Skip to content

Oirase Gorge is the Unforgettable Day Hike in Japan’s North! (Guide, Access, Sightseeing Tips)

Oirase Gorge is a famous place in Towada city, in Aomori Prefecture. Despite being hidden in thick natural forests, access to Oirase Gorge is actually quite good, with the sightseeing route being available to cars, making it a great place to visit casually.
Here, we’ll be sharing our guide to Oirase Gorge, and how to enjoy yourself even if it’s your first time.
Main image provided by General Incorporated Association Lake Towada National Park Association

What is Oirase Gorge?

Oirase Gorge is a designated natural monument and natural special scenic spot, and is one of the most well-known scenic spots in Japan. With a 14-kilometer long path surrounded by nature and untouched by mankind, from the huge waterfalls to the beautiful streams flowing, there are numerous breath-taking spots there.

Getting to Oirase Gorge

To reach Oirase Gorge, you can rent a car from Aomori Airport and drive for 90 minutes, or if you prefer to go by bus, it’s recommended to take a route bus from the airport to Aomori Station, and from there, switch to a JR bus which heads there directly. Please get off at the stop “Oirase Keiryū-kan”.
As the JR Bus departs from both Shin-Aomori station, which connects to the shinkansen, and Hachinohe station, even though it’s a natural treasure spot, it’s easily accessible to foreign visitors without much difficulty via public transport.
The peak tourist season is summer, when the forests are covered in luscious green and filled with negative ions, and is the most popular. However, there are also the vibrant red hues of autumn foliage, and the waterfall, which freezes into a “hyōbaku”, or icefall, in winter, allowing you to see different natural sceneries all year round, leaving you wanting to visit again and again.

You can feel the abundance of life in Oirase Gorge in the lush greenery of summer

A collaboration shot between the stream and the beautiful autumn leaves (Photo provided by General Incorporated Association Lake Towada National Park Association)

The icefall that you can only catch in winter is a work of art by nature (Photo provided by General Incorporated Association Lake Towada National Park Association)

Main walking paths in Oirase Gorge (Check before departing!)

The walking path along Oirase Gorge starts from Ne-no-Kuchi along the Lake Towada lakeside, to Yakeyama mountain, for a 14-kilometer long route.
The sightseeing path is made to be accessible to cars too, with various bus stops along various famous sights, and as rental bicycles are available as well, you can pick the best path and method to suit your objectives and physical health.
Places of interest and scenic spots are easy to get to from the main road, and as it’s a single straight road, you won’t get lost.

Oirase Gorge walking map (Image provided by General Incorporated Association Lake Towada National Park Association)

(1) Rental bicycle
To walk from Ne-no-Kuchi to Yakeyama (Oirase Keiryū-kan), it takes about four hours.
Though those with confidence in their physical health are welcome to challenge themselves to walking the whole route, a two-hour journey by bicycle is …

See More >>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *