Fukushima Prefecture offers nature on a massive scale, including the sea, mountains, rivers, and lakes, and has many locations where one can enjoy extreme sports. It is now gaining attention from hardcore fans in addition to beginners. Lake Inawashiro, which is located in the central region of Fukushima Prefecture, is protected from strong winds by the surrounding mountains, allowing people to freely create their own waves. In the summer, the lake bustles with intermediate-level wakeboard and jet ski enthusiasts. In the winter, powder snow, which is a light, fine snow with very little moisture content, falls on the mountains in the northern area of central Fukushima, and skiers and snowboarders flock to the slopes from both in Japan and overseas to enjoy the exquisite conditions. These conditions combine to make Fukushima one of the premier spots in Japan offering extreme sports experiences in all four seasons.
Washikura Onsen in the northern region of Fukushima Prefecture is known as a secret hot spring at the lofty elevation of 1,230 meters, and a massive snowmobile course is located in the mountain slopes behind the onsen facility, and is famous among snowmobilers throughout the world. The area is the private property of the onsen, making it a well-hidden secret from ordinary pedestrians, allowing snowmobilers to enjoy the exquisite feeling of having a world of powder snow all to themselves. Furthermore, there are no fixed courses on the slopes, which makes choosing one’s own course freely another point of enchantment. Snowmobilers can enjoy a luxurious time of practicing their riding without worrying about their surroundings.
When one asks why Lake Inawashiro is gaining popularity among wakeboarders and jet skiers, the first and foremost reason is the ease of riding the waves. The surrounding mountains protect the lake from strong winds, allowing boats to use their wake to easily create waves, creating the ideal conditions for enthusiasts who want to challenge themselves with acrobatic techniques such as jumps and spins. The water of Lake Inawashiro is also known for containing the least organic matter among all of Japan’s lakes, and for being of very high quality. There are few tall buildings surrounding the lake, making stretching out in a boat or on a surfboard while enjoying the gentle waves, a perfect way to enjoy the majestically beautiful mountain vistas, starting with the famous Mount Bandai. The exquisite views that weave together Fukushima Prefecture’s two great natural symbols, Lake Inawashiro and Mount Bandai, are so beautiful they take the breath away from not just marine sports enthusiasts, but also local residents.
HOW TO PLAY
Anyone can enjoy the snowmobile experience at Washikura Onsen as long as they prepare a helmet, goggles and snow wear. An experienced guide will take you on a 2 – 3 hour journey that allows time to enjoy a lunch break and photo sessions of the incredible scenery. The winter air of February and March is the most clear throughout the entire year, allowing you to see distant mountains such as Mount Adatara and Mount Azuma. Enjoying the grand scale of nature on a snowmobile is the real thrill of this experience. The snowmobile experience can also be enjoyed as a set including a stay at Washikura Onsen, and being able to enjoy a leisurely bath in the beautiful hot spring after a snowmobile ride in the frigid mountains is one of the exceptional appeals of this location.
S.A.Y and Nakadahama Marina Marine Base are the recommended spots for those who want to enjoy wakeboarding and jet skiing on Lake Inawashiro. All the necessary equipment for wakeboarding can be rented at S.A.Y. There are also activities for large groups, such as banana boats, allowing you to devote your entire day to marine fun. S.A.Y also offers BBQ facilities. Enjoying a barbeque in the cool lakeside breeze is an unforgettable summer experience. Nakadahama Marina Marine Base is the place to go for jet ski rentals, and they also offer the rental of all equipment, such as water bikes. In good weather, a guide with inside-out knowledge of Lake Inawashiro can lead you to a well-hidden location where you can enjoy a spectacular sunset across the lake. The sight of the sun slowly setting amidst the rolling mountains, as its crimson hues reflect off the surface of the lake will take your breath away.