Visit by Japan Rail Pass! How to access to Lake Towada (Towadako).

Lake Towada (autumn season)
Lake Towada (autumn season)

This lake is one of the most beautiful lake in Japan and most popular destination in Tohoku Area (North part of main island). Especially it has very colorful and amazing view in autumn. JR Tohoku Bus operate the schedule bus to Towadako. This bus service is included in Japan Rail Pass. So you can go there with NO EXTRA charge.

*The information in this article is current at the time of writing.

You can access Lake Towada from Aomori or Hachonohe. These bus services have nickname. The bus from Hachinohe is called “Oirase” and from Aomori is called “Mizuumi”. “Oirase” is the name of gorge where is on the way to Lake Towada. It is must-see spot too. “Mizuumi” means Lake in Japanese.

If you go to Lake Towada from Tokyo, take Tohoku Shinkansen to Hachinohe and exchange JR bus to Lake Towada.

Reservation

You need to make a reservation. JR does not assign your seat, but they secure your seat. You can make a reservation at any reservation office in JR stations. Please refer this page.

Timetable

You can check the most updated timetable on JR Bus Tohoku website.

Sample itinerary

Tokyo 9:56 (Tohoku ShinkansenHayate” Super Express 13) 12:59 Hachinohe
Hachinohe 13:30 (JR Bus “Oirase” 93) 15:45 Towadako (Lake Towada)
*If you go to Hokkaido after Towadako, take “Mizuumi” to Aomori. It gives you much easier access to Hokkaido.

Another spot around Lake Towada

We have another sightseeing spot around Towadako. Oirase gorge is one of must-see spot during summer and autumn. It is located between Nenokuchi and Yakeyama. There is a lot of falls. Especially it is breathtaking view in autumn. Don’t miss it!

Clear water stream at Oirase gorge
Clear water stream at Oirase gorge

And also Mt. Hakkoda where is located on the way to Aomori is the very popular mountain in Northern part of Japan too. Ropeway Station is the entrance of Mt. Hakkoda. The gondola takes you the summit of the Tamoyachidake peak (1324m) of Mt. Hakkoda. If you have an extra time, stop by and enjoy the mountain fresh air!

20 thoughts on “Visit by Japan Rail Pass! How to access to Lake Towada (Towadako).”

  1. We would like to visit Lake Towada around 17 November this year. But the schedules are only till 13 November.

    Does it mean there is no bus after this date?

    Cheers,

    Rick

    1. Hi Rick,

      It usually runs in winter time. But in this coming season, it will be suspended until mid April according to Japanese site. Probably the demand is very low. Sorry but there is no public transportation in winter time to Lake Towada.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi

  2. i will visit towada lake on 25 april 2016 from hachinohe or shin aomori station (as i come from hakodate), unfortunately the bus schedule is not available yet. is the schedule same as last year schedule? can you help me to show the bus schedule ( i’m use JR PASS)

    thanks

      1. hi again,
        jr bus to towada lake from april – nov has been released but there’s symbol saying “seasonally varying time schedule” for departure time from hachinohe at 13:20. should i chose this time on 25 april 2016 may i know what’s the exact departure time as i have to make a connection with shinkansen from hakodate.

        thanks

    1. should we go to nenokuchi from towada lake (tawadako) by JR bus heading either to Aomori or Hachinohe, do we have to make seat reservation? knowing short distance, can we stand inside the bus?

  3. Hello,

    Regarding the Mizuumi and Oirase buses to and from Lake Towada, can I reserve the bus tickets from any Midori no Madoguchis in Tokyo? This is because I will be at Tokyo before moving on to Lake Towada. Thank you.

  4. Hi, is this Mizuumi bus kind off shuttle bus can hop on hop off? I will use JR pass and try to reserve at nearby JR station when I arrive Japan, but I wonder if reservation is needed, is that mean I unable to hop off at Oirase stream, then maybe an hour later hop on to Towadako at next coming bus?

    1. Hi Sooyi,

      If you get off the bus on the way to Lake Towada, you can take next bus without reservation. However if it’s full, you have to wait for later bus. JR Bus says they will have extra bus service in peak season. But it’s not guaranteed.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP rail

  5. If only i read this entry before,I maybe will opt to take the Hachinohe-Towadako-Hakkoda-Aomori route.Hopefully there will be next time.

    Anyway,regarding the reservation,when i try to make the reservation while exchanging my JR pass, they said that reservation is not required and if you have the JR pass, what you need is only to show the pass to the bus driver and they will take note on the pass detail,i not really sure but i think he only copy my passport no. The same goes when we took the bus to go back to the train station.

    If want to add the plus point for the bus service, i would say that I really love that the during the ride,there are the recorded explanation about the attractive place along the bus route in Japanese and English. The bus conductor also will stop awhile at the scenic place so that the passenger can take a good picture

    1. Hi Mel,

      Thank you very much for very useful information.

      Regarding reservation, JR Bus Tohoku website still says,

      “These bus service operate with fixed seating capacities. Please obtain a bus reserved-seat ticket before boarding.”

      But you could get the bus without reservation. Some of tourist don’t want to fix the schedule. That is a good news for them.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

  6. Hi,

    This is my schedule on Sept 21 to travel to Sukayu Osen Ryokan in Aomori Prefacture;

    1. From Singapore land Haneda 5.05
    2. Get on Haybusa Shinkasen 8.02 at Tokyo Station to Aomori
    3. Take bus to Aomori to Sukayu Osen Ryokan
    4. Leave Aomori to Tokyo 18.00 Sept 22.

    Please advise me if I can use jr rail pass from Haneda airport to Sukayu Osen Ryokan in Aomori and back to Tokyo on Sept 22. If possible please send me schedule for all the train/bus connections.

    Thanks.

    Regards,
    Chai

    1. Hi Chai,
      You can use JR pass for your trip to Sukayu Onsen. But you cannot exchange the pass at Haneda.
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/how-to-access-from-haneda-airport-to-downtown-tokyo.html

      You need to pay to go to Tokyo station.
      http://jprail.com/trains/sort-by-type/private-company/how-to-take-tokyo-monorail-or-keihin-kyuko-for-late-arrival-and-early-departure-at-haneda.html

      You can get train schedule at Hyperdia. I think you already got it there. You can get bus schedule in JR Tohoku bus website as I mentioned in this post.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

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