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Original Hokkaido Landscape Can Be Enjoyed -Akan National Park-

September 1st, 2014

Akan National Park

Akan National Park (阿寒国立公園) is in the northern part of Kushiro-shitsugen Wetland (釧路湿原), and it is a highlight that a scenery was borned by growing forests and lakes created by water collecting in the craters of volcanoes after the volcanoes erupting in the Primitive period. It is said that an original scenery of Hokkaido was creadted by "Volcano", "Forest" and "Lake". The Akan National Park is 904 km2 in area and is one of the most famous nature sightseeing spots in Hokkaido.

Lake Akan in Autumn
Lake Akan in Autumn

There are representative volcanoes forming the scenery such as Mt. Oakandake (雄阿寒岳), Mt. Meakandake (雌阿寒岳), Mt. Akan Fuji (阿寒富士), Mt. Iou (硫黄山), Mt. Mashudake (摩周岳), and those have been active volcanoes and have a potential to erupt. As for the lakes, 3 major lakes, Lake Akan (阿寒湖), Lake Kussharo (屈斜路湖) and Lake Mashu (摩周湖), are famous. The famous small and medium‐sized lakes and ponds, Lake Onneto (オンネトー), Lake Penketo (ペンケトー), Lake Panketo (パンケトー) and Kaminoko Pond (神の子池) are dotted in the Akan National Park. Fantastic and mysterious atmospheres attract many people.

Lake Akan from Ski Resort
Lake Akan from Ski Resort

There are famous onsen resorts such as Akan-Kohan Onsen (阿寒湖畔温泉), Kawayu Onsen (川湯温泉) and Mashu Onsen (摩周温泉), and visitors can fully enjoy a blessing of the volcanoes. Because virgin forests grow, brown bears, Yezo deers, black woodpeckers, blakiston's fish-owls inhabit the forests and the area has a rich natural environment. By the way, the Akan National Park has unusually much snow in eastern Hokkaido, and the visitors can enjoy winter activities.

Kawayu Onsen Ikedaya
Kawayu Onsen Ikedaya

Nature

Akan National Park has volcanos, lakes and virgin forests, so nature is very rich. It is characteristic that many mysterious natural phenomena in particularly occur in this area. Lake Akan, Lake Onneto, Lake Kussharo, Mt. Iou, Lake Mashu, Kaminoko Pond and 900 Sogen Grassland are famous.

Lake Akan

Lake Akan is a dammed lake located in the northern part of Kushiro city. Mt. Oakandake erupted and lava dammed a large lake, and 3 lakes, Lake Akan, Lake Panketo and Lake Penketo, were born 10,000 years ago. The perimeter of the lake is approximately 25.9 km. Trees such as the Japanese red pine, Abies sachalinensis and Maple grow naturally around the lake and the lake side is covered with the primeval forest. The Lake Akan was registered as a wetland under the Ramsar Convention in 2005.

Lake Akan
Lake Akan

In addition, speaking of the Lake Akan, round algaes "Marimo (まりも * Lake ball)" which was designated as the special natural monuments is particularly famous. It is considerably unusual that algaes such as round shaped Marimo of Lake Akan grow in colonies, and except Lake Akan, there is only Lake Myvatn in Icelandic. But the Marimo of Lake Myvatn is imminently threatened with extinction. Therefore, I think that Marimo of Lake Akan is property of the earth. It is prohibited to enter other than the southern part of Lake Akan, because there is the colonies of Marimo on the northern part of Lake Akan. Article is here

Marimo (Lake ball)
Lake Akan

Atmosphere of Lake Akan Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Lake Akan

