[Lake Shumarinai in Horokanai] Japan's Largest Man-Made Lake That is Famous for Complicated Topography Like Fjord and Extreme Cold
May 11th, 2013
Lake Shumarinai (朱鞠内湖) is a man-made lake in Horokanai town located in the northern part of Asahikawa city, and is well-known for the largest man-made lake in Japan. 13 big and small islands float on the surface of the lake, and a feature of the lake is complicated topography like a fjord. The perimeter of the lake is about 40 km. The maximum water depth is 40 m. 1st Uryu Dam (雨竜第一ダム) was built in 1943, and the lake was born. The water surface is 23.73 km2. The height of the concrete gravity dam is about 45.5 m. The Horokanai is one of the coldest places in the Japan, and In Moshiri (母子里) nearby the lake, -41.2 degrees Celsius, the Japan's lowest temperature, was recorded in 1977, and a monument named Crystal Peaks was built. The Horoknai has also heavy snow, and my father told me that Horokanai people used to go in or out their houses via the 2nd floor because an entrance of the 1st floor was surrounded by snow in a winter. The winter is amazing in the Horokani.
The 1st Uryu Dam, Shumarinaiko Lookout (朱鞠内湖展望台), Lake House Shumarinai (レークハウスしゅまりない), 1st Shumarinaiko Campsite (朱鞠内湖第一キャンプ場), 2nd Shumarinaiko Campsite (朱鞠内湖第二キャンプ場), 3rd Shumarinaiko Campsite (朱鞠内湖第三キャンプ場), Fishermen's Cooperative Management Ridge (朱鞠内湖淡水漁業協同組合 遊漁者管理・休憩棟), a pier of a sightseeing pleasure boat and Shumarinai Parking Area (朱鞠内パーキングエリア) are built in the southern part of the lake. The lake is surrounded by deep virgin forests, so people can approach the lake shore at few places. Thanks to that, here is also famous as a good place to see beautiful fall foliage. In addition, here is one of the latest cherry blossoming places in the Japan because of the heavy snow.
Itou Fish (イトウ) called a phantom fish inhabit the lake, and fishing lovers come from all over the Japan. The possibility of catching the Itou Fish seems to get higher if they order a fishing guide, so a lot of repeaters come. Other types of fish can be caught, and from May to November is torut season, and from January to March is pond smelt season. Anglers can enjoy fishing big and small fish. In addition, some activities can be enjoyed, too. In a summer, visitors enjoy the sightseeing pleasure boat, kayak and canoe, and snowmobiles can be experienced on the iced lake in the winter. By the way, Lake Shumarinai Lake Water Festival (朱鞠内湖湖水祭) is held only in a day, early August.
The Horokani is famous as a buckwheat noodle town, and has the largest amount of yield from buckwheat in the Japan. As for tasty restaurants in the Horokanai, most of those are restaurants related to buckwheat noodles, and Hachiemon (八右ヱ門), Kiritachitei (霧立亭) and Soba-no-Sato (そばの里) are popular in particular. I ate the buckwheat noodles at the Hachiemon, and it was tasty. As for onsen, a day trip bathing can be enjoyed at Seiwa Onsen Ruonto (せいわ温泉 ルオント).
Horokanai Buckwheat Fields
Horokanai town in the northwestern part of Asahikawa city is the best buckwheat town in Japan. Total buckwheat planted area is 3,200 ha, and the amount of buckwheat production is over 2,900 ton, and those are the largest area and production in the Japan. Its quality is the best grade in the Japan, too, and Horokanai Buckwheat Noodles (幌加内そば) has a good reputation. In a summer, the buckwheat fields are covered with white flowers, and I think that visitors are moved by the views. The best time to see is from late July to mid August. The Horokanai has 4 famous viewing spots, and white buckwheat flowers can be enjoyed at Soba-no-Hana Observation Deck (ソバの花展望台), Hakugin-no-Oka (Silver) Hills (白銀の丘), Junpaku-no-Oka(Snow-white) Hills (純白の丘) and Shirojutan-no-Hatake (白絨毯の畑 * Fields of the White Carpet). Article is here
Hachiemon (八右ヱ門) is a popular buckwheat noodles restraunt in Horokanai town located in the northwest part of Asahikawa city. There is a building near Horokanai town office. Horokanai is famous as a major production area of the highest-grade buckwheat flour. The buckwheat noodles using buckwheat flour produced in Horokanai can be eaten. They got the Bib Gourmand in MICHELIN GUIDE Hokkaido 2012 Special Edition. I visited the Hachiemon several times before, but the business was closed around 13:00 and I was not able to enter it. It is a popular after all. However, it opened a business and I visited here when I happened to pass around 13:30 on weekdays. Article is here
Look of Lake Shumarinai
Tourist attractions of the Lake Shumarinai are roughly divided into 3 places, the Shumarinaiko Lookout, Campsites and the Shumarinai Parking Area. The Shumarinaiko Lookout is a lookout point nearby the 1st Uryu Dam. The lake can be viewed from a small hill. A gazebo, a parking lot and a dead wokers' cenotaph are built at the site. Admission free. The parking lot is free of charge.
The center of Lake Shumarinai tourism is the campsites. Those have the Lake House Shumarinai, the 1st Shumarinaiko Campsite, the 2nd Shumarinaiko Campsite, the 3rd Shumarinaiko Campsite, the Fishermen's Cooperative Management Ridge, the pier of the sightseeing pleasure boat and parking lots. Anglers pay fishing fee at the Fishermen's Cooperative Management Ridge, and can take a ship that ferries something across the lake for fishing. From June to September, visitors can enjoy the sightseeing pleasure boat for about 30 minutes. Boats can be rented, too. A restroom is at the Fishermen's Cooperative Management Ridge. Admission free. The parking lots are free of charge.
The Shumarinai Parking Area is away from the campsites and the 1st Uryu Dam, and is a parking park along National Route 275, and is one of few places to see the lake at a high position of about 330 m elevation. But a view is disturbed by the virgin forests, so it is hardly to see unluckily. The parking lot and a gazebo are built at the site. Admission free. The parking lot is free of charge.
Atmosphere of Lake Shumarinai Can Be Watched on Youtube
|Admission fee||Free of charge|
|Parking lot||Free parking is provided (100 Cars)|
|Business hours||Open 24 hours|
|Regular closing day||Open all year round|
|Home page||Home page is here|
|Mapcode||740 502 521*00|
List of Events
The Lake Shumarinai Lake Water Festival is held near the Lake Shumarinai.
List of Activities
Some activities are held in the Lake Shumarinai. Refer to following websites for the activities. You can get information regarding online reviews and photos.
Some Guided Tours
|Lake Shumarinai World Center, NPO, Inc.(NPO法人シュマリナイ湖ワールドセンター)||
List of Accommodations
Refer to following websites for the accommodations near the Lake Shumarinai. You can get information regarding online reviews and photos.
|Lakeside Camping Ground Log Cabin(湖畔キャンプ場 ログキャビン)||
|Teuchisoba-no-Yado Soba-no-Hana(手打ち蕎麦の宿 そばの花)||
|Lake House Shumarinai(レークハウス しゅまりない)||