While much of Tohoku (northern Japan) is blessed with impressive natural scenery, the Oirase Stream Valley on the northeastern reaches of Lake Towada stands a cut above the rest. Here, water tumbles over rocks and down cliff faces, in the shadow of maple, beech and cedar trees that turn crimson and gold in autumn. In the summertime, the valley is awash in shades of green and the leafy branches provide a welcome bit of shade and relief from the warm August days. The easy trail that runs alongside the stream is one to be savored. Bring lunch and water and park yourself on one of the numerous rocks or benches to simply soak in the scenery of this small corner of Aomori.