Lake Miyagase (宮ヶ瀬湖 Miyagase-ko) is a water reservoir located in Kanagawa Prefecture, west of Machida and Atsugi and north of the Tanzawa Mountains. It is not only a human-made lake that provides Tokyo and Yokohama with drinking water but also a popular tourist destination for one-day trips from Tokyo and Yokohama.

Visitors on public transportation will most likely arrive at Toriibara Fureai Shop (鳥居原ふれあいの館) on the northern shore of the lake. The visitor centre offers maps of the hiking trails around the lake as well as local produce: vegetables, tsukemono (Japanese pickles), rice crackers, and local sake. There is a small restaurant, too, but we suggest you continue to Miyagase Lakeside Park on the western shore if you are looking for more sophisticated culinary delights.

On the weekends, do not be irritated by the immense swarms of motorcycles and pimped-up race cars at Toriibara Fureai parking area. They may be noisy but they are harmless.

Miyagase Lakeside Park on the west side of the lake has a lot of small eateries and the Miyagase Yamanami Centre, a visitor centre with an observation platform.

Walking down the 120 stairs from the restaurant court visitors will reach the Lakeside Park with its various ponds and gardens as well as the Mizumisato Bridge, a suspension bridge that spans 315 metres between two 23-metre tall pillars.

The sightseeing boat service on Lake Miyagase runs on weekends and public holidays from 09:50 to 16:30 and commutes between Toriibara Fureai, Miyagase Lakeside Park and Miyagase Dam. There are round trips between the dam and Miyagase (800 JPY) and full tour courses circling the entire lake (1,000 JPY). For visitors on public transportation, there are one-way rides between any two piers available, too (500 JPY).

The pier at Miyagase Dam.

The 400-metre long crest of Miyagase Dam: standing 156 metres tall, Miyagase Dam (宮ヶ瀬ダム Miyagase damu) is the second-largest dam in the Kantō region.

Sagami Dam (相模ダム Sagami damu) on Sagami River was the first dam in the area and was completed after the Second World War, followed by Shiroyama Dam (城山ダム Shiroyama damu) in 1965. Due to the rapid industrial growth in the 1960s and 1970s plans to use the tributaries of the Sagami resulted in the construction of another dam problem on Nakatsu River: the Miyagase project was launched in 1971 but not completed before 2000, as the relocation of some 300 households proved more difficult than expected.

The Miyagase Dam "Incline", a "ropeway" between the crest and the valley at the foot of the dam.

The dam provides drinking water and electricity and serves other roles, such as regulating the water flow in times of flooding and dealing with droughts. Several times a year the dam cascades offer stunning views to visitors.

The Miyagase Water and Energy Centre next to the dam (free admission).

Miyagase Dam as seen from the Miyagase 21 sightseeing boat.

Awe-inspiring views of the lake and the Tanzawa Mountains.

View of Niji-no-ohashi (虹の大橋 Great Rainbow Bridge).

More images in our Lake Miyagase album.



By car: via Chūō Expressway (Sagamiko Higashi Exit) from Tōkyō or via Tōmei Expressway and Ken-O Expressway from southern Tokyo and Kanagawa (via Ebina Interchange, Sagamihara Exit).

By public transportation: via JR Yokohama Line or Keio-Sagamihara Line to Hashimoto, then by bus from Hashimoto Ekikitaguchi Bus Stop to Toriibarafureainoyakata Bus Stop (Bus No. 07, about 50 minutes, 1,090-1,140 JPY).