[Lake Onneto in Ashoro] Onsen and Hot Falls Can Be Enjoyed, too
August 26th, 2014
Lake Onneto (オンネトー) in Akan Mashu National Park (阿寒摩周国立公園) is a dammed lake born by an eruption of Mt. Meakan (雌阿寒岳) in Ashoro town. The Onnneto means "Aged Marsh" or "Large Marsh" in Ainu language. The perimeter of the lake is about 2.5 km, and the maximum water depth is about 10 m, and the lake is not so large. The Lake Onneto is one of the three major secret lakes together with Lake Ocotanpe (オコタンペ湖) and Lake Shinonome (東雲湖) in Hokkaido. Because colors of water look azure blue and emerald green depending on seasons, places, directions of wind and weather, the lake is called "Goshikinuma (五色沼 * Marsh turning into 5 colors)", and it is said that the colors of the water is the most beautiful in Hokkaido. It seems to look beautiful in particular if weather is bad. The water turning into 5 colors is acid with ph 6, and fishes can not inhabit, but only Uchida Crawfish (内田ザリガニ) and Yezo Salamander (エゾサンショウウオ) inhabit in the water. Creatures seem to be able to adapt to harsh environment.
The Lake Onneto is in Ashoro town, but the distance is around 50 km away from the center of the Ashoro, and the distance is around 20 km away from Akako Onsen Resort (阿寒湖温泉街), so a convenience store is not built around here. But Onneto-Chaya (オンネトー茶屋) is around here, and tourists can have a lunch there. There are the Mt. Meakandake, the Mt. Akanfuji, the Lake Onento, 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 Campsite (オンネトー野営場), Onneto Lookout (オンネトー展望台), Meakan Onsen (雌阿寒温泉), Kagami Swamp (鏡沼), Ao Swamp (青沼), Aka Swamp (赤沼) and Rawanbuki Field (ラワンブキ観賞ほ場) around here, and trails and walking paths are built, too. As for the Lake Onento, Cherry blossoms can be enjoyed in a spring, fresh green can be enjoyed in a summer, fall foliage can be enjoyed in an autumn, especially, the lake is famous as one of best places to see the fall foliage in Hokkaido.
4 walking paths, Western Lake Onneto Course (オンネトー西コース), Eastern Lake Onneto Course (東湖岸コース), Onneto Hot Falls Course (湯の滝コース) and Meakan Onsen Course (雌阿寒温泉コース), are built, the Western Lake Onneto Course is about 2.2 km from the Onneto Observation Deck via the Onneto Lookout to the Onneto Campsite, and it takes about 40 minutes on foot. The Eastern Lake Onneto Course is about 1.9 km from the the Onneto Campsite to an entrance of the Lake Onneto, and it takes about 40 minutes on foot. The time it takes to go a round trip is around 80 minutes. The Onneto Hot Falls Course is about 1.4 km, and it takes about 30 minutes on foot. As for the Meakan Onsen Course, I do not know it in detail. 2 trails, Meakan Onsen Course (雌阿寒温泉コース) and Onneto Course (オンネトーコース), are built, and the Meakan Onsen Course is about 3.3 km from the Meakan Onsen to the Mt. Meakandake, and it takes about 2 hours on foot. The Onneto Course is abouy 4.2 km from the Onneto Campsite to the Mt. Meakandake, and it takes 2.5 hours on foot. By the way, Story of Onneto (オンネトー物語), an experiencing nature event, is held in late September.
In case of hiking, the visitors should bring water of 500 ML-1 L. I regretted not to drink the water. You had better bring an insect repellent because a lot of gnats or horseflies try to bite your skin in a summer. In addition, bears seem to appear, so you had better bring bear-avoiding bells, too. You should prepare extra underwears and work gloves, and I sweated gallons. You may be tired because of a difference of elevation, so you had better wear comfortable shoes. In a winter, the road is cloed, so visitors can make a snowshoe trip from the Meakan Onsen. I think that the snow lake is beautiful, too.
Atmosphere of Lake Onneto Can Be Watched on Youtube
Lake Akan (阿寒湖) is a caldera lake in the northern part of Kushiro city, and the Akan means "Immovable" in Ainu language. In Akan Mashu National Park, the perimeter of the lake is about 25.9 km. The maximum water depth is 45 m. The lake is well-known for growing Lake Ball (Marimo). Old Lake Akan was dammed by eruptions of Mt. Oakandake (雄阿寒岳) 10,000 years ago, and 3 lakes, the Lake Akan, Lake Panketo (パンケトー) and Lake Penketo (ペンケトー) were born. Trees such as Yezo spruce, Abies sachalinensis, Painted maple and Mongolian oak grow naturally around the lake, and the lake side is covered with the primeval forest. 24 types of wild animals such as Brown bear and Yezo deer and 65 types of wild birds such as Black woodpecker inhabit, and the lake has been designed as a wetland under the Ramsar Convention since 2005. Around the Lake Akan, there are Takiguchi (滝口) that is famous for a beauty spot of fall foliage, Akankohan Lookout (阿寒湖畔展望台 * Akankohan Ski Resort) with a good view, Lake Onneto (オンネトー), Mt. Oakandake (雄阿寒岳), Mt. Meakandake (雌阿寒岳), Sokodai Lookout (双湖台) and Sogakudai Lookput (双岳台). Article is here
List of Onneto Tourist Attractions
There are Mt. Meakandake, the Mt. Akanfuji, the Lake Onento, 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 Campsite (オンネトー野営場), Onneto Lookout (オンネトー展望台), Meakan Onsen (雌阿寒温泉), Kagami Swamp (鏡沼), Ao Swamp (青沼) and Aka Swamp (赤沼). My visited tourists attractoins are as follows. Local people that happened to be there said "The best viewing place is a lakeside down from a parking lot that about 2 vehicles can park between the Onneto Observation Deck and the Onneto Campsite". A magnificent view of Mt. Meakandake and Mt. Akanfuji surely is very good. Fall foliage is really amazing.
