[Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival in Chitose] Illumination of Ice Art Works Particularly Look Beautiful
February 4th, 2015
Chitose Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival
Chitose Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival (支笏湖氷濤まつり) is a snow event held around Lake Shikotsu in the south part of Sapporo city, and the venue is Shikotsuko Onsen (支笏湖温泉) in the east part of the lake. The festival has been held from late January to mid February since 1976, and about 260,000 tourists come, and it can be said that the festival is a specialty event in the Lake Shikotsu. The venue is near Yamasen Iron Bridge (山線鉄橋). There are ice sculptures, an ice slide, Hyoto Shrine (氷濤神社), a resting place, a food stall, a public restroom at the site. It is very cold, so you had better wear a warm outfit. Admission free. But they collect a assistance fund. As for a parking lot, the parking lot at the Shikotsuko Onsen is open to visitors for free.
The Shikotsu means "Large valley" in Ainu language, and was named because of the source of Chitose River. The Lake Shikotsu is well-known for farm-raised Kokanee (ヒメマス), and it is a noted product eaten at various restaurants in the Shikotsuko Onsen Resort. The Kokanee season opens from June to August, and popular fishing can be ejoyed if you pay recreational fishing fee. In the Lake Shikotsu, something can be enjoyed in all seasons. Cherry blossoms can be enjoyed in a spring, Fresh green, hiking, the fishing, camping, a canoe, a kayak, diving, a bicycle, a boat and a sightseeing boat can be enjoyed in a summer, Fall foliage can be enjoyed in an autumn, and a snow scenery can be enjoyed in a winter.
Lake Shikotsu (支笏湖) in Chitose city is the 2nd largest caldera lake after Lake Kussharo in Japan, and was born by large-scale eruptions 40,000 years ago. In Shikotsu-Toya National Park, the perimeter of the lake is about 40 km, and the maximum depth is 360 m, and is the 2nd deepest lake after Lake Tazawa in Akita prefecture in Japan. It is said that the Lake Shikotsu is an unfrozen lake in the northernmost of Japan, but it sometimes is frozen actually. It is famous for clear water of the lake, too, and has transparency as well as Lake Mashu and Lake Baikal. Because the lake is close to New Chitose Airport, Sapporo city and Tomakomai city, it is a popular tourist attraction that a lot of tourists visit. Around the Lake Shikotsu, there are Shikotsuko Onsen Resort (支笏湖温泉街), Marukoma Onsen (丸駒温泉), Former Poropinai Camping Ground (ポロピナイ元キャンプ場), Bifue Camping Ground (美笛キャンプ場), Okotan Camping Ground (オコタン野営場), Lake Okotanpe (オコタンペ湖), Morappu Camping Ground (モラップキャンプ場), Mt Eniwadake (恵庭岳), Mt. Fushidake (風不死岳), Mt. Tarumae (樽前山) and Mt. Monbetsudake (紋別岳). Article is here
Shikotsuko Onsen (支笏湖温泉) is a hot-spring resort surrounded by forests and the lake in the east side of Lake Shikotsu (支笏湖) located in the western part of Chitose city. It succeeded in drilling hot springs in 1974, and is close to New Chitose Airport, Sapporo and Tomakomai, and 0.95 million people visit here annually. It features a few large buildings due to building restrictions. The hot-spring resort is not large, and there are 7 accommodations, a ferry port, Shikotsuko Visitor Center (支笏湖ビジターセンター), restaurants and souvenir shops. Sweets Shop Patissier Labo (スイーツショップ パティシエ・ラボ), Healthy Buffet Amamu (ヘルシービュッフェ アマム), Shokujidokoro Kotobuki (食事処 寿), Shikotsuko Daiichihotel Suizantei Taian (支笏湖第一寶亭留 翠山亭 苔庵) and azzurro (アズーロ) are popular in particular. Unfortunately, there is not a convenience store. Article is here
Winter Festivals in Hokkaido
Snow often begins to fall around Christmas season, and Hokkaido is covered with the snow until late March that snow begins to melt, the ground turns into the white world in a winter. The snow falls in silence, and the temperature falls, too, and its peak is February, and various winter events that snow, ice and coldness can be enjoyed are held all over Hokkaido around the February. Article is here
Chitose Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival in Daytime or Evening
As for the Chitose Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival, my impression considerably changed between the daytime and the evening time. I like the evenig because ice sculptures are lit up beautifully. Enjoy the festival in the evening!
Chitose Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival in Daytime
When I visited here in 2015, there were 15 large and small ice sculptures at the venue. Various ice sculptures such as the ice sculpture that people can go in and out, the ice sculpture that people can go up and down and the ice sculpture that people can slide are built, and shapes and blueness of the ice sculptures made from water of Chitose River (千歳川) can be enjoyed in various ways. A lot of foreign tourists came, although the tourists could not understand each language, they slid on an ice slide together while laughing, so that left my impression. There is no national border in pleasure. By the way, an ice wedding ceremony is held, too.
I was surprised at this Koke-no-Domon (苔の洞門). That was frozen after pine needles were sprinkled over water. This green color made me feel as if I was on other planet.
At the Hyoto Shrine, a shintaian object of worship is set. Its body are attached to coins, and it looks a design. It seems that the design looks art.
The ice wedding ceremony, concerts and events are held on Dream Stage.
Atmosphere of Chitose Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival in Daytime Can Be Watched on Youtube
Chitose Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival in Evening
The ice sculptures are lit up in the evening, and ice sculptures that are different from the daytime is interesting. Illumination hours are from 16:30 to 22:00. Fireworks are set off on the weekend, too. When the fireworks are held, a road to the Shikotsuko Onsen get choked, so you had better take your time.
Blue Tower is really blue! I just feel mysterious feeling.
Yurameki-no-Chapel (ゆらめきのチャペル) lit up is good, and looks beautiful.
The Koke-no-Domon in the evening is good, too. Green illumination emphasizes green feeling, and I feel as if I was in a movie world.
The whole venue is colorful illumination, and it is good.
Atmosphere of Chitose Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival at Night Can Be Watched on Youtube
|Admission fee||Free of charge|
|Parking lot||Free parking is provided (400 Cars)|
|Regular closing day||From late february to mid january|
|Home page||Home page is here|
|Mapcode||867 063 624*33|
List of Accommodations
Refer to following websites for the accommodations around Lake Shikotsu. You can get information regarding online reviews and photos.
|Lake Shikotsu Tsuruga Resort Spa MIZU-NO-UTA(しこつ湖鶴雅リゾート スパ水の謌)|
|Shikotsuko Daiichihotel Suizantei(支笏湖第一寶亭留 翠山亭)|
|Shikotsuko Suizantei Club(支笏湖翠山亭倶楽部)||
|Lakeside Villa Suimeikaku(レイクサイド ヴィラ翠明閣)||
|Guest House Shikotsu Kamui(ゲストハウス シコツカムイ)||
|Shikotsuko Youth Hostel(支笏湖ユースホステル)||
|Marukoma Onsen Ryokan(丸駒温泉旅館)|
A page of Shikotsu-Toya National Park is here
Shikotsu-Toya National Park