Lake Tazawa has been selected as one of the 100 best landscapes of Japan. The cobalt blue lake water is so transparent that fish can clearly be seen swimming below the water surface.
The lake has a maximum depth of 423.4m making it the deepest in Japan. The water changes colour from sky blue to turquoise and indigo as the water gets deeper. Visitors can view this amazing spectacle for themselves via a range of available boating options including pleasure boats, pedal boats, canoes, kayaks and “SUP” (Stand Up Paddle boards). Cycling, trekking or driving around the circumference of the lake is recommended as the colour of the water also changes depending on the angle of view.
A golden statue of Tatsuko stands against the majestic water and is a popular symbol of Lake Tazawa. Legend has it that Tatsuko was a girl who wished for eternal beauty but instead turned into a dragon and threw herself into the lake. The legend goes on to say that Tatsuko and Hachiro-Taro, another dragon from Lake Hachirogata became lovers and lived together in Lake Tazawa. Locals say that the presence of these dragons prevent Lake Tazawa from freezing over in winter and that the lake becomes deeper because of their love while Lake Hachirogata became shallower over the years following the departure of its guardian.
Other statues related to the legend of Tatsuko include Tatsuko Kannon on the eastern shore of the lake, Princess Kannon on the north shore of the lake and the statue of Princess Tatsuko in Gozanoishi Shrine. Ukiki Shrine standing next to the golden statue of Tatsuko is a sacred location for matchmaking. Gozanoishi Shrine enshrining Takko Hime-no-Kami (dragon goddess of the lake) is known for its blessing of beauty and the shrine’s red gateway is a popular photography location.