Lake Towada is one of the most popular attractions of Aomori Prefecture. This crater lake is the biggest of this kind in Honshu, being part of the Towada-Hachimantai National Park. Nature here is stunning with large forests and clear streams covering the majority of the area. In summer the foliage is at its peak showing every hue of green you can imagine. In autumn the surrounding forest turns into an explosion of colors ranging from yellow to deep shades of orange and red.
There are several ways to explore the site: you can hike on one of various trails, bike along the lake shore or cruise on one of the tourist boats. Another alternative that will surprise you is kayaking.
You can find a rental shop in Okuse town in which, for ¥1500 per hour, you can get your own kayak. Wear the mandatory life jacket and start paddling for your own adventure. On a sunny day, you will soon notice how clear the water is. Some kayaks even have a transparent bottom so you can easily see through to get a glimpse of the lake bed. The best way to get the most out of your time is to follow the coastline of the Nakayama and Mikura peninsulas. Here nature feels really untouched, being hard to reach by foot; trees and plants grow thick and wild. You will find dozens of hidden inlets along the path. The water is so calm that it creates an incredibly perfect mirror and you will find yourself holding your breath for want of disturbing the scene. The cliffs of black rocks create an amazing contrast with the deep blue water and the shiny green leaves.
Enjoy the feeling of being completely immersed in nature, listening to the wind blowing through the branches and breathing in the fresh mountain air. The experience is so relaxing that you will probably be late returning to the shop. I bet that the next time you go to a lake, you will not think twice about looking for a kayak rental.