Lake Onneto

Lake Onneto is a dammed lake born by an eruption of Mt. Meakan in Ashoro town located in the southwestern of Lake Akan. The perimeter of the lake is about 4 km. The Lake Onneto is one of the three major secret lakes with Lake Ocotanpe, Lake Shinonome in Hokkaido. Because colors of water look azure blue and emerald green depending on seasons, places, directions of wind and weather, it is called "Goshikinuma (五色沼 * Marsh with 5 Colors)" and is said that the colors of the water is the most beautiful in Hokkaido. It seems to look beautiful if weather in particular is bad. The water turning into 5 colors is acid with ph 6, and fishes can not inhabit, but Uchida Crawfish (内田ザリガニ) and Yezo Salamander (エゾサンショウウオ) inhabit. Creatures seem to be able to adapt to harsh environment. Wooden paths are built around the Lake Onneto and tourists can make a round trip for about 60 minutes. There is the lake on the foot of Mt. Meakandake and are Lake Onneto Observation Deck (オンネトー展望デッキ), Onneto Hot Falls (オンネトー湯の滝), Onneto Camping Ground (オンネトー野営場), Onneto Observatory (オンネトー展望台) and Meakan Onsen (雌阿寒温泉) near the Lake Onnneto. Article is here

Sunny Day
Lake Onneto Ashoro

Atmosphere of Lake Onneto Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Lake Onneto

Lake Kussharo

Lake Kussharo (屈斜路湖), the largest caldera lake in Japan, is in Teshikaga town located in the northeastern part of Lake Akan (阿寒湖) and is the second largest caldera lake in the world, too. The perimeter of the lake is about 57 km. There is Nakajima island in the middle of the lake, but a landing is prohibited. The cracks called "Omiwatari (御神渡り * cracks that form in the ice on the Lake)" occur in a winter. Those are the largest size in the Japanese freshwater lake, and the ice cracks seem to occur for 10 km in total length and 2 m in height. In addition, it is famous as a wintering spot for whooper swan, and they rest their wings on the surface of the non-frozen water by hot springs melting. Article is here

View from Upper Observatory
Bihoro Pass Observatory Lake Kussharo

Atmosphere of Lake Kussharo Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Lake Kussharo

Mt. Iou

Mt. Iou (硫黄山) is an active volcano with 512 m in height in Teshikaga town located between Kawayu and Lake Kussharo (屈斜路湖). It is called "Iouzan", but its true name is Mt. Atosanupuri (アトサヌプリ). Because it was used to be a sulfur mine, it has been called Mt. Iou. * The sulfur means iou in Japanese language. There are more than 1500 large and small craters and those still have been vomitting forth steam. A mysterious scene that greenish brown and yellow ground changed color by sulfur and native brown ground are looked over in front of our eyes, and it smells the sulfur like bad eggs in the air. Article is here

Mt. Iou from Roadside
Mt. Iou in Teshikaga

Atmosphere of Mt. Iou Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Mt. Iou

Lake Mashu

Lake Mashu (摩周湖) is a caldera lake in Teshikaga town located in the northeastern part of Lake Akan (阿寒湖). The perimeter of the lake is about 19.8 km. The maximum water depth is 211 m, so it is the considerably deep lake. It is known as the 2nd clearest lake after Lake Baikal in the world. The Lake Mashu does not have a river, But it is a mysterious lake that the lake water levels have barely changed if it rains. The Lake Mashu has much fog and a few sunny intervals, and it is called "Foggy Lake Mashu (霧の摩周湖)", too.

Mt. Mashudake and Kamuisshu Island
Lake Mashu in Teshikaga

There are 3 observatories (Mashu 1st Observatory (摩周第一展望台), Mashu 3rd Observatory (摩周第三展望台), Uramashu Observatory (裏摩周展望台)) on the cliff with 300 m - 400 m in height from the surface of the lake around the Lake Mashu. By the way, there was Mashu 2nd Observatory (摩周第二展望台) in old days, too, but it was not used and has disappeared. There is the lake on the foot of Mt. Mashudake (摩周岳), and Kamuisshu Island (カムイッシュ島) floats on the surface of the lake. It is said that these two play protagonists of the Mashu scenery. Article is here

