- February 22nd, 2016
[Lake Shikaribetsu Kotan in Shikaoi] Ice World Can Be Enjoyed on Frozen Lake
- Lake Shikaribetsu Kotan
- Venue of Lake Shikaribetsu Kotan
- List of Activities in Lake Shikaribetsu
- List of Accommodations
Lake Shikaribetsu Kotan
Lake Shikaribetsu Kotan (然別コタン) is a winter event in Shikaoi town located in the north part of Obihiro city, and has been held on Lake Shikaribetsu near the hot spring resort from late January to late March since 1980, and about 40,000 tourists come to enjoy winter cold. Buildings called igloo made of snow and ice by Inuit people are built on 80-100 cm-thick lake ice, and Kotan (コタン * a village of the Ainu people) is formed. Making period is about 1 month. Because the village shows up on the frozen lake only in a winter, it is called the phantom village. Indeed, if snow and ice melt, nothing remains. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge. By the way, this event is sometimes closed depending on bad weather.
Lake Shikaribetsu is a freshwater lake at 804 m above sea level, the highest lake in Hokkaido, between Shikaoi town and Kamishihoro town located in the north part of Obihiro city, and is well-known for enjoying the beautiful starry sky. In the Eastern Daisetsu Area (東大雪エリア), Daisetsuzan National Park, this lake is also the only natural lake in the Daisetsuzan National Park. The perimeter of the lake is about 13.8 km. The maximum water depth is 98.5 m. The lake water is very clear, and it is said that the lake is the 2nd clearest lake after Lake Mashu in Japan or the clearest lake in the Japan, and there are various opinions about clear lake water. After all, the lake has very clear lake water. It is also well-known for the only lake that Miyabe Charr (ミヤベイワナ), "Dolly Varden Trout (オショロコマ)" that was confined in the lake evolves, inhabits. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge. Read More
Shikaribetsu Kohan Onsen
Shikaribetsu Kohan Onsen (然別湖畔温泉) is a hot spring resort in Shikaoi town located in the northwestern part of Obihiro city. The distnace is around 30 km far away from the center of the Shikaoi, Hotel Fusui (ホテル風水) is built at about 800 above sea level in the western side of Lake Shikaribetsu (然別湖) in Estern Daisetsu Area, Daisetuzan National Park. Unfortunately, restraunts, cafes, cafes, souvenir shops and convenience stores are not built. There are Lake Komadome (駒止湖), Ogigahara Lookout (扇ケ原展望台) and Shikaribetsu Hokugan Campsite (然別湖畔北岸野営場) near here. Kanno Onsen (菅野温泉), Shikaribetsukyo Campsite (然別峡野営場), Shikaribetsukyo Shika-no-Yu (然別峡 鹿の湯) and Lake Shinonome (東雲湖) are relatively near here, too. In addition, there is Fukuharasan-so (福原山荘), a famous place to see the fall foliage, too. Read More
Daisetsuzan National Park
Daisetsuzan National Park (大雪山国立公園) in the center of Hokkaido is the largest national park in Japan, the size of 226,764 ha, and has been designed as the national park since 1934, and is the oldest national park in the Hokkaido along with Akan Mashu National Park (阿寒摩周国立公園). A mountain named Daisetsuzan does not exist, and the whole area including the mountains with over 2,000 m above sea level such as Mt. Asahidake (旭岳), the highest mountain in Hokkaido, Mt. Kurodake (黒岳), Mt. Aibestudake (愛別岳), Mt. Tomuraushi (トムラウシ山) is collectively called "Daisetsuzan", and those are called "A roof of the Hokkaido" ,too. Rare nature such as active volcanoes, Lare Columnar joints, a sea of trees and permafrost even in the Hokkaido can be seen. About 250 types of alpine plants grow naturally, and various forms of life such as brown bear, blakiston's fish owl, dolly varden and pine grosbeak inhabit here. By the way, A right notation is "Daisetsuzan", but local people often call "Taisetsuzan". Read More
Winter Festivals in Hokkaido
Snow often begins to fall around Christmas season, and Hokkaido is covered with the snow until late March that snow begins to melt, the ground turns into the white world in a winter. The snow falls in silence, and the temperature falls, too, and its peak is February, and various winter events that snow, ice and coldness can be enjoyed are held all over Hokkaido around the February. Read More
Venue of Lake Shikaribetsu Kotan
Ice buildings such as Ice Bar, Ice Hotel, Ice Chapel, open-air baths on ice and Ice Maze are at the venue. The village is not large, so the visitors can look around for about 30 minutes. This place gets cool nearly 20 degrees celsius below zero, please fully enjoy non-daily life. But please make sure you will protect yourself against cold weather.
Ice Shot Glass Making Experience Room (氷のジョッキ製作体験室), the Ice Bar, the Ice Theater and the Ice Hall are near the entrance. There is not a restroom at the venue of Lake Shikaribetsu Kotan, and the visiotrs must go a public restroom near Lake Shikaribetsu Nature Center and a souvenir shop.
Ice Bar has cafe time and bar time, and the cafe time is from 10:00 to 17:00. The bar time is from 20:00 to 22:00. Tour time is from 09:00 to 22:00, and the visitors can go in and out freely. 1 drink is JPY 500. In case of using an ice shot glass, JPY 500 separate fee is required.
In the Ice Hall, various singers perform live on the weekends.
When the visitors go down a hill, they reach to the frozen Lake Shikaribetsu. I felt it became bitterly cold more. A snowmobile experience place, the Ice Maze, the Ice Hotel, the Ice Chapel and the open-air baths are on the frozen lake.
The visitors can actually stay at the Ice Hotel. They accept a stay at Hotel Fusui (ホテル風水). I suppose that I get very cold to sleep at the igloos, but a sleeping bag for cold climate seems to be very comfortable. As far as I searched, there is no person frozen to death yet.
At the Ice Chapel, a wedding ceremony is actually held. Unfortunately, common people can not enter.
The Open-air Bath on Ice is well-known for the only open-air bath on the frozen lake in the world. Bathrooms and dressing rooms are made of snow, and 2 open-air baths are the size that 4 people can take a bath, and use free flowing hot springs. Fruits of the earth makes our body get warm. Read More
Atmosphere of Lake Shikaribetsu Kotan Can Be Watched on Youtube
|Admission fee||Free of charge|
|Parking lot||Free parking is provided (30 cars)|
|Regular closing day||From late March to mid January|
|Home page||Home page is here|
|Mapcode||702 388 482*28|
List of Accommodations
Refer to following websites for the accommodations in the Shikaribetsukohan Onsen. You can get information regarding online reviews and photos.
A page of Lake Shikaribetsu is here
A page of Daisetsuzan National Park is here
Daisetsuzan 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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