- August 26th, 2014
[Lake Mashu in Teshikaga] Foggy Lake Mashu Is Seen from Observation Decks
- Lake Mashu
- List of Lake Mashu Tourist Attractions
- List of Onsen around Lake Mashu
- List of Tasty Restaurants around Lake Mashu
- List of Activities
- List of Accommodations
Lake Mashu is a caldera lake in Teshikaga town located in the northeastern direction of Lake Akan (阿寒湖), and means “A mountain god’s lake” in Ainu language. In Akan Mashu National Park, the perimeter of the lake is about 19.8 km. The maximum water depth is 211 m. The lake is well-known as the 2nd clearest lake after Lake Baikal in the world, and does not has a river, But it is a mysterious lake that lake water level has 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. 3 viewing points, the Mashu 1st Observation Deck, Mashu 3rd Observation Deck (摩周第三展望台), Uramashu Observation Deck (裏摩周展望台) are built on the cliff with 300 – 400 m in height from the surface of the lake around the Lake Mashu. By the way, Mashu 2nd Observation Deck (摩周第二展望台) used to be in old days, too, but it was not used, so it has disappeared.
A pretty round shape of the Kamuisshu Island is only island floating on the surface of the Lake Mashu. Only tip of lave dome with 240 m in height rises only for 30 m in the height on the lake water. The island has a sad legend. An old woman that ran away from a war between Kotan (Ainu village) lost sight of her grandchild, and came to the Lake Mashu to look for the grandchild. She begged the Mt. Mashudake (The mountain is a mountain god in the Ainu language) to stay a night at the foot of the mountain, and she turned into the island with fatigue and sorrow. The Kamuisshu means “An old woman that turned into a goddess” in the Ainu language. The island is choked with tears of joy every time people come the lake as if her grandchild come, and it is said that the fog is her tears.
The Mt. Mashudake with 857 m in height is on the east side of the Lake Mashu, and a trailhead to the Mt. Mashudake is at the Mashu 1st Observation Deck. A trail is 7.2 km in length, and it is a 5-hour round trip. A superb view can be seen on the mountaintop.
Winter Lake Mashu is famous, too. When I visited here, a lot of photographers took photos freely. Because there is not an illuminant near the lake in the evening, tourists can see stars clearly. The Lake Mashu is able to be enjoyed all day. By the way, it is prohibited to enter the lake. A caution is required for driving because there are a lot of sharp curves, too.
The distance is around 10 km away from the center of the Teshikaga, and is around 15 km away from Kawayu Onsen, and a restraunt, a cafe and a convenience store are not built around here. But the center of the Teshikaga and the Kawayu Onsen has the restraunt, the cafe and the convenience store. Kaminoko Pond (神の子池) and Mt. Iou (硫黄山) are relatively near here.
Kaminoko Pond (神の子池) is a pond in Kiyosato town located in the northern direction of Lake Mashu (摩周湖). In Akan Mashu National Park, the pond is in a primeval forest at about 280 m above sea level. After turning Hokkaido Road 1115 to a forestry road, visitors head the road for about 2 km, and reach to a parking lot. The perimeter of the pond is about 220 m. The maximum water depth is 5 m. The pond is very small. It is said that the Kaminoko Pond is connected to Lake Mashu under the ground, and water of 12,000 t a day spring out from the bottom of the pond. * There is another opinion that the Kaminoko Pond is not connected to the Lake Mashu, too. People in the old days thought of the pond as the son of the Lake Mashu meaned “A mountain god’s lake” in Ainu language, and the pond was named “Kaminoko Pond (A son of the god in Japanese language)”. * There are various opinions. Trees that sank into the pond have never rotted have a good reputation, and it becomes a popular tourist attraction as a spiritual place because of the mystery. There are the Kaminoko Pond, walks, a restroom and the parking lot on the site. Admission free. The parking lot is free of charge. Bears live around here, so you had better do not visite here in the early morning or the evening. By the way, snow is not removed on the forestry road, and the road might be closed almost from mid November to late April. Read More
Mt. Iou (硫黄山) is an active volcano with 512 m in height in Teshikaga town between Lake Mashu (摩周湖) and Lake Kussharo (屈斜路湖). In Akan Mashu National Park, here used to be a sulfur mine, so it has been called Mt. Iou. * The sulfur means “Iou” in Japanese language. But its true name is Mt. Atosanupuri (アトサヌプリ) that means “A naked mountain” in Ainu language. A lave dome was born from 1,000 to 1,500 years ago. There are more than 1,500 large and small fumaroles, and those still have been vomiting forth steam. A mysterious view with greenish brown and yellow ground changed colors by sulfur and native light brown ground can be seen, and it smells the sulfur like bad eggs in the air. Admission free. A parking lot is charged for JPY 500 in a summer. But the parking lot is free of charge in a winter. Read More