Mt. Mashudake and Kamuisshu Island in Winter
Lake Mashu in Teshikaga

Atmosphere of Lake Mashu in Winter Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Lake Mashu in Winter

Kaminoko Pond

Kaminoko Pond (神の子池) is in Kiyosato town located in the northeast part of Lake Mashu (摩周湖). This is a small pond with 5 m in depth and the perimeter of the pond is 220 m. Because trees that sank into the pond have never rotted, it was named Kminoko Pond. * Kaminoko means "Son of the God" in Japanese language. Many tourists come to share mysterious water's good and it become a popular tourist attraction as a spiritual place. Because there is the pond in mountains, beware of bears. Article is here

Most Abyss Part Is Blue
Kaminoko Pond in Kiyosato

Kaminoko Pond Can Be Watched on Youtube.

Movie of Kaminoko Pond

900 Sogen Grassland

900 Sogen Grassland (900草原) is a municipal ranch in the south of Teshikaga town. About 2000 cows are bred at a site area of 930 ha. 900 Sogen Grassland was named after the site area. It is known for enjoying a typical scenery of Hokkaido and beautiful contrast between green grassland and blue sky is comforatable. An observatory tower, an observatory deck, a resthouse, a restroom and a parking lot are built on the top of the ranch, and there is a park golf course around the ranch. Free admission. A parking lot is free of charge. Article is here

Mt. Mashudake and Mt. Nishibetsu Dake
900 Sogen Grassland in Teshikaga

Atmosphere of 900 Sogen Grassland Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of 900 Sogen Grassland

Onsen

There is Akan National Park at the foot of volcanos, so hot springs gush out actively. Types of the hot springs are various types of the hot springs such as acid hot springs or the hot springs with a smooth touch. Kawayu Onsen, Akankohan Onsen, Meakan Onsen, Mashu Onsen, Ike-no-Yu Onsen (池の湯温泉), Kotan Onsen (コタン温泉), Wakoto Onsen (和琴温泉), Sanko Onsen (三香温泉) and Nibushi Onsen (仁伏温泉) are famous.

Kawayu Onsen

Kawayu Onsen (川湯温泉) is a hot-spring resort in Teshikaga town located the northern part of Kushiro city. Approximately 700,000 tourists come. High acid hot springs that are rare hot springs in Japan are famous. Kawayu means a hot river in Ainu language. Because it was its name same as Yunokawa (湯の川) in Hakodate, the name changed Kawayu. It seems to be an origin of Kawayu Onsen that hot-spring facilities were built in 1904. Article is here

Hot Spring River
Kawayu Onsen in Teshikaga, Footbath

Atmosphere of Yunokaku Ikedaya Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Yunokaku Ikedaya

Akankohan Onsen

Akankohan Onsen (阿寒湖畔温泉) is a hot-spring resort around Lake Akan (阿寒湖) located between Kushiro city and Asahikawa city and is one of the largest sightseeing spots in Hokkaido. 1.5 million people visit here annually. Ainu people used hot springs in 1858, and this hot spring has a long history. There are 13 accommodations in the hot-spring resort, and there are a footbath and a handbath, souvenir shops, restaurants, a ferry port, a camping ground. Article is here

Ferry
Ferry, Akan-Kohan Onsen in Kushiro

Atmosphere of Marimo-Yu Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Marimo-Yu

Mashu Onsen

Mashu Onsen (摩周温泉) is a hot-spring resort in Teshikaga town located in the northern part of Kushiro city. The hot-spring resort has an old history, because Mr. Nanauemon Motoyama (本山七右衛門), the founder of Mashu Park Hotel, settled down in Teshikaga to run a hot spring facility in 1885, They advocate the hot spring which is the oldest in the eastern part of Hokkaido. In addition, adjacent Tobetsu Onsen (鐺別温泉) was unified into the Mashu Onsen. Tourists can take a day trip bath at Hotel Mashu (ホテル摩周), Tobetsu Onsen Kame-no-Yu (鐺別温泉 亀之湯) and Tobestu Onsen Guest House Mako (鐺別温泉 温泉民宿摩湖). Article is here

