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Largest Caldera Lake in Japan and Second Largest Caldera Lake in World -Lake Kussharo in Teshikaga-

May 23rd, 2015

Neighborhood of 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.

Winter Lake Kussharo
Lake Kussharo
Whooper Swan
Lake Kussharo

The water is acid with ph 5, and fishes can not inhabit in such as a situation, but it has been said that a dinosaur called "Kussy (クッシー)" has been lived because people saw a huge shadow. But the mysterious huge shadow is not yet elucidated. The hot springs acidify the water of the lake. Along the coast of the lake, there are Wakoto Onsen (和琴温泉), Sanko Onsen (三幸温泉), Kotan Onsen (コタン温泉), Ike-no-Yu Onsen (池ノ湯温泉), Suna-Yu (砂湯) and Nibushi Onsen (仁伏温泉).

Atmosphere of Lake Kussharo Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Lake Kussharo

Wakoto Peninsula

Wakoto Peninsula (和琴半島) is only peninsula extending out the Lake Kussharo in the southern side of the Lake Kussharo. A scenic-viewing trail that tourists can make a round trip on the peninsula for approximately 1 hour is built. The min-min-zemi cicada (ミンミンゼミ) inhabit here, they do not inhabit further north than the Lake Kussharo and are designated as a special natural treasure in 1951. The facilities are substantial, too, and there are Wakotohanto-Kohan Camping Ground (和琴半島湖畔キャンプ場), hot springs, a souvenir shop, a restraunt, a boat for hire, a restroom. Admission free . A parking lot is free of charge. It is said to be a sightseeing base of the Lake Kussharo. Article is here

Wakoto Peninsula
Lake Kussharo

Bihoro Pass Observatory

Bihoro Pass Observatory (美幌峠展望台) is a viewing spot located in the western side of the Lake Kussharo. There are observatories at 525 m above sea level and it is popular for looking over the Lake Kussharo. The drama "What is your name? (君の名は)" was filmed at this place. There are a upper observatory, a lower observatory, a monument inscribed with a song "Bihoro-Toge (美幌峠)" that Ms. Hibari Misora sang the song, roadside station "Gurutto-Panorama Bihoro-Toge (ぐるっとパノラマ美幌峠)", are at the site, and there are a restaurant, a stall, a restroom are at the roadside station, too. Free admission. A parking lot is free of charge. Article is here

View from Upper Observatory
Bihoro Pass Observatory Lake Kussharo

Atmosphere of Bihoro Pass Observatory Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Bihoro Pass Observatory

Tsubetsu Pass Observatory

Tsubetsu Pass Observatory (津別峠展望台) is in Tsubetsu town located in the western side of the Lake Kussharo. An observatory is built on the top of the highest mountain with 947 m in height around the Lake Kussharo in this whole area and is famous as a viewing spot that visitors can look over the Lake Kussharo, Mt. Meakan (雌阿寒岳) and Mt. Oakan (雄阿寒岳). It is also known that a sea of clouds (雲海) is able to be seen. There are the observatory and a restroom at the site. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge. Article is here

View from Tsubetsu Pass Observatory
Lake Kussharo

Atmosphere of Tsubetsu Pass Observatory Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Tsubetsu Pass Observatory

Mokotoyama Parking Observation Park

Mokotoyama Parking Observation Park (藻琴山展望駐車公園) at 430 m above sea level is an viewing spot located in the northern side of the Lake Kussharo (屈斜路湖). It is popular for looking over the Lake Kussharo. There is not facility except a gazebo and a parking lot. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge. Article is here

View from Mokotoyama Parking Observation Park
Mokoto Pass Lake Kussharo

Atmosphere of Mokotoyama Parking Observation Park Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Mokotoyama Parking Observation Park

Highland Koshimizu 725

Highland Koshimizu 725 (ハイランド小清水725) is a rest station in Koshimizu town located in the northern side of the Lake Kussharo. An observatory is established at 725 m above sea level of the Mt. Mokoto (藻琴山). It is a viewing spot that tourists can look over Lake Kussharo or Mt. Shari (斜里岳), too. A sea of clouds may occur in the early morning. There are a trailhead for Mt. Mokoto and the Highland Koshimizu Camping Ground (ハイランド小清水キャンプ場) near, too. There are a restroom, a restraunt, a stall at the rest station. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge. Article is here

View from Observatory
Koshimizu Pass Lake Kussharo

Atmosphere of Highland Koshimizu 725 Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Highland Koshimizu 725

Wakoto Onsen

Wakoto Onsen is natural baths around Lake Kussharo 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 (公衆浴場)" in Wakoto Peninsula. 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 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, and there is Kussharokoso (屈斜路湖荘) along the National Route. It takes approximately 10 minutes by car from Kawayu Onsen to Nibushi Onsen. There are only 3 hot spring facilities in the hot-spring place. Article is here

Nibushihoyojo
Nibushi Onsen in Teshikaga Nibushi Leisure Home

Atmosphere of Nibushihoyojo Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Nibushihoyojo

Kotan Onsen

Kotan Onsen is a natural open-air hot spring facility on Lake Kussharo 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

Ike-no-Yu Onsen

Ike-no-Yu Onsen that hot springs are gushing out at a pond is on the shore of Lake Kussharo 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 Onsen Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Ike-no-Yu Onsen

Suna-Yu Onsn

Suna-Yu (砂湯) has a camping ground located in the center of the Lake Kussharo (屈斜路湖). Because hot springs spring out if tourists dig sand on the shore of the lake, the tourists make a bathtub with sand freely and can take a bath in swimsuits. But the hot springs are cold depending on places. At the site, there are a camping ground, a restroom, a stall, swan boats for hire. Whooper swans are able to be seen in a winter, and many tourists come to watch those, too. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge. Article is here

Suna-Yu Onsen
Lake Kussharo

Atmosphere of Suna-Yu Onsen Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Suna-Yu Onsen

Accommodations

Refer to following websites for the accommodations around Lake Kussharo.

Yunokaku Ikedaya(湯の閣 池田屋)    
Kawayu Daiichi Hotel SUIKAZURA(川湯第一ホテル 忍冬)    
Meitonomori Hotel Kitafukuro(名湯の森ホテルきたふくろう)  
Kinkiyu Hotel(お宿 欣喜湯)  
Kokuminshukusha Hotel Kawayu Park(国民宿舎 ホテル川湯パーク)    
Hotel Parkway(ホテルパークウェイ)  
Kawayu Kanko Hotel(川湯観光ホテル)  
KKR Kawayu(KKR川湯)    
Tabibito-no-Yado Asanebo(旅人の宿 あさ寝坊)  
Kussharokoso(屈斜路湖荘)  
Kussharoko Hotel(屈斜路湖ホテル)  
Kussharo-Genya Youth Guesthouse(屈斜路原野ユースゲストハウス)  
Atreyu(アトレーユ)  
Kussharo Prince Hotel(屈斜路プリンスホテル)  
Polaris(ぽらりす)    
Sanko Onsen(三香温泉)    
Lakeside Resort Pension CHATRAN(レイクサイドリゾートペンションチャトラン)    
Gasthof Papilio(ガストホフ ぱぴりお)    
Booking.com

A page of Akan National Park is here

Akan National Park

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