Onneto Observation Deck
Onneto Observation Deck (オンネトー展望デッキ) is on the west side of Lake Onneto located in the southeastern part of Lake Akan in Akan Mashu National Park (阿寒摩周国立公園), and is a tourist attraction that most tourists visit in the neighborhood of the Lake Onneto. A wooden observation deck is buil on the lakeshore. The lake turning into 5 colors, Mt. Meakandake (雌阿寒岳) and Mt. Akanfuji (阿寒富士) can be seen. Admission free. The parking lot is free of charge. A restroom is built near the parking lot. A trail to Onneto Lookout (オンネトー展望台) is provided beside the restroom, too. Drive safely because the parking lot is small, and Hokkaido Road 664 is narrow. Article is here
Onneto Hot Falls
Onneto Hot Falls (オンネトー湯の滝) is a hot spring waterfall in the southwestern part of Lake Onneto located in the southeastern part of Lake Akan in Akan Mashu National Park (阿寒摩周国立公園), and has been designed as a special natural monument in Japan since 2010 because precious natural manganese was discovered. The manganese that is often used for a dry cell is generated on the ocean floor most commonly, so here is very precious place to see the generating manganese on the ground. In addition, it is said that here is the largest generating manganese place on the ground. By the way, water is hot, and Guppy and Tilapia breed in very cold ground of Hokkaido, and it become a problem. Those are removing at a pond now. It takes 20 minutes from a parking lot to here on foot. Admission free. The parking lot is free of charge. There is a restroom near the parking lot. Article is here
Onneto Lookout (オンネトー展望台) is a viewing place on the west side of Lake Onneto located in the southeastern part of Lake Akan in Akan Mashu National Park (阿寒摩周国立公園). Visitors go up a mountain from North Trailhead (北登山口) beside a restroom near Onneto Observation Deck (オンネトー展望デッキ), and reach to a monitoring hut for volcanoes and a resting place on the viewing place at about 690 m above sea level. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge. Article is here
Onneto Campsite is located on the south side of the Lake Onneto. Land within 1262 ha around the Lake Onneto has been designed as a natural recreation forest by the government, and the campsite surrounded by Japanese red pine and Abies sachalinensis was built, too. It has a atmosphere like the campsite in the forest. A restroom and a field kitchen are built. Visitors should buy the foods and the drinks beforehand, because there is not store near the Onneto Campsite. A camping is charged, and a parking lot is free of charged.
Atmosphere of Onneto Campsite Can Be Watched on Youtube
|Using Fee||Adult: JPY 350. Child: JPY 200.|
|Parking lot||Free parking is provided (30 Cars)|
|Business hours||Open 24 hours|
|Regular closing day||From November to May|
|Home page||Home page is not provided|
|Mapcode||783 761 358*76|
Fall Foliage around Lake Onneto
The Lake Onneto is well-known for seeing beautiful fall foliage, too. A combination of the Mt. Meakandake, the Mt. Akanfuji and the Lake Onneto is marvelous, and the refrection of the fall foliage on the water of the lake is marvelous, too. Views from the Onneto Observation Deck and the Onneto Campsite are great, and local people that happened to be there said "The best viewing place is a lakeside down from a parking lot between the Onneto Observation Deck and the Onneto Campsite". A magnificent view of the Mt. Meakandake and the Mt. Akanfuji surely is very amazing. The best time to see the fall foliage is from late September to mid October.
Meakan Onsen (雌阿寒温泉) is a hot spring place in Ashoro town located in the northwestern part of Kushiro city, and is well-knonw as a secter onsen in a mountain at around 720 m above sea level in Akan Mashu National Park (阿寒摩周国立公園). Only Nonaka Onsen (野中温泉), Nonaka Onsen Annex Building (野中温泉別館), Kiefuku (景福), a public parking lot and a public restroom are built at an entrance of Lake Onneto (オンネトー). A lot of hikers come to go up Mt. Meakandake (雌阿寒岳) or Mt. Akanfuji (阿寒富士), and here is popular for the Lake Oneneto and rare type of hot springs. The distance is around 50 km away from the center of the Ashoro, and the distance is around 20 km away from Akako Onsen Resort (阿寒湖温泉街), so a convenience store is not built. But Onneto-Chaya (オンネトー茶屋) is a little away from here, and tourists can have a lunch there. Article is here
Refer to following websites for the accommodations around Lake Onneto. You can get information regarding online reviews and photos.
|Yama-no-Yado Nonaka Onsen(山の宿 野中温泉)||
|Onneto Camping Ground(オンネトー野営場)||
A page of Akan Mashu National Park is here
Akan Mashu National Park