Indoor Bath
Mashu Onsen Tobetsu Onsen Kame-no-Yu

Atmosphere of Tobetsu Onsen Kame-no-Yu Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Tobetsu Onsen Kame-no-Yu

Meakan Onsen

Meakan Onsen (雌阿寒温泉) is a hot-spring place in Ashoro town located in the northwestern part of Kushiro city. Only 3 buildings, Nonaka Onsen (野中温泉), Nonaka Onsen Annex (野中温泉別館) and Kiefuku (景福), stand around an entrance of Lake Onneto (オンネトー). Because there is a trailhead to Mt. Meakandake (雌阿寒岳), a lot of mountain climbers come. The Lake Onneto, mountain climbing to Mt. Meakandake and rare type of hot springs are popular highlights. Article is here

Open-air Bath with Sense of Openness
足寄の雌阿寒温泉 オンネトー温泉 景福

Atmosphere of Onneto Onsen Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Onneto Onsen

Ike-no-Yu Onsen

Ike-no-Yu Onsen (池の湯温泉) that hot springs are gushing out at a pond is on the shore of Lake Kussharo (屈斜路湖) in Teshikaga town located in the northern part of Kushiro city. This is a mixed bathing open-air bath, and bathers can take a bath in their swimwears. Article is here

Monument Looks Like Crawfish
Ike-no-Yu Onsen in Teshikaga Lake Kussharo

Atmosphere of Ike-no-Yu Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Ike-no-Yu Onsen

Kotan Onsen

Kotan Onsen (コタン温泉) is a natural open-air hot spring facility on Lake Kussharo (屈斜路湖) shore in Teshikaga town located in the north part of Kushiro city. An entrance fee to the bath facility is free of charge. This is a bathtub surrounded by rocks. The water surface of the hot spring is same height as the water surface of the lake, it is the impression that myself totally enters the lake. This is a mixed bathing that about 4 people seem to take a bath, but the bath for men and women is partitioned by a rock only a little. Visitors can wear their swimsuits and take a bath. There are 2 changing rooms for men and women, too. Article is here

Good View
Kotan Onsen in Teshikaga Lake Kusharo

Atmosphere of Kotan Onsen Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Kotan Onsen

Wakoto Onsen

Wakoto Onsen (和琴温泉) is natural baths around Lake Kussharo (屈斜路湖) in Teshikaga town located in the northern part of Kushiro city and is the generic name of "Wakoto Open-air Bath (和琴温泉露天風呂)" and "Public Bath (琴公衆浴場)" in Wakoto Peninsula (和琴半島). In addition, there is a walking path with about 2.5 km in length that tourists can make a round trip, and there is a hot spring gushing place called Oyakotsu Jigoku (オヤコツ地獄 * Oyakotsu Hell). The tourists were able to take a bath in old days. Unfortunately it is currently prohibited to enter the Oyakotsu Jigoku. In addition, it seems to be the hot springs called Oku-no-Yu (奥の湯) appropriate for secret hot spring, too. I am interested in this hot spings. Article is here

Good Sence of Openness
Teshikaga, Wakoto Onsen

Atmosphere of Wakoto Onsen Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Wakoto Onsen

Sanko Onsen

Sanko Onsen (三香温泉) is a hot-spring ryokan on the shore of Lake Kussharo (屈斜路湖) in Teshikaga town located in the northern part of Kushiro city and was founded in 1980. There is a building near Wakoto Peninsula (和琴半島), but visitors possibly may be hard to find it. There are a main building and a wooden entrance when I arrived at there. A dog was kept in front of the entrance and he was gentle. His name is Kinta (キン太). Article is here

Opne-air Bath
Sanko Onsen on Shore of Lake Kussharo in Teshikaga

Atmosphere of Sanko Onsen Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Sanko Onsen

