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[Kotan Onsen in Teshikaga] Whooper Swans Gather around Almost Mixed Open-air Bath on Shore of Lake Kussharo in Winter

July 26th, 2014

Kotan Onsen

Kotan Onsen (コタン温泉) is a small hot spring resort in Teshikaga town located in the north part of Kushiro city. The hot spring gushes out at the lakeshore in the southwest part of Lake Kussharo (屈斜路湖). Kotan means a village in Ainu language. Around here has been the village for Ainu people since a very long time ago, and it becomes the small hot spring resort at present, and there are some accommodations, Kotan Ainu Museum of History and Folklore (コタンアイヌ民俗資料館), Ainu Traditional Crafts Shop named "Kotan-no-Ie (コタンの店)", Restraunt Marukibune (レストラン 丸木舟) with serving Ainu meals and a cafe named "Jiji cafe Canoe (ぢぢ 喫茶 カヌー)". In addition, a canoe can be enjoyed by River and Field (リバーアンドフィールド). Unfortunately, convenience stores are not built. There are Wakoto Peninsula (和琴半島), Wakoto Onsen (和琴温泉), Sanko Onsen (三香温泉) and Ike-no-Yu Onsen (池の湯) around the Kotan Onsen, and various natural open-air baths can be enjoyed throughout the year. Cherry blossoms can be enjoyed in a spring, Fresh green and the canoe can be enjoyed in a summer, fall foliage can be enjoyed in an autumn, and whooper swans can be watched in a winter.

Autumn Leaves around Lake Kussharo
Teshikaga, Lake Kussharo, Wakoto Onsen

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

Wakoto Peninsula
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

List of Day Trip Onsen

Tourists can take a day trip bath at Kotan-no-Yu (コタンの湯), Kotan Public Bath (コタン共同浴場) and Marukibune (丸木舟).

Calm Lake Kussharo
Teshikaga, Lake Kussharo, Wakoto Onsen

Kotan-no-Yu

Kotan-no-Yu is a natural open-air bath on the shore of Lake Kussharo. The natural open-air bath can be used for 24 hours, and starry sky seems to be beautiful in the evening. Mr. Mitsuhiro Ogawa (小川充洋), a craftsman, made the open-air bath around 1983, and has managed it. The open-air bath is cleaned from 08:00 to 16:00 on Tuesday and Thursday, so it can not be used. An entrance fee to the bath facility is free of charge.

Entrance of Open-air Bath
Kotan Onsen in Teshikaga Lake Kusharo

There is 1 almost mixed bathing open-air bath surrounded by rocks. The bath uses free flowing very hot springs to the lake. The open-air bath is the size that about 4 people can take a bath, but the bath for men and women is partitioned by a large rock only a little. 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. But the feeling is different depending on the lake volume. A sence of openness can be enjoyed very much, too because notheing is obstructed. It is a hot spot for overseas tourists, too.

Good View
Kotan Onsen in Teshikaga Lake Kusharo

The bathers can take a bath in wearing swimsuits or with bath towel covering body, but a lot of Japanese men take a bath withhout wearing anything. A lot of ordinary tourist without taking a bath come, too, so I guess the bathers are too shameful to take a bath without wearing somtheing. 2 gender segregated dressing rooms for men or women are provided, too.

Look of Open-air Bath
Kotan Onsen in Teshikaga Lake Kusharo

Whooper swans gather around the open-air bath in a winter, bathers almost feel like taking a bath with them. But a lot of tourists come to watch them, I guess the bathers are too shameful to take a bath without wearing somtheing.

View from Open-air Bath
Kotan Onsen in Teshikaga Lake Kusharo
Look of Open-air Bath
Kotan Onsen in Teshikaga Lake Kusharoe
Whooper Swans Come Close to Tourists
Kotan Onsen in Teshikaga Lake Kusharo

The hot springs are sodium carbonated spring, and are clear and light yellow and have tasteless and oil smell. The sum total of the hot spring ingredients are 1.056g/kg. The meta-silicic acid content is 289.3mg/kg. It is said that the hot springs including the meta-silicic acid with over 200 mg/kg is effective for beautiful skin. The hot springs seem to be drinkable, But I was not able to find a drinking hot spring facility. By the way, a use of shampoo and soap is prohibited because water of the lake is polluted. There is a public restroom near the open-air bath, but toilet papers are not provided.

