Lake Tazawa, Akita Prefecture: Sunrise at Japan’s Deepest Lake

Guide to Japan Travel Lifestyle

Lake Tazawa (Tazawa-ko) in Senboku, Akita Prefecture, reaches a depth of 423 meters, making it the deepest lake in Japan. It is not certain how it was formed: Though it has been said to be a volcanic caldera, some think it is a crater formed by the impact of a meteorite.

On a clear day, the surface of Lake Tazawa reflects the sky with a brilliant cobalt blue. The lake is also strikingly beautiful at dawn. First the sky brightens in the east,  and then the sun rises from behind the mountains, casting a rippled band of gold that stretches across the lake. The silhouette of a statue appears on the western shore—a bronze image of Tatsuko-hime, a beautiful young woman who according to legend was transformed into a dragon and became the guardian divinity of the lake. A Shintō shrine also stands on the shore, augmenting the mystical aura of the early morning scene.

(Originally published in Japanese. Created in cooperation with Cable Networks Akita.)

nature Tōhoku Akita lake