Nibushi Onsen

Nibushi Onsen (仁伏温泉) is a hot-spring place in Teshikaga town located in the northern part of Kushiro city. There are Nibushihoyojo (仁伏保養所) and Kussharoko Hotel (屈斜路湖ホテル) on the shore of Lake Kussharo (屈斜路湖), and there is Kussharokoso (屈斜路湖荘) along the National Route. It takes approximately 10 minutes by car from Kawayu Onsen (川湯温泉) to Nibushi Onsen. There are only 3 hot spring facilities in the hot-spring place. Article is here

Bath Is Like Water Tank
Nibushi Onsen in Teshikaga Nibushi Leisure Home

Atmosphere of Nibushihoyojo Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Nibushihoyojo

Tasty Foods

The local speciality of Lake Akan is venison. Akan Grilled Venison Rice Bowl (阿寒やきとり丼) uses that venison. In addition, Teshikaga Ramen (弟子屈ラーメン) serves ramen using underflow water of Lake Mashu, and Chinese Food Seiryu (青龍) in Teshikaga got the Bib Gourmand in MICHELIN GUIDE Hokkaido 2012 Special Edition, and Orchardgrass (オーチャードグラス) in Teshikaga has a tasty hamburger steak. I went those to eat a meal.

Akan Grilled Venison Rice Bowl

Akan Grilled Venison Rice Bowl (阿寒焼き鳥丼) is a new local speciality food of Lake Akan. Some restraunts serve it and I visited the Restaurant Kisen (レストラン汽船) to eat it. There was a parking lot beside a building. I stopped my car there and went to the restaurant on second floor. Article is here

Akan Grilled Venison Rice Bowl, Miso Soup and Side Dish Are 1 Set
Akan Grilled Venison Rice Bowl -Restaurant Kisen in Kushiro-

Akan Grilled Venison Rice Bowl and Atmosphere of Restaurant Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Akan Grilled Venison Rice Bowl

Teshikaga Ramen

Teshikaga Ramen Head Office (弟子屈ラーメン総本店) is a popular ramen restraunt in Teshikaga town located in the northern part of Kushiro city and was founded in Sapporo city in 2003. However, they moved the head office to Teshikaga town to go back to basics. Underflow water of Lake Mashu was used to bring back taste of the Teshikaga ramen from the old day. Furthermore, Pork bones more than 3 times of the another ramen restraunts were cooked for 20 hours over a low heat. Article is here

Soup Stock of Fishery Products with Bitterness
Soy Sauce Ramen with Seafood Flavor -Teshikaga Ramen-

Soy Sauce Ramen with Seafood Flavor and Atmosphere of Ramen Restaurant Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Soy Sauce Ramen with Seafood Flavor

Chinese Food Seiryu in Teshikaga

Chinese Dish Seiryu (中国料理青龍) is a Chinese restaurant in Teshikaga town located in the north part of Kushiro city. They serve high-class Chinese cooking. There is a building near Teshikaga town office. The restraunt is famous for getting the Bib Gourmand in MICHELIN GUIDE Hokkaido 2012 Special Edition. Article is here

Stir-Fried Noodles with Starchy Sauce
Stir-Fried Noodles with Starchy Sauce -Seiryu in Teshikaga-

Stir-Fried Noodles with Starchy Sauce and Atmosphere of Restaurant Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Stir-Fried Noodles with Starchy Sauce

Orchardgrass in Teshikaga

Orchardgrass (オーチャードグラス) is a restaurant at Kawayu-Onsen Station building in Teshikaga town located in the northern part of Kushiro city. The orchardgrass is a kind of a grass. After Kawayu-Onsen Station became an unmanned station, the Orchardgrass started a business in 1987. The station building is a wooden building built in 1930, and it has an atmosphere such as the Showa period. There is a footbath on the station building, too. Article is here

Soft-Boiled Egg on Hamburger Steak
Hamburg Steak -Orchardgrass in Teshikaga-

Hamburg Steak and Atmosphere of Restaurant Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Hamburg Steak

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