Translated by Jasmine Nishino
5000 Swans - Visit Niigata's Lake Hyo And Historical Suibara Daikansho
Agono city in Niigata is known for the many swans that visit in November. See the magnificent swans in Lake Hyouko in the winter as a blanket of snow covers the area along with the historical Suibara Daikan close by!
Written by madoka hasegawa
As autumn brings cool winds and begins to change the color of the leaves, the swans journey from Siberia, Russia to Agono City in Niigata.
Lake Hyoko is about a three hour trip from Tokyo by bullet train and local trains. It is a spot known for the annual visits of over 5000 swans around November. During the colder seasons, you can witness the swans taking off from the white, snow-covered land.
If you walk about ten minutes from Lake Hyoko, you will reach the Suibara Daikansho, which was a spot where nengu (*1) was collected during the Edo period.
This time we would like to feature Lake Hyoko and Suibara Daikansho to experience Japan's nature and history at once.
*1 Nengu: a type of Japanese tax that people paid from the eleventh to the eighteenth century.
Lake Hyoko: A Collaborative Winter Scene of Snow and Swans
Photo courtesy of: Agono City Park Administration Office
Lake Hyoko is located in Agono in Niigata and it is known as the lake where the swans come. In 2008, it became registered under the Ramsar Convention to protect and manage the wetlands.
The swans begin arriving early October and by the end of November, they reach about 5000 birds; all of which have migrated from Siberia and Southern Karafuto to spend the winter.
Here are four recommended ways to watch the swans in Lake Hyoko.