Monday, 3 January 2011

Lake Towada

Lake Towada

We arrived in Akita late afternoon on 29th.  A bit over 3 hours on the Shinkansen, a 50 minute wait for a bus, and almost 2 hours on the bus.  Leaving home at 8.30 we arrived at 4 – not so far in Australia but by Japanese standards far.    

Odate is home to an infamous copper mine of WWII, Hanaoka. Owned by Kajima it was manned by mostly Chinese forced labourers during the war.  The conditions were awful with more than half the workers dying. More than 100 of whom died in an uprising against their miserable conditions.       I went to the museum there years ago, but have been meaning to go back for a long time.  It’s going to have to wait till next time though – it’s only open from April- November….  I'll write about it in detail when I do go, but there is a link here if you are interested.

Instead of Hanaoka we took advantage of the clear weather on the 30th to go to Lake Towada, a caldera lake  on the border between Akita and Aomori about 50km from Odate.  In winter it is almost deserted.
Japan Guide has a good map of Towada ko with directions.  The photos here are of the Akita side.  We opted not to go as far as Oirase as the sky was greying over, and it would not be a good spot to be caught in a blizzard at nightfall.

Photos below.
Snow here has been cleared off the road

With snow blocking the road we couldn't circumnavigate the lake

Close to the lake the road was covered completely with snow

The boat was still making 4x day trips on the lake.... brrrr

Senbei (rice cracker) icecream

Camping anyone?  Oide campsite is more popular in the summer....

Gobo / Burdock Root icecream

Snow on the road meant we couldn't circumnavigate the lake
Getting to the look out took wading through metre deep snow....

For this view - the Akita side of Lake Towada


Nakamuras on Saipan said...

Beautiful, beautiful pictures! Makes me long to leave here even more..!!!

Is burdock "gobo" in Japanese? What is the cream used for?

Cecilia said...

50cm of snow in less than 24 hours had me longing for Guam or Saipan !

Gobo is the Japanese. Burdock root is how it gets translated in English, though since we don't have it in Aus, & I had never heard it before I came here.

It's icecream. Like chocolate, strawberry, gobo!!!!??!!