Akan Mashu National Park
Akan Mashu National Park (阿寒摩周国立公園) has Lake Kussharo (屈斜路湖), the largest caldera lake in Japan, Lake Mashu (摩周湖), the 6th largest caldera lake in the Japan, and Lake Akan (阿寒湖), the 7th largest caldera lake in the Japan, in the eastern part of Hokkaido, and the oldest national park in Hokkaido along with Daisestuzan National Park (大雪山国立公園) in the northern direction of Kushiro-Sitsugen National Park (釧路湿原国立公園), too. In the national park, there are unique mountains such as Mt. Oakandake (雄阿寒岳), Mt. Meakandake (雌阿寒岳), Mt. Akanfuji (阿寒富士), Mt. Mokoto (藻琴山), Mt. Iou (硫黄山), Mt. Mashudake (摩周岳) and Mt. Nishibetsudake (西別岳), and here is a tourist attraction on behalf of Hokkaido containing some hot spring places such as Akanko Onsen (阿寒湖温泉), Meakan Onsen (雌阿寒温泉) and Kawayu Onsen (川湯温泉). The Akan Mashu National Park is roughly divided into 4 areas, Akanko Area, Onneto Area, Mashuko Area, and Kussharoko Area. The area is 91,413 ha in total, it is very vast. 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, and it is said that an original scenery of Hokkaido has been creadted by “Volcanos”, “Forests” and “Lakes”. By the way, 900 Sogen Grassland (900草原) and Tawadaira Observaton Deck (多和平展望台) that a typical secenry of Hokkaido can be enjoyed are relatively near the national park, too. Read More
List of Lake Mashu Tourist Attractions
There are 3 viewing point, the Mashu 1st Observation Deck, the Mashu 3rd Observation Deck and the Uramashu Observation Deck. My visited places are as follows.
Mashu 1st Observation Deck
Mashu 1st Observation Deck (摩周第一展望台) is a viewing point along Hokkaido Road 52 in southwest side of Lake Mashu. In Akan Mashu National Park, it built on a somma of the Lake Mashu at about 520 m above sea level. Kamuisshu Island (カムイシュ島) can be seen on the left side, and Mt. Mashudake (摩周岳) can be seen on the right side, and a trailhead to the Mt. Mashudake is provided, too. A concrete building and a parking lot are built on the site, and the building has Mashuko Resthouse (摩周湖レストハウス) and a restroom on the 1st floor, and a rooftop is an observation deck. The Mashuko Resthouse has a restraunt and a souvenir shop, too. Because here is the most famous place in the tourist attractions of the Lake Mashu, a lot of visitors come. Chipmunk is made take to feeding, too. Admission free. A parking lot is charged for JPY 500 in a summer, but it is free of charge in a winter, and the Mashu Resthouse is closed, too. Read More
Mashu 3rd Observation Deck
Mashu 3rd Observation Deck (摩周第三展望台) is a viewing spot along Hokkaido Road 52 in west side of Lake Mashu. In Akan Mashu National Park, it built on a somma of the Lake Mashu at about 670 m above sea level. Overlapped Mt. Mashudake (摩周岳) and Kamuisshu Island (カムイシュ島) can be seen only on this observation deck. There are the observation deck and a parking lot on the site. A superb view of Mt. Iouzan (硫黄山) and Lake Kussharo (屈斜路湖) can be seen from the neighborhood of parking lot, too. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge. The Hokkaido Road 52 is closed from early November to late April. Unfortunately, a souvenir shop and a restroom are not built. Read More
Uramashu Observation Deck
Uramashu Observation Deck (裏摩周展望台) is a viewing point at the end of Hokkaido Road 150 in northeast side of Lake Mashu. In Akan Mashu National Park, it built on a somma of the Lake Mashu at about 580 m above sea level, and is in the other side of Mashu 1st Observation Deck (摩周第一展望台) and Mashu 3rd Observation Deck (摩周第三展望台) across the lake, too, and only Uramashu Observation Deck is in Kiyosato town. Uramashu 2nd Observation Deck used to be near here, too. Mt. Mashudake (摩周岳) can be seen on the left side and, Kamuisshu Island (カムイシュ島) can be seen on the right side. An observation deck, a souvenir shop, a rest place, a public restroom and a parking lot are built on the site. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge. An entrance gate of the Uramashu Observation Deck is closed from November to late April. * Uramashu means “The back side of the Lake Mashu” in Japanese, and the Mashu 1st Observation Deck and the Mashu 3rd Observation Deck are called “The front side of the lake” because those are famous. Read More
List of Onsen around Lake Mashu
Around the Lake Mashu has rich volcanic origins. There are 3 hot spring places, the Kawayu Onsen, the Mashu Onsen and the Yoroushi Onsen. My visited onsen are as follows.
