Tohoku’s most renowned clear stream, recognized by the Michelin Green Guides!
The Oirase Keiryu mountain stream flows from Lake Towada, located approximately in the center of Aomori, to Yakeyama. The Michelin Green Guides recognizes a beautiful scenery woven by this mountain stream as one of the best sceneries of Japan’s northeastern Tohoku region. The stream’s overall length is approximately 14 kilometers. Its upper stream has a range of waterfalls, while the middle stream becomes rapids and then eventually turns a slow and clear lower stream. One attraction, the Choshi-otaki waterfall, is 20m wide with a 7-meter drop and is known as Japan’s own mini-Niagara. There is also a trekking course following the path of the mountain stream.
The Yakeyama resort area is well equipped with hotels.
Yakeyama is the starting point for Oirase Keiryu stream viewing tours. The Oirase Stream Museum has a tourist center well stocked with pamphlets. The surrounding area has a resort town feeling, packed with facilities such as the Hoshino Resort Oirase Keiryu Hotel and the Oirase craft beer restaurant. Spend some leisurely hours admiring the beauty of nature. The Deaibashi (Encounter Bridge) is a suspension bridge with an overall length of 55 meters—a fantastic spot for a commemorative photo. Walking the length of the Oirase Keiryu mountain stream on foot takes a day or more, traveling one way. Some walking courses connect with a transit bus, allowing you to complete your walk in a shorter period of time. Choose a course to fit the schedule of your trip.
The endpoint is a mysterious lake born 2,000 years ago—Lake Towada
Waiting at the end of the Oirase Keiryu stream is a panoramic view overlooking Lake Towada. Spanning Aomori and Akita Prefectures, this lake is a double caldera lake born from volcanic activity around 2,000 years ago. It is Japan’s third deepest lake, at 326m deep, with a characteristic deep indigo blue color. In addition to the lakeside promenade, sightseeing boat cruises are also available. Viewed from the lake, the mountains surrounding Oirase Valley are incredibly beautiful. Make your return to Aomori City or Hachinohe City by shuttle bus (bookings required).
Oirase Stream Museum
- 183 Tochikubo, Okuse, Towada-shi, Aomori-ken
- Opening hours
- 9 A.M. - 4:30 P.M.
- Open seven days a week
- Admission is free
- Aomori Airport is a 50-minute flight from New Chitose Airport.
- Aomori Airport is a 105-minute flight from Osaka International (Itami) Airport.
- Aomori Station is 35 minutes by shuttle bus from Aomori Airport.
- Yakeyama is 90 minutes by the JR Tohoku Mizuumi bus from Aomori Station.