Flowing from Lake Towada, Oirase Stream or Oirase Gorge is famous for its autumn leaves and natural scenery. The stream and the gorge have provided inspiration for countless artists over the centuries and it is still a popular place for hikers and cyclists.
The entire Oirase Trail is nine kilometers one-way and takes about two-and-a-half hours to complete. The dozen or so waterfalls that punctuate the stream provide picturesque vantage points and have become a popular tourist attraction in recent years.
Cycling also proves a popular way to see the stream and gorge. There are rental opportunities at Yakeyama, near the head where the stream leaves Lake Towada, and you can drop the bike off at the end of the trail in Nenokuchi.
Although a road runs alongside the stream, it remains largely untouched and the sound of the babbling waters often overpowers any sounds of vehicular travel. During peak tourist season in autumn, some roads may be closed to private automobiles allowing only buses and shuttles to pass.
No matter when you decide to visit Oirase Stream and Gorge, you’ll be visited with some forest therapy with lush greens in spring or bright golds in autumn.
Located in the Aomori Prefecture in northern Japan, Oirase Gorge is easily hailed as one of the most beautiful river valleys in Japan.