The Hakkoda-Towada Gold Line is the informal name given to National Route 103, which links the urban districts of Aomori City with Lake Towada. It is a driving route that offers spectacular views. This pleasant winding tree-lined road is dotted with numerous scenic spots and famous hot springs, such as the diverse and colourful Hakkoda Mountains, which are Honshu’s northernmost mountain range, the clear waters of the Oirase Mountain Stream, whose rippling waters echo through the quiet forests, the enigmatic beauty of Lake Towada, Sukayu Onsen that is renowned as the “Hiba Sennin Buro” (the 1,000 person bath) made completely from Japanese cypress, and Tsuta Onsen whose source waters bubble forth from under your feet.
The section between Aomori City and Sukayu Onsen remains open throughout the year, but the section between Sukayu Onsen and Yachi Onsen is closed during the winter season from the end of November to March. Snow is not cleared away from this section of the road that is closed to traffic in winter, but falls and piles up to become a popular “snow corridor” that visitors can experience immediately after the road reopens in spring. Just before April 1 when the road opens to traffic as a driving route, a two-day only event known as the “Hakkoda Walk” is held from March 30 to 31 when this “snow corridor” is exclusively opened to pedestrians. Take a walk along a majestic corridor of snow, and immerse yourself in the waters of famous hot springs.