Zao mountain range spanning Miyagi prefecture and Yamagata prefecture. “Okama” is the caldera lake in Zao-Goshikidake mountain in Miyagi prefecture side among them. Water accumulated at the crater of the volcano and it became a lake. Various minerals are melting, and it changes to the deep blue or emerald green of the lake surface depending on conditions such as season, time, weather, temperature and so on.
To “Okama” you can go by car using Zao Echo line and Zao High Line of toll road. These roads are closed by snow from early November to late April. Only Okama can be seen from spring to autumn when these roads can pass. During this time, buses are also operated by Miyagi Transportation from Shiroishi-Zao station, only on weekends and holidays.
At the end of Zao High Line there is a large parking lot and a building of “Zao mountain top rest house”. Here you can have a meal or a break. There is an observatory in the immediate place from this building with restaurants, shops, break spaces and so on.
Okama is also called “Lake Goshikinuma” (five-colored lake) because it features emerald green water and the color tone changes with the season. Also, as the fog goes out and Okama can not be seen at all, please check the weather forecast in advance before you go. Also, in the vicinity of Okama it is cooler even in summer, and the temperature is quite low compared to the lower bound through the year. So it is essential to have coat or warm clothes.
Okama is located near the prefectural border with Yamagata prefecture, Miyagi prefecture side. You can head from either side of Miyagi prefecture or Yamagata prefecture. However, most of the sights other than Okama are located in the Miyagi prefecture side, so please also visit Miyagi prefecture side if you head from Yamagata prefecture side.
Okama is a circle type crater lake held in three peaks of Mt. Kattadake of Zao, Mt. Kumanodake, and Mt. Goshikidake. Since it was the shape of Kama (caldron), it came to be called to as “Okama.”
In the surface of a lake, it is full of the emerald green water. The mystical atmosphere is created as contrasted with the violent crater wall.
With the Juhyo (frost-covered trees) of winter, it is a symbol of Zaou.
26 eruptions were repeated until now and, these days, it erupted in 1895.
Although the depth was 63 meters those days which was measured in 1939, it is buried by collapse of the Goshiki mountain cliff year by year, so at the time of the measurement in 1968, it was the maximum depth of 27.6 meters, the average depth of 17.8 meters, and 1,080 meters of circumferences.
The lake is the strong acidity, and the creatures cannot inhabit.
The water temperature falls to 2 degrees centigrade from appearance in depth of about a dozen meters, when depth is increased from it, It become high in temperature. This is special double water layer and is the lake which does not have an example in the world.
It is called “Goshiki-ko” (Five color lake) to change the color by hit of the sunbeam variously.
It flows out of southwest, and it becomes the Nigorigawa River and is flowing into the Pacific Ocean.
You arrive at the observation deck which can look at Okama on foot from the terminal of the Zao High Line in approximately three minutes when you come by car. The Zao mountaintop rest house which can take a break is installed to the front.
The Zaou Echo Line and the Zao High Hine are closed and it cannot observe it from the beginning of November to the end of April every year.
|Name:||Okama (The crater lake of the Zao Mountain Range)|
|Address:||Togattaonsen Kattagun Zaomachi, Miyagi 989-0916 Japan|
|Access:||JR Tohoku-honsen Line “Shiroishi-eki Station” (100 minutes by bus)|
|Tel:||(+81) 224-33-2215 (Zaoh-cho Tourism Office)|