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Okama of Miyagi Zao: Mystical Crater Lake of Emerald Green

There’s a mystical lake in Zao of Miyagi Prefecture, that’s emerald green and even changes to many other colors. But what is this place surrounded by nature that’s so huge it’ll make you forget your little worries?


The Miyagi Zao Okama



The Zao Mountain Range extends over Miyagi and Yamagata prefectures with a crater lake surrounded by 3 mountains. The mountain with the crater has erupted 26 times in the past (the last being 1895). The circumference of the lake is 1080 meters with a diameter of 325 meters. In Japanese, the volcanic crater is called “okama” (meaning pot) because of its shape and how it looks like theer is boiling water inside. The first thing you notice is the beautiful emerald green color, which is said to change throughout the day, depending on the sunlight being reflected and the weather, so it’s also known as “Goshikinuma” (5-Colors Lake). This mystical effect coupled with frost-covered trees in winter is a symbol of Zao tourism.

Contrary to the mystical scenery, the lake’s water is extremely acidic. So much so that nothing lives in it. Also, the volcano itself is still active today so when you head over, be sure to check the volcanic activity conditions first before going to the crater.


You can’t see it during the winter months (November to April) but we’re getting closer to visiting season. You must go and check out this marvel of nature! Information: Map

Related: Fluffy & Cute! Everyone’s Talking about the Miyagi Zao Fox Village

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