- May 5th, 2019
[Lake Toyoni in Erimo] Heart Lake with Rich Nature
Lake Toyoni (豊似湖) is a freshwater lake at about 260 m elevation in Erimo town located in the southeastern distriction of Tomakomai city, and was named after Mt. Toyonidake (豊似岳) near the lake. The Toyoni means “A place with soil” in Ainu language, and the lake is not related to its name. Ainu people used to call “Kamuito (カムイトウ)” that means “A marsh that a god lives”. The perimeter of the lake is about 1 km. The maximum water depth is about 18 m. The Lake Toyoni is well-known as a heart-shaped lake from the sky, and the another name is “Heart Lake”. Because the lake is thickly surrounded by virgin forests, I think that the herat-shape is even more emphasized. In an autumn, fall foliage is beautiful, too. A public restroom is built beside a parking lot. Admission free. The parking lot is free of charge.
The Lake Toyoni becomes known because it was choosen as a shooting place for Shiroi Koibito (白い恋人) TVCM, a popular Hokkaido souvenir. The lake is located at the foot of Mt. Kanondake (観音岳), and has a trailhead for Sarudake Mountain Path (猿留山道). It takes about 60 minutes from the downtown of the Erimo to here by car, and visiors must dive their cars through a forest road for about 8 km. Drive safely because the raod turns into a narrow gravel road on the way. By the way, Toyoniko A Round Trip Walking (豊似湖一周森近感ウォーキング) is held only in a day, late October.
Speaking of the Erimo, Cape Erimo (えりも岬) and Hyakuninhama Coast (百人浜) are famous. As for tasty restaurants in the Erimo, Isami-zushi (いさみ寿し) and Erimomisaki Sighseeing Center (えりも岬観光センタ－) are popular in particular. Unfortunately, hot springs do not gush out in the Erimo, a day trip bathing can be enjoyed at Apoidake Visitor Center (アポイ岳ビジターセンター) in Samani. By the way, a highway bus “Kosoku Erimo-go (高速えりも号)” runs between Sapporo and the Erimo.
Cape Erimo (えりも岬) is a cape in Erimo town located in the southeastern distriction of Tomakomai city. The Erimo means “A jutting head” or “A mouse” in Ainu language. A rocky shore jutting out from the center of Hokkaido to the south direction into the sea is named as so. The Cape Erimo is famous for strong wind, too, and has about 290 days with wind speeds of over 10 meters per second. There are a few days with maximum wind speed exceeded 40 meters per second. Erimomisaki Sightseeing Center (えりも岬観光センタ－), a parking lot, a public restroom, Cape Erimo Lighthouse (えりも灯台), a pavilion called Wind Hall (風の館) are built at the site, and visitors can enter the Wind Hall for a charge. The parking lot is free of charge. Read More
Hyakuninhama Coast (百人浜) is a sandy coast of about 15 km length in total in Erimo town located in the southeastern distriction of Tomakomai city, and is near Cape Erimo (えりも岬). The coast has a very good view, but it has been named after the sad history. A ship of Nanbu Feudal Clan (南部藩) used to be wrecked in the Edo period, and 100 crews died by starvation and drowning on this beach. The Hyakunin means “100 people (百人)” in English. But there are various theories, and 100 people died in all the theories after all. A sad accident was occurred on the background of the typical scenery of Hokkaido. So a lot of Japanese ghost stories are related to around here. Hyakuninhama Observation Tower (百人浜展望台), a public restroom, a parking lot, Hirennuma Pond (悲恋沼), Isseki-Ichijito Monument (一石一字塔), Hyakuninhama Auto Camping Site (百人浜オートキャンプ場) and Hyakuninhama Park Golf Cource (百人浜パークゴルフ場) are built near the coast. Admission free. The parking lot is free of charge. Read More
Look of Lake Toyoni
The Lake Toyoni does not activate a tourist resort, so it has an atmosphere such as a secret place. A path to go around the lake is built, but is is like an animal trail, so I think that visitors need to wear hiking equipment. In addition, here is a home for brown bears, so visitors had better bring bear protection gears such as bear bells. I think that visitors also had better bring water and mosquito repellent in a summer. A hiking registration box is set beside the parking lot, so please write your name, starting time and back time before hiking and after hiking. I went the lake in early May, and cherry blossoms in full bloom were beautiful.
The distance is 200 m from the parking lot to the Lake Toyoni. A scree slope with mossy rocks is on the way, and a view is just nature. 3 photographers pointed their camera at the scree slope, so I asked one of them what you took a photo, and he replied “Yezo Pika”. The Yezo Pika inhabits only around Daisetsuzan Mountain Range, so it is a rare animal. It is one of attractions of the Lake Toyoni.
A bench is set at an entrance of the lake, and walks of about 1.5 km length are built around the lake. I think that the visitors need to wear hiking equipment if they go around, but if they remain around the entrance, I guess that they do not need to wear hiking equipment. If it is fine weather, the blue lake like Mashu Blue of Lake Mashu (摩周湖) can be enjoyed. By the way, a lot of brown bears inhabit here, so you had better avoid having a meal. A smell of the meal attracts the bears.
First I walked the path in a counterclockwise direction. The path was like a mountain trail. Seasonal wild flowers bloomed along the path. If it rains, the ground gets muddy, so I think that visitors had better wear comfortable shoes. After walking for about 200 m, the path was submerged, so I went back. Other visitors also went back, so the path disappeared after all.
Seocond I walked the path in a clockwise direction. The clockwise path was a little hard to walk because of rocky places. A angler fished on the way, and I asked what type you catched a fish, he replied “White-spotted cha”. And he said “A rainbow trout also inhabits here”, too. After walking for a while, I reached a junction for the Sarudome Mountain Path. I met a bird watcher. Everyone has their own hobby, and the Lake Toyoni attracts various people.
Wild plants grew thichly at the lakeshore. When I passed by there, I suddenly heard a noise at the wild plants, so I bewared the brown bears, but it was a fox. It was sleeping. I was surprised at it, but it was surprised at me, too. The fox did not run away whether it became friendly with people. The fox looked cute. Please do not worry! I surely did not feed wildlife.
A depression part of the heart is a small hill, and visitors have to go over the small hill to go a round. The slope of the path is not steep, so no problem. Stone pillars and artifact like a garbage collection point are built on the small hill, but I do not know what those are. People live here?
Butterbur shoots grew thickly over the flat lakeshore. I heard that brown bears sometimes eat the butterbur shoots, so I avoided getting close to there, and I walked the lakeside as much as possible. I found a gushing out water point. The Lake Toyoni does not have an effluent river and an inflowing river, and I did not expect that here was a water source in such a place.
Because the counterclockwise path was submerged, it was about time to turn back. But I decided to go to the very limit. The slope was steep and was easy to slip. I walked it, and finally I finished going a round. It took about 60 minutes on foot. Although I spended my photo time, ordinary hikers can go a round for about 30 minutes. I got sweaty, so I think that visitors had better prepare a change of underwear.
|Admission fee||Free of charge|
|Parking lot||Free parking is provided (10 Cars)|
|Business hours||24 Hours|
|Regular closing day||Winter season|
|Home page||Home page is here|
|Mapcode||765 618 390*86|
List of Activities
Helicopter Cruise is held from early October to mid October. Refer to following website for the activity. You can get information regarding online reviews and photos.
List of Accommodations
Refer to following websites for the accommodations in the Erimo. You can get information regarding online reviews and photos.
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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