extent and finally turned into the dragon of Lake Tazawa. It is said that she stays together with another dragon god “Hachiro” who fell in love with her and it keeps the lake unfrozen.
Four seasons in Lake Tazawa
The Lake Tazawa area is famous as the popular vacation area with abundant options it offers in different seasons and area. At the north side of Lake Tazawa, you can feel the advent of spring with the roadside cherry blossoms in Tazawako Highland. Even after the Sakura in Kakunodate have fallen, you still have a chance to enjoy the Sakura since they usually come into full bloom when the cherry blossoms in Kakunodate pass their peak. If you drive Route 46 to the south, the skunk cabbage in Sashimaki Marsh will welcome you. It is a lantern-shape white flower and the scenery of a cluster of skunk cabbages is simply overwhelming. In summer, you can enjoy hiking Mt. Komagatake or camping at the lodge of Auto Campsite. The late Tazawa is open for swimming only in summer. The transparent water and ocean-like white sand might make you forget that you are in the lake. Fall is the best season to feast your eyes on autumn leaves seen here and there in Lake Tazawa. You could take part in “the Lake Tazawa Marathon” in September which you can run around the lake. Even the heavy snow is not adequate enough to stop visitors coming to enjoy winter life in Lake Tazawa. In the Skiing site of Lake Tazawa at the north east, you can enjoy gliding down through various courses which satisfy both the beginners and experts. Even professional ski competitions are often held here. When you get tired of skiing, there is a best place for you to remove your fatigue and heal pain, the Nyuto Onsen offering 7 different hot springs. At the most famous “Tsurunoyu,” you can try milky white hot spring in which samurais used to cure their injuries in Edo era. (17th to 19th century)
Places to visit around Lake Tazawa
Around Lake Tazawa, there are variety of restaurants and souvenir shops offering only-in-Tazawa goods such as local beer and Sake, handmade honey, sea foods, and so on… Regardless of purpose or season, the Lake Tazawa is always ready for embracing you.
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