- May 4th, 2017
[Sokodai Lookout in Akan] Viewing Point That Lake Penketo and Lake Panketo May Be Seen at Same Time
Sokodai Lookout (双湖台) in Kushiro city is around 12 km away from Lake Akan, and is well-known as a viewing point at about 680 m above sea level to view Lake Penketo (ペンケトー) and Lake Panketo (パンケトー) born by an eruption of Mt. Oakandake (雄阿寒岳) along Akan Odan National Route (阿寒横断道路 * National Route 241). Those lakes are off‐limits to common people, so here is the only viewing point. The Soko (双湖) means "Twin lakes" in Japanese. In Akan Mashu National Park, only Sokodai Parking Area (双湖台駐車帯) is on the site. A building for taking a rest and a public restroom used to be, but those are not used at present. Unfortunately, this place is not lively as a tourist attraction. Admission free. The parking lot is free of charge. By the way, the Akan Odan National Route connecting Akan with Teshikaga town has a lot of sharp curves, so it is popular with tourist motorbike riders and driving lovers. Drive safety!
Lake Akan (阿寒湖) is a caldera lake in the northern part of Kushiro city, and the Akan means "Immovable" in Ainu language. In Akan Mashu National Park, the perimeter of the lake is about 25.9 km. The maximum water depth is 45 m. The lake is well-known for growing Lake Ball (Marimo). Old Lake Akan was dammed by eruptions of Mt. Oakandake (雄阿寒岳) 10,000 years ago, and 3 lakes, the Lake Akan, Lake Panketo (パンケトー) and Lake Penketo (ペンケトー) were born. Trees such as Yezo spruce, Abies sachalinensis, Painted maple and Mongolian oak grow naturally around the lake, and the lake side is covered with the primeval forest. 24 types of wild animals such as Brown bear and Yezo deer and 65 types of wild birds such as Black woodpecker inhabit, and the lake has been designed as a wetland under the Ramsar Convention since 2005. Around the Lake Akan, there are Takiguchi (滝口) that is famous for a beauty spot of fall foliage, Akankohan Lookout (阿寒湖畔展望台 * Akankohan Ski Resort) with a good view, Lake Onneto (オンネトー), Mt. Oakandake (雄阿寒岳), Mt. Meakandake (雌阿寒岳), Sokodai Lookout (双湖台) and Sogakudai Lookput (双岳台). Read More
Sogakudai Lookout (双岳台) along the Akan Odan National Route is relatively near here, and a restraunt, a cafe and a convenience store are not built around here. The restraunt, the cafe, the convenience store and onsen are in Akan-kohan Onsen Resort and the center of the Teshikaga.
Sogakudai Lookout (双岳台) in Kushiro city is around 15 km away from Lake Akan, and is well-known as a viewing point to see Mt. Oakandake (雄阿寒岳) and Mt. Meakandake (雌阿寒岳) on the top of a pass at 740 m above sea level along Akan Odan National Route (阿寒横断道路 * National Route 241). The Sogaku means "Twin mountains" in Japanese. Except Sogakudai Parking Area (双岳台駐車帯), there is no facility. Admission free. The parking area is free of charge. By the way, the Akan Odan National Route connecting Akan with Teshikaga town has a lot of sharp curves, so it is popular with tourist motorbike riders and driving lovers. Drive safety! Read More
By the way, Sunrise Asahikawa-Kushiro-go (サンライズ旭川・釧路号), an express bus, runs between the Kushiro and Asahikawa, and Marimo Express Obihiro-go (まりもエクスプレス帯広号), an express bus, runs between the Lake Akan and Obihiro and Senpoku-go (釧北号), an express bus, runs between the Kitami and the Kushiro, and Akan Airport Liner (阿寒エアポートライナー) runs between the Lake Akan and Tancho Kushiro Airport. In addition, some nonstop buses for hotel guests seem to run between Sapporo, New Chitose Airport, Obihiro, Kushiro and the Akanko Onsen.
Kushiro (釧路) that about 170,000 people live is the 5th largest fisheries city in Hokkaido, and is one of regional hub cities of the Eastern Hokkaido area. The Kushiro became incorporated with Akan town (阿寒) and Onbetsu (音別) in 2005, and has became the 3rd largest city by area in the Hokkaido. In Japan, it is the 7th latgest city by the area. The Kushiro is also well-known as a tourist city with rich nature, and has 2 very famous national parks, Kushiro-Shitsugen wetland (釧路湿原), the largest wetland in the Japan, and Lake Akan (阿寒湖) consisted by primeval forests and lava. In addition, the beautiful sunset can be seen, too, and the Kushiro is one of the three major places to see the beautiful setting sun in the world together with Manila in Philippines and Bali in Indonesia. 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
An empty building and a lookout on a small hill are around 30 m away from the parking area. Small logs are set to see the Lake Penketo that means "An upper lake" in Ainu Language and the Lake Panketo that means "A lower lake" in the Ainu language on the lookout. You would fall off the logs because the logs are not fixed. In fact, it is hardly to see the lakes, and people should bring a stepladder. I could hardly see the Lake Penketo. In addition, It is said that the Lake Panketo is like a shape of Hokkaido.
Atmosphere of Sokodai Lookout Can Be Watched on Youtube
|Admission fee||Free of charge|
|Parking lot||Free parking is provided (50 Cars)|
|Business hours||Open 24 hours|
|Regular closing day||Open all year round|
|Home page||Home page is here|
|Mapcode||739 414 509*18|
List of Accommodations
Refer to following websites for the accommodations around the Lake Akan. You can get information regarding online reviews and photos.
A page of Lake Akan is here
A page of Akan Mashu National Park is here
Akan Mashu National Park
A page of Kushiro is here
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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Japanese Travel Agency
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If you think about a travel to Hokkaido, I hope the following is useful for you.
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