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Lake Okutama and Ogochi Shrine

Lake Okutama (奥多摩湖 Okutama-ko) is an artificial lake located in the westernmost part of Tōkyō bordering Yamanashi, just above Ogōchi Dam. It is also known as Ogōchi Reservoir. The waters of the Tamagawa provide drinking water for Japan's capital.


While still a part of Tokyo, it takes a two-hour ride from Shinjuku to reach the lake (see below). Lake Okutama is a popular weekend destination for Tokyoites, especially bikers, sports car drivers and cyclists. I have circled the lake and the surrounding mountains countless times on the road bike, but this was the first time to visit the area by car (and with our doggies).


Ogōchi Dam


Ogōchi Dam and the Tamagawa, more of a creek than a river.


There are several observation areas adjacent to the dam. Unfortunately, the hiking path along the lake's southern shore was closed due to the Coronavirus pandemic.



Driving along the northern shore of the lake, we reached an area called Dejima (出島) and Minedani Bridge (峰谷橋).


Minedani Bridge connects the northern shore of the lake to Dejima, a small peninsula with a few deserted ryokan and Ogōchi Shrine (小河内神社).


Ogōchi Shrine was built after Ogōchi Dam had been completed in 1957. It combines nine former shrines and 11 kami (Shinto deities) enshrined in the former, now submerged village of Ogōchi.


The eleven enshrined kami are Amaterasu (天照皇大神), Hirokuni-oshitakekana (広国押武金日), Izanami no mikoto (伊弉那美命), Kifune-ōkami (貴船大神), Ōyamatsumi (大山祇神), Homusubi (火産霊神), Hayama no Mikoto (速玉之男命), Susanoo no Mikoto (事別之男命), Takamimusubi (高皇産霊神), Kumanosanzan (熊野三神), and Kamo Betsu Reijin (賀茂別霊神). Just in case you wanted to know.


Although the shrine seems neglected, the atmosphere of the deserted place is quite ethereal and mysterious.


In September, the shrine comes to life when the Kashima odori (鹿島踊り) festival is held. For the rest of the year, it seems to lay dormant.


On the way home, we stopped at the famous Sawanoi Sake Brewery further down the Tama. But that's probably a story for another day. :)



The closest station to Lake Okutama is Oku-Tama Station, the terminal of the JR Ōme Line. Take a Chuō Line rapid service from Tōkyō and Shinjuku to Ōme (which might require a transfer at Tachikawa), then change trains in Ōme for Oku-Tama (~ two hours, 1,080 JPY). From Oku-Tama Station, several buses ply destinations around the lake.
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〒198-0223 東京都西多摩郡奥多摩町原

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