Japan’s deepest lake stretches down an unbelievable 423m below the surface of the water. Although that’s enough to trigger a fear of the depths in some, you’ll find the atmosphere on the surface to be pretty laid back. Cruises drift over the water alongside fishermen in their small boats, while families trek along the riverbanks.
Around the perimeter of the lake you’ll find some interesting cultural sites, such as Goza no Ishi Shrine. There’s also a statue dedicated to the dragon spirit of the lake on the west side — that’s right, it’s said that a human girl named Tatsuko was transformed into a dragon and now lives way down in the depths. Now her human form is memorialized with this gilded likeness.
If you want to headset on the water, you’ll need to head to Shirahama Port, where the sightseeing boats drop anchor. Tours run from April to November, with four departing each day. If dry land is more your thing, then it’s possible to rent bicycles at the cluster of shops and restaurants on the east side. Riding around the entire circumference takes around 3 hours.
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