Located in northern Nagano Prefecture, adjacent to the Myoko resort area in neighboring Niigata Prefecture, Lake Nojiri is Nagano’s second largest lake after Lake Suwa, although since it’s deeper it holds more water.

Twilight over Lake Nojiri | Photo by Gregory Lane

Despite the development on its edges, with a considerable number of hotels and holiday homes, the lake water is very clean and clear. Throughout the year, the lake is popular with anglers for the introduced black bass that populates the lake. In summer, it’s a popular water sports venue, with sailing, windsurfing, wakeboarding and water skiing on offer.

A good supply of swan boats | Photo by Gregory Lane

Around the lake, you’ll notice numerous sculptures and images of elephants. This is because the remains of elephants (Naumann’s Elephant) dating from the paleolithic period were discovered on the shores and the lake bed.

Stand up paddle boarding on Lake Nojiri | Photo by Gregory Lane

A good spot for getting access to the lake or just for a picnic on the lake shore is the nature park next to the Korakuen Camping Ground. There is parking near the park, despite the signs erected by the campground that state otherwise! Just don’t park in the campground itself without permission.

Other Nagano Attractions