lake towada

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 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.

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Hotels in Lake Towada
Hotels in Aomori
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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.

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

  1. Hi Takeshi-san,

    We are planning to visit Hakkoda Ski Area this March 27, 2020. Is the JR bus operational at this time? If not, how else can we get there?

    Thank you.

  2. Hi Takeshi San,
    Is it possible take bus from Aomori to do Mt. Hakkoda ropeway along with we plan to do the Hakkoda hike and visit to Lake Towada and take boat cruise and return back to Aomori in one day.?! We arrive at Aomori in morning from Tokyo.

    1. Hi Abhi san,

      I think it’s too much. I takes at least one hour from Aomori airport to Shin-Aomori station. And it takes at least 1.5 hour to get Hakodate from Shin-Aomori. I don’t include the transfer time. So you may spend about 3 hours from Aomori airport to Hakodate. And then it takes 20 to 30 minutes to get Mt. Hakodate from Hakodate station.

      The earliest arrival at Aomori airport is 9:10. Even if you arrive by this flight, it will be around 14:00 when you finish to see Mt. Hakodate. Actually you will spend more than half day to visit only Mt. Hakodate from Aomori airport.

      By the way, it takes at least 2.5 hours from Aomori to get Lake Towada. You will spend one whole day to visit only Lake Towada.


      Takeshi /

      1. Thanks for the reply and
        I’m so sorry I forgot to mention that we will be coming by JR Train and We will be staying at Aomori. So do we need 2 nights in Aomori to do all of this or one is sufficient.?

        1. Hi Abhi,

          You need to stay at least one night. If you want to do these in one night two days, you can go straight to Hakodate on day 1. After Hakodate, you go back to Aomori to stay one night. On day 2, take a bus to Lake Towada and take a bus to go back to Hachinohe. And then take the Shinkansen to go back to Tokyo.


          Takeshi /

    2. Hello Takeshi San
      We are planning to visit Lake Towada winter tale and Mt Hokkado in February. Appreciate your advise how do we get there from Tokyo? I understand Buses are not available during winter.
      Thank you

      1. Hi Christine san,

        You may get Mt. Hakkoda from Aomori or Shin-Aomori station by the bus. The link below is shown in Japanese. Please use translation service to see this page:

        The bus runs between Hachinohe and Lake Towada from January 16th to Feruary 24th.
        Hachinohe to Lake Towada 9:40 dep-12:15 arr and 13:45 dep-16:20 arr
        Lake Towada to Hachinohe 10:20 dep-12:40 arr and 15:30 dep-17:50 arr

        Advanced reservation is required. You must call 017-773-5722. The reservation is open from one month prior to the travel date. The round trip discounted ticket is 3,000 yen. You can buy it in the bus from the driver.

        There is no ways to get there other than these buses in this period.


        Takeshi /

  3. Hi, Takeshi-san

    3 of us will arrive Narita Airport on 30th October at 6.45am. We intend to buy the JR East Pass (Tohoku Region). May I know whether we could use the said Pass on the same day from Narita Airport? If yes, is it advisable to take the Shinkansen to Hachinohe, then the JR bus to Lake Towada?

    Thank you.

    Kind regards, Doreen

    1. Hi Doreen san,

      You can use JR East Pass Tohoku to take the bus to Lake Towada. But the schedule may be tight. Because the last bus from Hachinohe departs at 13:20 (arrive at Lake Towada at 15:35).

      You will take Narita Express from Narita to Tokyo and the Tohoku Shinkansen from Tokyo to Hachinohe. Please see the links below to find the timetable:

      The last connection is Narita Express 6 (8:50 – 9:55) and Hayabusa 15 (10:20 – 13:05). You have 2 hours at Narita, 25 minutes transfer time in Tokyo and 15 minutes transfer time at Hachinohe.

      I usually spend 2 hours to complete immigration, baggage pick up, custom and purchase/exchange the pass. So if your flight delay, the transfer time at Narita is very tight.

      So please keep it in your mind if you do so.


      Takeshi /

      1. Dear Takeshi san

        Thank you very much for your prompt reply.

        Since the schedule is quite tight, we have decided to stay a night in
        Tokyo and will take Hayabusa 9 departs at 9.08am next morning to Hachinohe.

        Regards, Doreen

  4. I will go to Aomori on 10Mar20, will buy JR EAST TOHOKU 5days. Is JR PASS TOHOKU can get on LTD EXP TSUGARU 2 from Aomori to Akita or Resort Shirakami 2 to Akita with this JR EAST PASS.
    And JR Bus from Aomori station operate to Hakkoda ropway and Towada lake in March 2020 !!!!!! I paln to visit Hakkoda snow monster and lake Towada on 11 March 2020.
    Thanks Sompith

    1. Hi Sompith,

      Both trains are covered by JR East Pass Tohoku. JR Bus is also covered. At this point, I cannot say the bus will run or not in March. Winter timetable is not available yet. I think it will come up sometimes in late October.


