At 4 meters below sea level (-13 feet), Lake Hachirō in Akita Prefecture in northern Japan is the lowest natural point in Japan.
The lake used to be the second largest lake in Japan after Lake Biwa but extensive land reclamation for rice production lowered the total area. Over the course of two decades starting in 1957, engineers dredged the lake for soil and pumped out water from the shallow lake to create rice paddies.
On October 1, 1964, Ōgata village was established on the reclaimed land. As a result, Lake Hachirō is now the 18th largest lake in Japan with a total area of 48.3 km2 (19 sq mi).
Satellite Imagery of Lake Hachirō
This Landsat 8 satellite imagery shows Lake Hachirō, the reclaimed farmland, and the village of Ogata.
- Rice Bowl from a Reclaimed Lake, NASA Earth Observatory