A Scenic Forested Region with a Massive Lake: Exploring Odate, japan


Nestled in the eastern part of the Shirakami Sanchi UNESCO World Heritage site area, Odate is a picturesque destination that offers a variety of scenic spots and outdoor activities. With its lush forests and a massive lake, Odate is a paradise for nature lovers and those seeking tranquility. In this article, we will delve into the beauty and attractions of Odate, exploring its unique features and providing information on how to get there. Let’s embark on a journey to discover the wonders of this charming Japanese town.

Quick Facts

Before we delve into the details, let’s take a look at some quick facts about Odate:

1. Shirakami Sanchi: Odate is located in the vicinity of Shirakami Sanchi, which is home to the largest remaining virgin beech forest in East Asia. This forest is recognized as having a unique plant community of universal value.

2. Hachiko: Odate is the birthplace of Hachiko, the famous Akita dog celebrated with a statue outside Shibuya Station in Tokyo. Hachiko’s loyalty and devotion have made him a symbol of loyalty in Japan.

How to Get There

Odate can be easily accessed by plane, train, or car. If you prefer to travel by air, Odate-Noshiro Airport is the nearest airport. For those who enjoy train journeys, there are train services available to Odate. Additionally, if you prefer the flexibility of driving, Odate can be reached by car in about two hours from Akita City. Another nearby town, Kosaka, is approximately a 30-minute drive away. Regardless of your preferred mode of transportation, reaching Odate is convenient and hassle-free.

Lumberjack Stew: A Culinary Delight

When it comes to gastronomy, Odate is famous for its traditional dishes that were once enjoyed by lumberjacks working in the local mountains. One such dish is kiritampo stew, which consists of kiritampo dumplings, mashed leftover rice wrapped around a branch and roasted over a fire. These dumplings are then stewed with meat and vegetables or glazed with a miso paste, creating a hearty and flavorful dish. If you’re visiting Odate, be sure to try these local delicacies at one of the many restaurants in town.

The Akita Dog: A National Treasure

In addition to its natural beauty, Odate is also home to the Akita dog, a breed that has become a national treasure in Japan. These dogs are known for their loyalty, intelligence, and striking appearance. To learn more about Akita Inu, the Akita Dog Museum in Odate is a must-visit. Here, you can immerse yourself in the history and culture surrounding these remarkable dogs. The museum also offers events where visitors can spend time with real Akita dogs, providing a unique and memorable experience.

Lake Towada: A Gem of Natural Beauty

One of the highlights of Odate is its proximity to Lake Towada, an area of unspoiled natural beauty. This dual crater lake is situated at the top of a mountain, bordering Akita and Aomori prefectures. The lake was formed by a giant volcanic eruption and boasts a depth of 327 meters, making it the third-deepest lake in Japan. What sets Lake Towada apart is its incredible transparency, allowing visitors to see down to a depth of about 10 meters. The scenic views and tranquil atmosphere make it a perfect destination for nature enthusiasts.

Exploring Lake Towada

To fully experience the beauty of Lake Towada, there are several observation points dotted around the lake that offer breathtaking views. These observation points provide different perspectives of the lake and its surrounding landscapes, allowing visitors to capture stunning photographs and immerse themselves in the serene ambiance. Alternatively, you can embark on a cruise to admire the lake from the water, enjoying a leisurely and scenic journey. For those who prefer a more active adventure, there are hiking routes available around the lake, offering the opportunity to explore the area’s natural wonders up close. Additionally, Lake Towada has a campground where visitors can immerse themselves in nature and spend the night under the stars. A visitor center is also available, providing information and guidance for those who wish to make the most of their visit to Lake Towada.


In conclusion, Odate is a hidden gem in Japan, offering a scenic forested region and a massive lake. From its unique cultural heritage to its natural wonders, Odate has something to offer for every traveler. Whether you are interested in exploring the largest virgin beech forest in East Asia, learning about the Akita dog, or immersing yourself in the beauty of Lake Towada, Odate provides a multitude of experiences that will leave you captivated. So, plan your visit to Odate and indulge in the serenity and charm of this remarkable destination.

Address And Maps Location:

Odate-shi, Akita-ken

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