【Miyagi】 Crater Lake “Okama” Changes its Color depending on sunlight2015.04.22


The color of its water changes frequently depending on the angle and strength of sunlight in each season.

Okama is a crater lake surrounded by active volcanoes in the Zao mountain range on the border between Yamagata and Miyagi prefectures. The emerald green water creates a mystic atmosphere making a stark contrast with barren crater walls.

Okama literally means a cooking pot. The unique name comes from its shape looking like the cooking tool. The nature of its water is also unique. The water temperature falls to around two degrees Celsius at a depth of 10 meters or so. After then, the temperature increases with depth. This kind of water layers can not be seen in other parts of the world. No creatures can live in the lake because of its highly acidic water.

The circle-shaped lake is located at an altitude of about 1,670 meters. It has a circumference of 1,080 meters and a diameter of 325 meters. Okama is also known as “Goshikinuma”, or a pond of five colors, as it shows different colors depending on the weather.

Tourists should pay attention to the timing of the visit. From early November to late April, Okama is virtually inaccessible as the roads leading to it are closed due to heavy snows. In addition, visitors in spring may not be able to enjoy the beauty of its color as it can be frozen even in May.

Okama is a symbol of Zao which is famous for ski resorts.

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