Night Tour of Oirase Gorge's Frozen Waterfall Illuminations


Take a nighttime bus tour of the Oirase Gorge this winter to see illuminated frozen waterfalls and enchanting snowscapes. Pickup from numerous locations around Towada.


  • Options for bus transfers to Lake Towada Winter Story Festival also available (Jan 24–Feb 24)
  • Discover the magic of winter in Japan’s National Parks!
  • See Oirase Gorge like never before on Japan’s first mobile illumination tour
  • Marvel at frozen waterfalls and tranquil snow-covered scenery
  • Daily departures from January 10 through March 15

Key Information

Important Information

• Please inform us of your chosen pickup or drop-off point during checkout • We require the full name and age of each participant, including infants, for insurance purposes • Arrive early at your pickup point: the schedule shows departure times • Projection mapping might not always be visible on your visit date, depending on weather conditions • The transfer service for Lake Towada Winter Story Festival does not include a tour, and there will be no illuminations to see when passing through Oirase Gorge Please understand that in booking this activity, we may share your booking information (but without individually identifiable data) to the Ministry of the Environment, with which this activity is affiliated. By making a booking, you signify that you agree to these terms.


Towada-Hachimantai National Park sets a beautiful scene each winter as it gets blanketed in pristine snow. On this night tour though, the magic is turned up to the max, as you travel the frozen Oirase Gorge accompanied by a ‘light car’ to illuminate some of the park’s most beautiful frozen sights. The gorge, most famous for its autumn colors, shows another side in winter as its waterfalls freeze, and the trees and streams are dusted in powder snow. You’ll see these incomparable sights from the comfort of the tour bus, accompanied by a guide to help you appreciate each spot all the more. Choose from several routes depending on where you need pickup from. Hotels in Towada City and the ‘Towadako Onsen Area hot spring village; hotels near Lake Towada; and the Lake Towada Winter Story Festival are all potential starting points. After pickup, the bus will take you to Oirase Gorge, and commence a night tour for around 70–90 minutes. Highlights visited depend on local conditions, but usually include Makado Rock, Kumoinotaki Falls, and Shiranunonotaki Falls. You might also stop at the Samidarenonagare Current or Shiraitonotaki Falls. The best sights to see will depend on the weather, but you can expect crystallized waterfalls and snow-covered scenes to take your breath away. From January 25 until February 11, the gorge is decorated by displays of projection mapping. See the gorge brought to life, with animals and more projected straight onto the snow. If a self-guided winter experience is more your thing, we also offer transfers from locations in central Towada City to the Lake Towada Winter Story Festival. This event is held each year in the Yasumiya area by Lake Towada, with features such as snow sculptures, an igloo bar, and illuminations using 160,000 lights. You can enjoy a firework display at 8 p.m. each day, each blast echoing sharply through the crisp winter air.

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