      Takeshi /

      1. one more question
        I want to take Stove ressha train from Tsugarugoshogawara to Tsugarunakasato.
        Is JR tohoku flexible 5 days valid to travel on this train.

  5. Hi! I would like to visit Oirase stream Oct 30–Nov 1. Can you provide bus schedule
    – Hachinohe → Yakeyama
    – Shin-Aomori → Yakeyama
    – Yakeyama → Hachinohe
    – Yakeyama → Shin-Aomori
    Thank you very much.

  6. My husband and I are planning to Oirase gorge on early November. Will JR bus still operates at that time?

      1. Dear Takeshi san,

        Many thanks for the info. Luckily it still runs until 10th Nov. I think we’ll go for Oirase river by 4th Nov. Yokatta ne…. ^_^


  7. Hello Takeshi-san,

    I plan take the bus from hachinohe station west entrance to lake towada then walk to oriase gorge. I will then take a bus from oirase gorge back to hachinohe station. Which bus stop is the nearest from the oirase gorge? And could you please advise where the the bus will stop at lake towada because i hope to walk to oirase gorge but I am not sure how far it is to walk. I took my details from the link below.

    1. Hi Olivia san,

      There are lots of bus stops along Oirase gorge. Please see the link below to find more info:

      Lake Towada bus stop is about 10 km away from Nenokuchi which is the outlet from Lake Towada to Oirase gorge. It’s too far to walk. You should take a bus from Lake Towada to Nenokuchi or other bus stop along Oirase and start walking.


      Takeshi /

  8. Hi Mr Takeshi,

    I am planning to take the
    1)Resort Shirakami from Akita (depart 0820) to Aomori (arrive 13.29),
    2)then take JR Bus Mizuumi-Go to Yakeyama.

    a) I cannot find the stop Yakeyama in the timetable for JR Bus Mizuumi-Go. Can you advise what I should look for?
    b) The last JR Bus Mizuumi-Go leaves Aomori at 13.25, can you advise where I can alight along the way to catch a faster train to Aomori so I can catch the 13.25 bus?
    c) Are they any alternatives to Oirase stream you might suggest that is along the route of Resort Shirakami?


    1. Hi Joleen,

      You have to get off Resort Shirakami at Shin-Aomori. It arrives there at 13:21. JR Bus leaves there at 13:40. As long as the train arrives on time, you can change train and bus easily. But as you know, this is the last bus to Lake Towada. If you miss it, you cannot get Lake Towada.

      The bus will runs from April 20. If you intend to visit there before April 19, there is no bus running. The bus stops at Yakeyama at 15:48.

      Oirase stream is located along the bus route, not the route of Resort Shirakami. You don’t have a time to drop by on the route of Resort Shirakami.


      Takeshi /

  9. Hello mr. Takeshi,
    I want to travel from Hachinohe to Towada art canter end of May, and after visiting the art center on the same day continue to Towadako.
    Could you be so kind to five me the time schedules of the bus from Hachinohe to Towada Art Center, and from the art center to Towadako? (I can not read the schedules in japanese language)

    1. Hi Ine,

      Please see the link below:

      On first page, it’s Hachinohe/Aomori to Towada. Please find these three words:
      “八戸駅西口” = Hachinohe station
      “十和田市現代美術館” = Towada museum (the second row from Hachinohe station in the timetable)
      “十和田湖(休屋) ” = Lake Towada (At the last row in the timetable)

      So the bus departs at 8:05, 9:35, 13:20 from Hachinohe.

      The second page is other direction.


      Takeshi /

    2. Hello mr. Takeshi,
      Thank you very much for your information and the Timetable, this is very helpful. I have yet one question: Do I need to make a reservation for both busses, the one from Hachinohe to the art center, and the other from the art center to Towadako?
      And, if so, can I make this reservation already in Morioka?
      Kind regards, Ine

  10. Hi Takeshi-San, thank you for the clear explanation! Yesterday I went to the Midori no Madoguchi at Hakata and tried to reserve the bus from Aomori to Lake Towada. The lady at the counter said it was not possible to reserve these tickets as “they are not from JR”. I looked up the bus details and showed them at the reservation office. They told me the bus is run by another JR department/company, so wasn’t able to reserve these bus tickets.. Any ideas where I should go to reserve them? Can I only do this in Aomori maybe? Or is this bus not included in de JR pass anymore? (I couldn’t find the bus terminal as destination or departure option in Hyperdia)

      1. Hi Takeshi-San, Thank you for finding out! I went to a total of three modiri no maguchi’s and they all didn’t understand what I should to, so thank you very much. Arigato! Best wishes, Elize

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