The area known as Towada is actually made up of four different areas, each with their own distinct charm. The City of Towada has a long history with horses and is also home to a world-class art museum. Oirase Gorge is a lush stretch of greenery, water currents, and waterfalls, and leads visitors to Lake Towada, a breathtaking caldera lake created by volcanic eruptions more than 50,000 years ago. The Hakkoda Mountains are a collection of peaks that contain panoramic views, plenty of hot springs, and nearly endless adventure all year round.
The City of Towada
Towada is located in the foothills of the Hakkoda Mountains and encompasses the Aomori portion of Lake Towada. The Oirase River passes through the town. The city has a cold humid climate characterized by cool summers and cold winters with heavy snowfall (Köppen climate classification Cfa). The average annual temperature in Towada is 9.8 °C. The average annual rainfall is 1233 mm with September as the wettest month.The temperatures are highest on average in August, at around 22.8 °C, and lowest in January, at around -2.3 °C. Part of the city is within the limits of the Towada-Hachimantai National Park.
Oirase & Yakeyama
Oirase Gorge is a well-known picturesque locale, whether it is in the spring with fresh green leaves, the fall with the gorgeous fall leaves, or the cool summer. The gorge stretches from Nenokuchi on Lake Towada to Yakiyama a total distance of 14 km (8.6 miles). Expansive woods blended with numerous waterfalls and the graceful water current give life to the magnificent mountain stream. Hiking in spring and the season of autumn foliage is simply exceptional.
A Treasure Spot for Beautiful Waterfalls
Kumoi waterfall, Choshi Otaki, Ashura Current, and Kujukushima are just a few of the many popular waterfalls and scenes in Oirase Gorge. Many visitors and photographers try their hand at taking the best picturesque shot.
Hakkoda Mountains is the collective name of the sixteen mountains which includes Mount Odake as the main peak. Mount Odake has an altitude of 1585 meters (5200 feet). Hakkoda Mountains has been selected as one of the premier mountains of Japan. The area also has many wetlands such as the Tashiro Plateau Wetland. The Hakkoda ropeway gives visitors a convenient way to reach Mount Tamoyachi (altitude 1323 meters (4343 feet)) and the beautiful panoramic view. At the foot of the mountain is Sukayu onsen, famous for Sennin-buro (bath of a thousand bathers), waiting to soothe traveller’s fatigue after exploration.
In the winter, Hakkoda Mountains fills with skiers and snowboarders. Snow trekking is also popular as many visitors come to see the soft rime ice features called snow monsters.
Lake Towada is the largest crater lake on the island of Honshu. Located on the border between Aomori and Akita prefectures, the lake is part of the Towada-Hachimantai National Park. Lake Towada provides stunning views across all seasons, with the colorful leaves of autumn being one of its main attractions. Ferries run across the lake between spring and autumn, with trekking and canoeing available all year round.
The area around present-day Towada was formerly a wasteland known as Sanbongihara (三本木原), which became the location of a colonization and land reclamation project initiated by the Nambu clan of Morioka Domain from 1855. The project was headed by Nitobe Tsutō, the grandfather of Inazo Nitobe. The project was continued by the Meiji government, and the area was designated a ranch area for breeding cavalry horses by the Imperial Japanese Army in 1885. The inclement climate of the area was considered ideal for breeding horses that would be suitable for use in the cold climate areas of Manchuria and Siberia. The village of Sanbongi was established with the establishment of the municipalities system on April 1, 1889. On September 1, 1910, Sanbongi was designated a town. It was elevated to the status of a city on February 1, 1955. In October 1956, it changed its name to “Towada”.