Public Restroom
Kotan Onsen in Teshikaga Lake Kusharo

Atmosphere of Kotan Onsen Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Kotan Onsen

Types of Hot Springs Sodium carbonated spring (Type: Neutral, Osmotic Pressure: Low, Spring Temperature Type: Extra hot spring)
Water temperature of Hot Spring Source 68.3 C
ph 7.0
Indications Neuralgia, Muscular pain, Arthralgia, Frozen shoulder, Motor paralysis, Tightening of the joint, Bruise, Sprain, Chronic digestive diseases, Hemorrhoid, Cold sensitivity, Convalescent convalescence, Relieving fatigue, Healthy increase, Cut, Burn, Chronic skin diseases
Contraindications Acute disease(when there is the heat in particular), Active tuberculosis, Malignant tumor, Severe heart disease, Respiratory failure, Renal insufficiency, Hemorrhagic disease, High anemia, Other diseases during condition of a patient progress generally
Indications of drinking Chronic digestive diseases, Diabetes, Gout, Liver disease
Contraindications of drinking Kidney disease, High blood pressure, and diseases accompanied by edema in general
Facilities Mixed bathing open-air bath(1)
Entrance fee to the bath facility Free of charge
Business hours Open 24 hours
Regular closing day Tuesday and Thursday
Parking lot A free parking is provided (10 cars)
Telephone number -
Home page Home page is here
Mapcode 731 521 434*46

Marukibune

Marukibune is a small-sized onsen inn at the lakeshore. A restaurant and a theater are at a building, too, and Ainu-style meals and ainu folk music are served. An entrance fee to the bath facility is JPY 600. A public bathroom is chartered for 60 minutes. A staying is possible, too. The bathroom named "Shizuku-no-Neiro (雫の音色)" is on the 2nd floor. There is 1 indoor bath at the wooden bathroom. Lake Kussharo can be seen from the sunny bathroom. The bath uses free flowing hot springs. The hot springs are sodium carbonated spring, and are clear and light yellow and have tasteless and oil smell. Body soaps are provided at the bathroom. A restroom and free hair dryers are installed at the dressing room.

Atmosphere of Marukibune Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Marukibune

Types of Hot Springs Sodium carbonated spring (Type: Neutral, Osmotic Pressure: Low, Spring Temperature Type: Extra hot spring)
Water temperature of Hot Spring Source 68.3 C
ph 7.0
Indications Neuralgia, Muscular pain, Arthralgia, Frozen shoulder, Motor paralysis, Tightening of the joint, Bruise, Sprain, Chronic digestive diseases, Hemorrhoid, Cold sensitivity, Convalescent convalescence, Relieving fatigue, Healthy increase, Cut, Burn, Chronic skin diseases
Contraindications Acute disease(when there is the heat in particular), Active tuberculosis, Malignant tumor, Severe heart disease, Respiratory failure, Renal insufficiency, Hemorrhagic disease, High anemia, Other diseases during condition of a patient progress generally
Indications of drinking Not drinking
Facilities Indoor bath(1). * Sex-Segregated Bathhouse.
Entrance fee to the bath facility Adult: JPY 600. Child: JPY 300.
Business hours 11:30-19:30
Regular closing day Irregular closing day
Parking lot A free parking is provided (10 cars)
Telephone number +81-15-484-2644
Home page Home page is here
Reservation Rakuten is here
Mapcode 731 521 316*38

Kotan Public Bath

Kotan Public Bath is a public bath founded in 1996 beside Kotan-no-Yu. The appearance is like old regional community facility, and local people use it mainly. An entrance fee to a bath facility is JPY 200. There is 1 indoor bath at a public bathhouse. The bath uses free flowing hot springs with adding water. The hot springs are sodium carbonated spring, and are clear and light yellow and have tasteless and oil smell. Shampoos and body soaps for visitors are not provided at the bathroom, the visitors have to bring those.

Atmosphere of Kotan Public Bath Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Kotan Public Bath

Types of Hot Springs Sodium carbonated spring (Type: Neutral, Osmotic Pressure: Low, Spring Temperature Type: Extra hot spring)
Water temperature of Hot Spring Source 68.3 C
ph 7.0
Indications Neuralgia, Muscular pain, Arthralgia, Frozen shoulder, Motor paralysis, Tightening of the joint, Bruise, Sprain, Chronic digestive diseases, Hemorrhoid, Cold sensitivity, Convalescent convalescence, Relieving fatigue, Healthy increase, Cut, Burn, Chronic skin diseases
Contraindications Acute disease(when there is the heat in particular), Active tuberculosis, Malignant tumor, Severe heart disease, Respiratory failure, Renal insufficiency, Hemorrhagic disease, High anemia, Other diseases during condition of a patient progress generally
Indications of drinking Not drinking
Facilities Indoor bath(1). * Sex-Segregated Bathhouse.
Entrance fee to the bath facility Adult: JPY 200. Child: JPY 100.
Business hours 12:00-22:00
Regular closing day Wednesday
Parking lot A free parking is provided (20 cars)
Telephone number +81-15-484-2833
Reservation Home page is here
Mapcode 731 521 434*46

List of Accommodations

Refer to following websites for the accommodations around Kotan Onsen.

Marukibune(丸木舟)
Booking
Jalan
Sanko Onsen(三香温泉)
Booking
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)
Lakeside Resort Pension CHATRAN(レイクサイドリゾートペンションチャトラン)
Booking
Booking.com

A page of Secret Onsen of Hokkaido is here

Secret Onsen of Hokkaido

A page of Akan Mashu National Park is here

Akan Mashu National Park

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