“Lake Akan” in eastern Hokkaido. It is surrounded by beautiful nature and you can touch the special natural monument Marimo and the culture of indigenous Ainu people in Hokkaido. It is also full of charms such as high-quality hot springs. Introducing the attractions of Lake Akan area, a popular tourist destination visited by many people from home and abroad.
Lake Akan is a lake in Kushiro City, eastern Hokkaido. A caldera lake born from an eruption of a volcano about 158,000 years ago, designated as “Akan Mashu National Park” along with neighboring Lake Kussharo, Lake Mashu and Onneto.
Lake Akan is the 11th largest lake in Hokkaido. It can be reached in about 60 minutes by car from Tancho Kushiro Airport.
If you come to Lake Akan, first take a pleasure boat on the “Akan Sightseeing Cruise” and enjoy the magnificent view from the lake. At the turning point of cruising, landed on the small Chuului Island floating on the north side of the lake. You can also learn about the ecology of marimo at the “Marimo Exhibition Center” on the island.
There are two sightseeing boat platforms on the south side of the lake. It is the “Marimo no Sato pier” that starts and ends, and the “Koun no Mori pier” that stops along the sightseeing route. Both are located in the hot spring town and the boarding fee is the same (1,900 yen for adults, 990 yen for elementary school students and below. Both are tax-included), so you can board from the one with good access from the accommodation.
The service period is usually from mid-April to late November. Departure time and the number of ships vary from season to season, so it is recommended that you check the Akan Sightseeing Cruise website in advance.
The excursion boat starts from enjoying the scenery of Mt. Oakan, a sightseeing spot of Lake Akan. Mt. Oakan with an altitude of 1300 meters or more can be viewed from a very close position from the pleasure boat.
A must-see point on the pleasure boat course is sightseeing on Chuului. Lake Akan is dotted with four small islands. You can land on Chuului Island, one of the four islands, and visit the “Marimo Exhibition Center”.
Marimo is a natural monument of the country and a very rare creature, so you should definitely see it when you visit Lake Akan. It is the “Marimo Exhibition Center” on Chuului Island that you can observe carefully. Not only marimo but also a viewing space, you can see the whole area of Lake Akan.
In addition, “Benkei footbath” on the walking path of Lake Akan Eco Museum Center. There are many sightseeing spots in the surrounding area, so it is a good idea to stop by the footbath after a break. Because the footbath is poured from the source spring, let’s heal your mind and body along with the surrounding nature.
Lake Akan is a must-see tourist spot in Eastern Hokkaido, where you can enjoy not only watching but also dining and hot springs. There are also plenty of opportunities to experience the Ainu culture. Let’s enjoy the best time in Lake Akan where you can enjoy both sightseeing and culture.
Three lakes representing the eastern part of Hokkaido, Lake Akan, Lake Kussharoko, Lake Mashu. Both are volcanic lakes, but Akan Lake was made by the eruption of Mt. Oakan. You can see the beautiful view of Mt. Oakan and Lake Akan. It is also a famous sightseeing spot for Ainu Kotan (Ainu Village) and Marimo (lake ball), and it is also a mecca for winter fishing and outdoor sports as well as a beautiful outlook of nature.
Lake Akan is about 26 kilometers around and 420 meters above sea level. It takes about an hour by a pleasure boat to go around Lake Akan. There are four islands on the lake. Among them, Chuurui Island has Marimo’s exhibition observation center, which is the place to stop by the pleasure boat. Why does the alga grow up as a round marimo in Lake Akan? It depends on the accidental clearance of Lake Akan, various conditions such as lake shape, lake bottom condition, wave environment and water source diversity. For details, please check it at the exhibition observation center.
The sightseeing pleasure boat of Lake Akan will start business around the end of April, but about one week before the start of business, a ice crackling tour of the Akan is held and a sightseeing tour of the iceberry will be held. It is only here that you can see the icebreak in Japan. While watching the magnificent winter scenery of Akan, you can experience the force of ice cracking which blows off the cold. The ice crackling tour operates for about a week, but ice gradually melts, so it is recommended to go as soon as possible after the start of operation.
It is the recommended time to go around Lake Akan, the timing from summer to autumn. Summer is humid in Japan, but around Akan Lake is cool, you can watch nature comfortably with light clothing. Autumn passes, Hokkaido after November, especially in the winter around Lake Akan becomes extremely cold. However, there is also enjoyment only in winter. It is a scenery unique to cold areas, the whole surface covered with ice.
On the cold morning, “flowers on ice” which bloom only when several weather conditions overlap is becoming a topic of being fantastic and beautiful. The name is “Frosted Flower”. It is a natural phenomenon named “Flower” because water vapor forms crystals of ice on the lake surface and this frost spreads like needle-like and feather-like appearance as if it looks like a flower. This is a natural ice art that can be seen only at limited time and place, which is not well known among locals.
In addition to Frosted Flower, you can meet Lake Akan which shows a different face from time to time, such as the appearance of lake of sunrise, scenery of snowy field, fog ice, diamond dust.
|Address:||Akanchoakankonsen 2-6-20 Kushiro, Hokkaido 085-0467 Japan|
|Access:||JR Senmo-honsen Line “Mashu-eki Station” (45 minutes by car)|
|Tel:||(+81) 154-67-2254 (Lake Akan Tourism Association)|