A lake on highland at an altitude of 2,655 m, formed in the glacial age
Nougaike Lake was formed a few hundred thousand years ago at the bottom of a glacier. It is on highland at an altitude of 2,655 m. The surface of the lake is beautifully colored in fall with leaves of Japanese Rowan and Erman’s Birch trees. Many tourists visit the lake to see the gorgeous sight.
There are two different legends explaining the origin of the name of Nougaike Lake. One is that a young woman who repeatedly transformed into a huge serpent while sleeping became completely alone after being sent back by her married family and being thrown out of her parents’ house as well, and committed suicide by throwing herself in the lake. Another is that when a young woman who lived at the foot of the mountain climbed the mountain and threw herself in the lake to save the village people suffering from a drought, she transformed into a dragon, rose to the sky and made the rain fall. In both legends, the name of the young woman was Onou, from which the name of the lake was taken.
The place is along a trekking course in the Kiso Mountains. The round trip from Senjojiki Station takes about five hours. Although the trail is undulating with some steep slopes, it is a great place to feel a remnant of the glacier age and the mystery of Mother Nature.
- Miyada-mura, Kamiina-gun, Nagano
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