- August 26th, 2014
[Mt. Iou in Teshikaga] Active Earth Can Be felt
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.
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. 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. Read More
Lake Kussharo (屈斜路湖), the largest caldera lake in Japan, is in Teshikaga town located in the northeastern direction 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. Read More
Iouzan Resthouse (硫黄山レストハウス), Tsutsujigahara Natural Trail (つつじケ原自然探勝路) and the parking lot are built on the site. As for the Iouzan Resthouse, a souvenir shop and a restroom are on the 1st floor, and Iouzan Nature Hall (硫黄山ネイチャーホール) is on the 2nd floor. Onsen egg (温泉卵), a Mt. Iou specialty, is very popular. At the Iouzan Nature Hall, they explain about a history and a natural environment of the Mt. Atosanupuri. By the way, From here to Kawayu Onsen, the Tsutsujigahara Natural Trail with 2.8 km in total length is set, and visitors can observe Marsh Tea or Creeping Pines along the trail. The Marsh Tea is in full bloom from June to July. The winter Mt. Atosanupuri covered with snow has a good reputation, too.
The distance is around 3 km away from the Kawayu Onsen, and the Mt. Iou supplies hot spring facilities with hot springs. In addition, Iouyama Onsen (硫黄山温泉) is on the Mt. Iou, but it has been prohibited to enter the mountain because a fall of rocks caused some deaths and injuries. By the way, a restraunt, a cafe and a convenience store are not built around here. But the Kawayu Onsen has the restraunt, the cafe and the convenience store.
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
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. I ate foods at the Teshikaga Ramen Head Office and Orchardgrass, and those were tasty.
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 direction 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
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 direction 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
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
Foot of Mt. Iou
The magnificent Mt. Iou with a lot of steam can be seen at the foot of the mountain. Hikers used to be able to go up the mountaintop, but it has been prohibited to enter the mountain because a fall of rocks caused some deaths and injuries. Fences are built at the foot of the mountain, so only a limited range can be observed. But a lot of the fumaroles are there and here, and can be seen up close relatively. Please feel a feeling of the earth in the air.
Atmosphere of Mt. Iou Can Be Watched on Youtube
|Admission fee||Free of charge|
|Parking lot||Pay parking lot is provided (100 Cars), Capacity for midsize vehicles: JPY 500. * Visitors can park their cars at the parking lot of Mashu 1st Observation Deck if they pay a fee.|
|Regular closing day||Winter season|
|Home page||Home page is here|
|Mapcode||731 713 826*32|
List of Activities
Kawayu Park Ranch holds a horse trekking tour near Mt. Iou. Refer to following websites for the activity companie. You can get information regarding online reviews and photos.
|Kawayu Park Ranch(川湯パーク牧場)||
List of Accommodations
Refer to following websites for the accommodations around the Mt. Iou. 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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If you think about a travel to Hokkaido, I hope the following is useful for you.
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