TOWADA / OIRASE / HAKKODA
Breathtaking scenery can be seen from a boat on Lake Towada or from a lakeside observatory deck. The red and yellow autumn leaves are excellent, but the mysterious scenery of winter is also recommended. Oirase Keiryu Stream is a 14-km stream from the lake at Nenokuchi; the gap between the highest and lowest points in the stream is about 200 meters and is dotted with picturesque spots. Strolling around this area is delightful, especially the view of fresh, green spring leaves and the colorful leaves of autumn.
Hakkoda-san is the general name for the northern and southern Hakkoda mountain ranges. The highest peak is 1,584 meters above sea level. There are many moors and alpine plants and the ropeway ride provides a splendid view of the moors and mountains. The skiing is great at Hakkoda Ski Resort, which has a dynamic super-long course among the natural geographical features such as juhyo (trees covered with hoarfrost) and moguls from mid-December to mid-May. Walking tours among the beautiful juhyo trees are held, and a path between 9-meter-high snow walls is open for three days in late March as part of a winter event.
Tsuta Onsen is surrounded by tall beech trees and is the only hot springs ryokan (Japanese style hotel). The bath is just above the spring source and hot water springs directly into the bath without the use of pipes. Sukayu Onsen is the oldest hot springs at Hakkoda Onsen and its huge co-ed bath, Sennin Buro or 1,000-person bath, is famous. Ranpu no Yado (Lamp Hotel) at Aoni Onsen is a quiet, remote hot springs resort, located in the mountains and uses only kerosene lamps at light.
The pop museum Towada Art Center on Kanchogai Street is constructed of different sizes of white boxes connected by glass corridors and was designed by the famous young architect Ryue Nishizawa. The entire length of Kanchogai Street resembles an open-air museum with the colorful works of Yayoi Kusama and others exhibited along the street.