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

lake towadaJR Local Buses
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 JR Pass and JR East Pass Tohoku. You can visit there without any extra charge by these passes.

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


Reservation is not required. You can take any bus without reservation. In case that a bus is full, another bus will run.

Hotels in Lake Towada
Hotels in Aomori
Hotels in Hachinohe


Unfortunately the timetable is available in only Japanese. Please see the JR Tohoku Bus official site.

The bus does not run in the winter season.

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, Shin-Aomori and Hachinohe are covered fully.


  1. Ann says:

    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


  2. Wong HK says:

    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?

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      Takeshi / says:

      Hi Wong,

      Yes, you can. You can use one (or more) days of your pass to take this bus.


      Takeshi /

      • Wong HK says:

        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 ?

        • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
          Takeshi / says:

          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. Joe Pan says:

    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

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      Takeshi / says:

      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 /

  4. Rick says:

    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?



    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      Takeshi / says:

      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. Farini says:

    Have a schedule bus “Oirase” from hachinohe to towada lake in 7 november 2016? Because Website in japan language, i can not check.
    Thank you

  6. Nunu says:

    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)


    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      Takeshi / says:

      Hi Nunu,

      Unfortunately it has not been released yet. I think it will come soon but I don’w know the date.


      Takeshi /

    • Nunu says:

      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?

      • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
        Takeshi / says:

        Hi Nunu,

        Reservation is recommended when you take a bus from the departure point. Lake Towada is departure point so you can book but not required.


        Takeshi /

  7. wshboy777
    Shi Hwa says:


    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.

  8. sooyi
    Sooyi says:

    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?

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      Takeshi / JPRail says:

      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

  9. mel
    mel says:

    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

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      JPRail says:

      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

  10. Chai says:


    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.



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