In Japan, some of the most interesting places are born from legends. Lake Tazawa definitely falls in this category. It’s part of the legend of the three lakes of Akita (Lake Tazawa, Lake Towada, and Hachiro Lagoon). Here is the short version:
It is said that Lake Tazawa doesn’t freeze over (despite being in the Northern part of Honshu) because every winter the dragon-god lovers, living in the lake, keep it warm with their love! It is a popular spot for lovers to visit because of the legend. If you are single, don’t worry. It’s fine to bring a platonic friend to the lake. There is a golden statue of the female dragon-god Tatsuko in her human form (before she was transformed into a dragon) on the shore of Lake Tazawa. Besides a fantastic legend, Lake Tazawa is an incredibly beautiful place. The water is some of the clearest and bluest you may ever see. It’s also the deepest lake in all of Japan. There are many opportunities to go hiking, camping, and of course boating in the area.
It’s also very close to the famous Tsuru no Yu Onsen (hot spring) and Yama no hachimitsu-ya, a store that sells local honey products. These are often side trips for those visiting Lake Tazawa. If you are planning on coming in the winter, there is even a ski slope nearby. No matter when you come or what you do, Lake Tazawa will make you feel refreshed and enthralled by the beauty of nature…and Tatsuko of course!