Kawayu Onsen (川湯温泉) is a famous hot-spring place in Teshikaga town located in the northern direction of Kushiro city. There are Mt. Iou (硫黄山), Lake Kussharo (屈斜路湖) and Lake Mashu (摩周湖) around the Kawayu Onsen, and it is a base for sightseeing, and about 0.7 million tourists come every year. Ph of the hot springs is about 1.8, and the Kawayu Onsen is popular for great strong acidic hot springs in Japan together with Tamagawa Onsen in Akita prefecture, Kusatsu Onsen in Gunma prefecture, Zao Onsen in Yamagata prefecture and Sukayu Onsen in Aomori prefecture. They are proud of high quality hot springs, and chant “100% narutal free flowing hot springs” as a whole, and all the hot spring facilities use the 100% narutal free flowing hot springs. Read More
Mashu Onsen (摩周温泉) is a hot spring resort in Teshikaga town located in the northern direction of Kushiro city. The hot spring resort is divided into 2 hot spring places, Teshikaga Onsen (弟子屈温泉) along Kushiro River and Tobetsu Onsen (鐺別温泉) along Tobetsu River, and some hot spring facilities and accommodations are built there. Those hot spring places that were named after world famous Lake Mashu have been collectively called the Mashu Onsen since 1981. Road Station “Mashu Onsen” (道の駅「摩周温泉」) is built, and a footbath is on the site, too. Teshikaga Station was renamed Mashu Staion in 1990. Souvenir shops, restaurants, cafes, convenience stores, Izakaya and bars with a surcharge are built in the center of the Teshikaga, too. As for tourist attractions around here, the Lake Mashu and Lake Kussharo (屈斜路湖) are famous in particular. 900 Sogen Grassland (900草原), Mt. Iou (硫黄山), and Kimto Marsh (キンムトー) are relatively near here. Read More
Yoroushi Onsen (養老牛温泉) is a hot-spring place in Nakashibetsu town located between Lake Mashu (摩周湖) and Notsuke Peninsula (野付半島). 2 onsen ryokan, Hotel Yoroushi (ホテル養老牛) and Yuyado Daiichi (湯宿だいいち) are built along Hokkaido Route 505, and Karamatsu-no-Yu (からまつの湯), a mixed bathing open-air bath for free, is a little away from the center of the Yoroushi Onsen. Unfortunately, restraunts, cafes, cafes, souvenir shops and convenience stores are not built. The hot-spring place is surrounded by nature, and rare animals such as Blakiston’s Fish Owl and Japanese sable inhabit a forest, so those animals sometimes appear at the accommodations. There are Yoro Falls (養老の滝), Kaiyodai Observatory (開陽台) and Lake Mashu (摩周湖) around the Yoroushi Onsen. Read More
List of Tasty Restaurants around Lake Mashu
Speaking of tasty restraunts in the Teshikaga, Teshikaga Ramen Head Office (弟子屈ラーメン 弟子屈総本店), Miraku Sushi (味楽寿司), Soba Doraku (そば道楽), Inakaya Genpei (いなか家 源平) and Cream Dowa (くりーむ童話) are popular in particular. My visited restaurants are as follows.
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. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
List of Accommodations
Refer to following websites for the accommodations around the Lake Mashu. You can get information regarding online reviews and photos.
A page of Akan Mashu National Park is here
Akan Mashu National Park
By the way, Club Tourism (クラブツーリズム), a Japanese tour travel agency, provides various types of tours such as day trip tours or ordinary tours. In the case of bus tours, tourists do not drive their cars themselves, so they can savor alcohol. Choosen tourist attractions are national parks such as Rishiri and Rebun, Shiretoko, and popular tourist places such as Furano and Biei, and some activities such as hiking and fruit picking are also enjoyed depending on seasons. If you are interested in tour trips, you should visit the club tourism's website for details.
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