Aimata Dam - Akaya Lake

Akaya Lake

The famous Sarugakyou hot springs are located adjacent to the lake created by the damAkaya Lake. The hot spring facilities were originally located adjacent to the Akaya River, but submerged as a result of the dam's establishment, similar to Yanba Dam and the Kawarayu hot springs. However, in the case of Sarugakyou, the source of the hot spring was preserved, allowing for the development of a new hot spring resort area, and many hotels and inns sprung up around the shores of Akaya Lake, drawing numerous hot spring tourists to Gunma Prefecture.

Route 17, which passes nearby, is more commonly known as the Mikuni Kaidō highway, and drivers continuing along toward Niigata go through the Mikuni Touge mountain pass. This road historically linked the former Echigo province and the former Kouzuke province, and was used several times by the military commander Uesugi Kenshin to cross over to and attack Kantō during the Warring States period. Featuring attractions like the Minakami Hot Springs, Mount Tanigawa, and the city of Yuzawa's ski area, the area features several touristic points of interest.

In 2005, it was designated by the Water Resources Environment Engineering Center as one of Japan's "Selected 100 Dam Lakes" after recommendation from the city of Minami.

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    These beginnings of commerce on a lake in the wilderness are very interesting,—these larger white birds that come to keep company with the gulls.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)