Lake Towada (autumn season)

How to access to Lake Towada (Towadako). Fully covered by JR Pass

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

This lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in Japan and very popular destination in Tohoku region. Especially in autumn season, many tourists visit this lake and Oirase rapid on the way to Lake Towada to see such an amazing fall foliage. JR Tohoku Bus operates the schedule bus to Lake Towada from either Hachinohe and Aomori. This bus service is covered by Japan Rail Pass. You can visit there without any extra charge.

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


Reservation is required. The seat is not assigned at the time of booking. You will not get a seat number but they secure your seat and you will receive bus number. You can make a reservation at any reservation offices in JR stations which is called “Midori no Madoguchi”. Please refer the link below to learn more about JR ticket reservation office:


You can get the timetable in JR Bus Tohoku official site:

Sample itinerary

From Tokyo
Tokyo 10:20 (From Hakodate
Hakodate 06:57 (Rapid Hakodate Liner) 07:16 Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto
Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto 07:34 (Hokkaido Shinkansen Hayabusa 12) 08:37 Shin-Aomori
10:10 (JR Bus “Mizuumi” 8) 13:03
*You will have a long waiting time at Shin-Aomori but there is no better train connections available.

Another spot around Lake Towada

We have another sightseeing spot around Towadako. Oirase gorge is one of must-see spots during summer and autumn seasons. It is located between Nenokuchi and Yakeyama. There are lots of falls. Especially it is breathtaking view in autumn.

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.

Available deal

If you have JR Pass or JR East Pass Tohoku, the bus to Lake Towada from Aomori and Hashinohe is covered fully.

32 thoughts on “How to access to Lake Towada (Towadako). Fully covered by JR Pass”

  1. Hi Takeshi
    I’m travelling in mid March 2019. I don’t want to hike or walk, the Oirase Stream but sit
    in the bus for the journey there and back.
    1: Looking at the above answers and links, it appears the sightseeing bus from Hachinohe to Lake Towada (& return) is not functioning. Is this a regular thing now or is it likely to be reversed?

    2. According to this link there is a regular bus but I can’t find any more information such as times etc. can you assist?,68734,58,html&EntryCode=5444

    3. my next question relates to Towada Art centre.
    Which station offers the most bus access to the art centre – Hachinohe or Shichinohe-Towada station.. I’m having difficulty trying to establish the correct link that goes to the art centre. Would appreciate some help


    1. Hi Ann,

      Unfortunately the bus to Lake Towada and Oirase does not run in March. All bus services were suspended from mid November to early April. At this point, bus will not run in this coming winter but it may be changed. Please check the link sometimes after November.

      You can access to Towada Art Museum from either Hachinohe or Shichinohe-Towada. Trip time is not much different. It takes about 50 minutes.


      Takeshi /

  2. Hi
    If I’m holding JR East Tohoku pass, on the 1st day I travel from Tokyo to Aomori.
    On the 2nd day, I wish to travel to Lake Towada by JR Bus.
    As JR Pass can be used to ride on JR bus unlimited within ride-area.
    Does it means 2days of my 5days flexible date has been used up?

      1. Hi Takeshi San
        If I’m going to Lake Towada by JR bus with JR east Tohoku 5 days pass , should I “stamp” the date on my pass at the train station then take the bus ?

        1. Hi Wong san,

          Actually I have never taken this bus by JR East Pass. This bus was not covered by JR East Pass before. If I were you, I get the stamp on the ticket at the station just in case.


          Takeshi /

  3. Hi Takeshi-San,
    I also like to visit oriase gorge and sukayu onsen. I will depart from aomori. Here is my initial itinerary.
    1/ 8:50 aomori – 10:18 sukayu onsen
    2/ 11:23 sukayu – 12:12 towado onsen village exit stop.
    Now there is something I ‘m not sure about. The time table is now all the way point down to 12:15 towado onsen village with the grey colour covered the columns in between(I understand that bus depart from hachinohe is heading from other direction )
    My question: is that the same bus arrive at 12:12 then depart again
    at 12:15 at the same station?
    If that so I can carry on to makado iwa and hike to kumoion taki , then bus to choushi ootaki, finally bus to kyuya before taking the 16:00 bus to aomori.
    dose this itinerary make sense?
    Thanks Takeshi-San

    1. Hi Joe san,

      I think it’s same bus but I don’t think you can leave the luggage. It may be refused by the security reason. And also you may miss the bus and the bus may be different. So don’t try this way.


      Takeshi /

      1. Thanks Takeshi-san,
        No, I do it as a day trip from Aomori , so I dont carry large luggage.
        Thanks for the advice. I just want to make sure that is the same bus goes all the way from Aomori to makado Iwa

  4. 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?



    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.



  5. 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)


      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.


    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?

  6. 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.

  7. 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.


      Takeshi / JP rail

  8. 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.


      Takeshi / JP Rail

  9. 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.



    1. Hi Chai,
      You can use JR pass for your trip to Sukayu Onsen. But you cannot exchange the pass at Haneda.

      You need to pay to go to Tokyo station.

      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.


      Takeshi / JP Rail

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