Friday, 25 September 2009

Naked In Tawazakohan (Lake Tazawa)

What? Do you really think I'd be naked in the lake? ;)

I was posing as the statue of Tatsuko. The legend was, a beautiful girl called Tatsuko wished for her youth and beauty to be preserved forever. She thus drank the water of a spring, as she was advised to, and turned into a big dragon, which sank to the bottom of the lake. During the winter months, her dragon husband joins her in the lake, and the warmth of their passion causes the lake never to freeze.

Lake Tazawa is located in Akita prefecture and is the deepest lake in Japan at 423mtrs (by comparison, Tokyo Tower is 333mtrs tall). The lake is an almost perfect circle of 20km of circumference and is also know for the clarity of its water (2nd in Japan).

We took the Akita Shinkansen Komachi (reserved only cars) from Tokyo to Tazawa-ko station which was about a 3-hours trip and then took a bus to the lake area. More exhaustive posts and photos of the shinkansens will be up later. We used our JR East Pass to reserve seats and board the train at no additional charge apart from the 10,000yen per adult we paid when buying the 3-day pass.

Bus to Lake Tazawa. Bus fares was 320yen per adult and took exactly 13 minutes. Don't worry about not knowing where to stop. Buses in Japan have announcements on all approaching bus stops. Pretty helpful for first time visitors.

View of the lake:
We decided against taking the ferry around the lake as we didn't want to be late for check-in at Taenoyu Onsen afterwards. Boats depart from the Shirahama beach and cross the lake to Katajiri, where the Tatsuko statue is located. Return tickets are available from both places (1,170 yens, 40 minutes, 4 times per day). There were pedal boats too, but the rental was too high for us. At 1,000yen for half an hour and looking at the choppy waters of the lake, we settled for a walk instead.
After walking by the lake shores, we decided to head to the souvenir shops at the rest area nearby and looked at local specialties. Almost everything in the shop has a sampling box, so you get to try them all even if you don't plan to buy anything. We bought a postcard of the statue of Tatsuko to send back home.
If you have more time to spend, why not rent a bicycle and ride them and enjoy the scenery.
After that, we board the bus and head to Taenoyu Onsen for our overnight stay there. We were greeted with more awesome scenery along the way. Yellow paddy fields, ready to be harvested. And breathtaking view from the mountain area. We passed by forest of pine trees before arriving to our destination.

My next posts will be of the ryokan we stayed in, Japanese breakfast and dinner and our onsen experience (being naked and all). Though no nudity will be shown in this blog!


  1. ahahaha no nudity? i think that will be the intriguing part to see here! just kidding!

  2. i'm guessing you enjoyed a nice soak in the hotsprings =)

  3. nice to know the story of the lake and the lady behind's very vast and a nice cruise must really be good. =)

    I'll wait for the next series =)

  4. Aiya! Misleading title! haha!

    Interesting story about Tatsuko! Wow! Beautiful sceneries of the lake!

    Good that they have sampling boxes at that shop. You can try before you buy. Or eat for free and don't buy : )

  5. @Ayie,
    There'll be future post on our hot spring experience. I think that will up after we return to Malaysia though. :)

    It is a big lake and it was awesome enjoying the view there..

  6. @foong,
    The lake is beautiful.

    I'm very Malaysian. I sample, sample only. I don't buy. Do you know that there are places where we didn't need to buy lunch. We just eat all the samples. Not finish them all lah, take a little bit here and there and after sampling 10 items, we are not hungry already! LOL

  7. Riding a bike would be a great way to enjoy the scenery.

  8. @Mei Teng,
    riding a bike definitely a good way to enjoy the scenery at your own pace. :)

  9. interesting legend and tale about the statue. i've gotta plan my next getaway.

  10. What a beautiful place this is. the lake looks serene and peaceful. did you buy any local delicacies?

  11. @life ramblings,
    It is a nice place. You gott go check out the onsens nearby too.

    We bought some to eat there, nothing to bring back home though. Too much luggage, otherwise. ;D

  12. Haha! Malaysian style - just sample and don't buy!

    Wow! Can sample until full? Not bad! Save $$$! : )

  13. @foong,
    The Japanese sure don't skimp on their samples. One time in Karuizawa, in a shop selling jams/pickles and other assortment of food items, they provided lots of crackers to eat with the sample. We just ate the crackers instead! LOL


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