Japan is a destination that is widely recognized for its sizable populace and its natural splendor. Tourists from around the globe come to visit the stunning mountains, theme parks, historic sites, and the consistently breathtaking landscape. The cuisine is delectable, the people are amiable, and there is always a multitude of sights to explore and activities to partake in. Japan is unquestionably popular for numerous reasons. However, the most remarkable feature is its lakes. Japan boasts an abundance of magnificent lakes that serve as remarkable tourist attractions. Whether you visit during cherry blossom season or any other time of the year, the view is truly spectacular.
10 Finest Lakes In Japan
Presented below are the top ten most exquisite and exceptional lakes in Japan that you absolutely must visit for an intimate and immersive experience of its beauty and cultural heritage:
1. Lake Kawaguchi
This lake is situated on Mt. Fuji and holds the distinction of being a World Heritage Site. It is one of the most renowned lakes in Japan. Encircled on three sides by mountain ranges and dominated on the fourth side by the towering presence of Mt. Fuji, the lake provides a stunning reflection of the mountain on clear days. This phenomenon is known as the “Reverse Fuji” and is an astoundingly beautiful sight. Every season is a delight to experience here, from the blooming cherry blossoms in spring, to the verdant forests in summer where you can engage in various sports, the vibrant hues of falling leaves in autumn, and the snow-capped peak in winter. The ideal time to witness the Reverse Fuji is during winter.
Location: Fujikawaguchiko, Minamitsuru District, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan
Essential Reading: Trekking In Japan: A Comprehensive Guide On How To Conquer It!
2. Goshiki-Numa (The five colored lakes)
These volcanic lakes are situated in the Ura-Bandai district and each possesses its own unique name and coloration. What makes this location particularly captivating and enigmatic is that the lakes’ colors change with the passing of seasons. You can embark on a trek to the ponds and immerse yourself in the lush greenery of the surrounding forests. If you visit during autumn, you will be rewarded with the sight of splendid fallen leaves adorning the emerald green ponds.
Location: Japan 966-0400, Fukushima Prefecture
3. Biwa Lake
This is one of the largest bodies of water in Japan that precedes Lake Kasumigaura and goes back millions of years ago. Biwa Lake Japan can be found in the Shiga Prefecture and has numerous small towns and cities surrounding it. If you venture out on the water, you will be able to capture a breathtaking view of Mt. Fuji and the nearby mountains. Biwa is a musical instrument and the lake resembles its shape. Being a freshwater lake, it houses a variety of freshwater fish including trout and many others. The towns encompassing the lake are brimming with shrines, castles, hot springs, and resorts.
Location: West Central Honshu, Shiga Prefecture
4. Chuzenji Lake (Nikko)
This lake is one of the major bodies of water in Japan near Tokyo. The lake is situated in the mountains just above the town of Nikko. If you visit during Summer, you can truly witness Western history on display here. There are numerous structures surrounding the lake that exude historical significance. Many individuals typically come here to experience the best of Nikko, which serves as a fantastic Summer retreat. During the Summer, the lake maintains a pleasant atmosphere in the vicinity, and in Autumn, the view is truly striking. The best view can be enjoyed from the Chuzenji Skyline, which is a bridge accessible free of charge.
Location: Chugushi, Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture 321-1661, Japan
5. Yamanaka Lake
This is one of the largest bodies of water out of the five located on Mt. Fuji. Since it is chilly around the mountain, the Yamanaka resort is established around this area with several houses and hotels. The lake is renowned for the recreational activities that can be carried out here. You can take a bicycle and ride around the lake or go windsurfing, water-skiing, swimming, fishing, or boating. If you visit during the Summer it would be the optimal time for a boat ride. If you visit during the Winter, then you can attempt fishing by creating a hole in the ice.
Location: Yamanako, Minamitsuru District, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan
6. Lake Kasumigaura
Lake Kasumigaura is the second largest lake after Lake Biwa Japan. Although the lake was mostly utilized by fishing industries, it ended up becoming a highly popular tourist spot. It is a good idea to spend Summer here because you can take several boats or vessels out on the water to explore. There is a vessel called ‘hobikubune’ where you can sail in leisure. Apart from the amenities such as lodging and air conditioning. The vessels also have their own hot springs or Onsens, which are man-made of course, but still do the job well. The city is nearby where you can check out the beautiful gardens, parks, and aquariums.
Location: Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan
7. Shiretoko Five Lakes
The lakes are collectively named Shiretoko lakes and are situated in Hokkaido. They are surrounded by the lush green forests and the Shiretoko mountains. If you want to experience nature at its finest then you won’t be disappointed with all the vibrant fauna and flora. You can take a wooden boardwalk that extends for 800m and takes you to the shores of one lake or you can take a nature trail if you are feeling adventurous. It is advisable to take a guide with you in case you are visiting during the Brown bear season. If you visit during the Winter, the boardwalk will be closed so you can experience the wildlife up close.
Location: Onnebetsumura, Shari, Shari District, Hokkaido, 099-4110, Japan
8. Lake Motosu
Lake Motosu is one of the five lakes on Mount Fuji and one of the deepest. It is widely recognized for the locations it provides for hiking, camping, fishing, boating, and other sports. The lake is highly popular because it is depicted on the back of the 1000 yen bill. Even though reaching the lake may pose some challenges, it is certainly worth it. The area surrounding the lake is underdeveloped, but you can still discover numerous campsites along the shores, and there are plenty of opportunities for water sports and other enjoyable activities. This is one of the renowned lakes in Japan.
Location: Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan
9. Lake Tagokura
This lake is among the finest lakes in Japan near Tokyo. It was created from the Tagokura Dam and is renowned for its size and beauty throughout the changing seasons. If you ascend to the top of the dam, you can acquire a magnificent view of the lake downstream. On the opposite side, you can find a breathtaking sight of Mount Asakusadaki and Mount Gamoudaki, which constitute part of the three mountains of Tadami. Snow will still be present on Mount Asakusadki, evoking memories of the Swiss Alps for tourists. You can engage in walking, hiking, or cycling around the lake and its surroundings. You can even try your hand at fishing at the docks or take a boat to travel upstream. The area remains closed during winter, but it opens again in early spring when you can witness the enchanting flora and fauna.
Location: Tagokura, Tadami, Miniamiaizu District, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan
10. Lake Tazawa
This is one of the deepest bodies of water in Japan. It is located in the Akita Prefecture and the region still maintains an old-fashioned allure. The body of water is commonly frequented because of the awe-inspiring sight of Mount Akita-Komagatake which is situated nearby. Travelers come here to visit the hot spring resorts in close proximity and to participate in the activities here. You can go skiing or take a scenic boat ride on the water. There are also leisure boats where you can indulge in some opulent amenities while sailing. There is a golden sculpture situated to the west of the body of water in remembrance of a local girl who was cursed and transformed into a dragon.
Location: Semboku, Akita Prefecture, Japan
You can discover numerous bodies of water around Japan, but these were some of the finest that you can explore if you are visiting Japan. If this guide caught your interest, why wait? Plan your vacation in Japan right away and seize this opportunity to visit all these top-notch bodies of water in Japan!
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Frequently Asked Question About Bodies of Water in Japan
What is the distinctive feature of the locations of the bodies of water in Japan?
Most of the bodies of water are surrounded by undulating hills and forested areas. The silhouettes of the mountains on the body of water make them very exceptional places to unwind and enjoy the bodies of water in Japan.