The Mikata Five Lakes(Mikata go ko) is one of the most popular scenic sites in Wakasa Bay Quasi-National Park. The beauty of these lakes, which change from season to season, has been well-known for centuries and they also appear in the ancient ‘Manyoshu’ poetry collection (The Anthology of Myriad Leaves). In 2005 they were registered in the Ramsar Convention as a wetlands of international importance. The five lakes are: Mikata Lake, Suigetsu Lake, Suga Lake, Hiruga Lake, and Kugushi Lake. The waters in each exhibit differing characteristics, such as fresh, salt or brackish. As such, the species of fish in each differ, some being home to more freshwater fish, others to seawater fish.
The lakes also play an important role as wintering habitats to more than 10,000 waterbirds including Steller’s sea eagles and White-tailed sea eagles.
Many remains from Japan’s pre-history (the Jomon Period, 13,000~300 BC) have been found around Mikatagoko, including the Torihama shellmound dwelling structures, which show that the Mikatagoko area was an ideal environment for those early peoples.
In 2012, the varves of Lake Suigetsu, one of the Mikata Five Lakes, were recognized as the world standard for calibration. Miketsukuni Wakasa and the Old Mackerel Road are renowned as Japan Heritage sites.