Revised: March, 2013
Five Lakes of Fujisan, Yamanashi
The five lakes of Fujisan are situated around the northern side of the mountain: Yamanaka (the largest), Kawaguchi, Sai, Shoji (the smallest), and Mototsu.
Lake Yamanaka, Summer 2010:
Lake Yamanaka at Dawn, Summer 2010:
Lake Sai, Summer 2005:
Lake Kawaguchi, Summer 2005:
Lake Kawaguchi, from Mt. Tenjo, Summer 2010:
Lake Motosu, Summer 2011:
Lake Shoji, Summer 2011:
Lake Chuzenji, Nikko, Tochigi
Lake Chuzenji, above Chuzenji falls, summer 2005:
Morning and evening:
Lakes of Tōhoku
Lakes of Mt. Bandai, Fukushima
Lake Akimoto, at the Urabandai entrance to Bandai-Asahi National Park, Summer 2010
Lake Hibara<, on the northern side of Mt. Bandai
Hiking Trail around the southern end of Lake Hibara
Lake Hibara at Sunset
Yaroku Marsh, with Mt. Bandai, near Lake Hibara
Goshikinuma ("Five-Colored Marsh"), a popular walking area east of Lake Hibara; Summer 2005
South of Mt. Bandai, is Lake Inawashiro, the fourth largest lake in Japan (after Biwa, Kasumigaura in Ibaraki, and Saroma, in Hokkaidō). The lake is a popular for watching birds, camping, water skiing, boardsailing, and bathing.
Excursion boats line the shore, Summer 2005
Lake Okama, Yamagata. Summer 2010
Between the peaks of Kumano and Katta on Mt. Zao is the emerald green Lake Okama.
Lake Towada, Aomori
Lake Towada. Summer 2013
Lake Tazawa, Akita
Lake Tazawa is the deepest lake in Japan.
The lake is known for the legend of Princess Tatsuko who lives in the lake. Her story is this: she prayed to Kannon, the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy, for eternal life. The goddess directed her to a spring and told her to drink its water. The princess did so and turned into the dragon who lives immortally in the lake.
A golden statue of the princess on the southwest side of the lake, across from Mt. Komagadake, is well-known; another statue, at Gozanoishi Shrine, on the opposite side of the lake, presents a less glamorous image of the princess:
In Fall 2009, we stopped briefly on our way to Lake Towada. While we were walking around the lake, a light snow began falling. Despite the frigid winters of the northland, its deep waters never freeze over. Left: Kannon statue, with fall foliage, on the lake shore. Right: Due to its clarity the water is a deep ultramarine blue despite a grayish sky.
Juni-ko (“Twelve Lakes”), Akita
Left: Oike (“Big Pond”), one of the 33 ponds created by an earthquake. Right: Aoike (“Blue Pond”).
Ketoba no Ike. Summer 2013
Ao-ike (Blue Pond). Summer 2013
Lake Usoriyama, Aomori. Summer 2005
Usosriyama is located in the crater of Osore-zan, one of the three sacred mountains of Japan, along with Koya-san and Hiei-zan. When we were there on a gray, dizzly morning, the air smelled of sulfur, and crows cawed desolately in the trees around the crater rim.
At Ozore-san, the souls of dead babies and children gather and pile rocks as penance hoping to gain enough good works to leave this world; the living help them with their penance by piling stones along the shore.
Lakes of Hokkaidō
At dawn, with snowcapped Mt. Yōtei in the distance, Summer 2005
In a volanic crater in eastern Hokkaidō, Lake Mashu is noted for its pristine water.
Left: Lake Akan, west of Lake Mashu. Right: Lake Abashiri, in eastern Hokkaidō, at sunset:
Lake Shikotsu, Summer 2013
Lake Biwa, Shiga
Lake Biwa is the largest lake in Japan. Dawn at Makino, on the north end of the lake. Summer 2012:
View from Otsu, at the south end of the lake. Dawn, Spring 2008:
Midday mist, Spring 2004:
Five Lakes of Mikata, Fukui. Summer 2012
Lake Suigetsu is the largest of the five lakes. The Rainbow Line Toll Road winds up to a park at the summit of Mt. Baijo:
View of Lake Suigetsu from the park at the summit of Mt. Baijo:
Lake Hiruga is connected to Wakasa Bay:
Lake Shinji, Matsue. Sunset, Fall 2006
On our way to Izumo Taisha for the annual gathering of the gods on 10.10 (November 30 that year), the sun set into clouds arriving from the sea of Japan to the west.