Lake Shikotsu boasting one of the most transparent in Japan has sightseeing spots such as gourmet using “Himemasu” (red salmon) specialty product called “chip” and “Tunnel of Moss” and furthermore enjoying activities using “kayak”, etc. this lake has its own charm.
One hour by car from Sapporo and “Lake Shikotsu” which is a natural lake of a suburban type in Hokkaido. While in an environment close to the urban area, wild animals are abundant around Lake Shikotsu. During walks, we often see ezorisu (Hokkaido squirrel), including “Hokkaido’s animals” such as ezoshika (Hokkaido deer) and foxes.
On the south side of Lake Shikotsu, there is a mountain called Kimmorap, which is “Forest of Lake Shikotsu wild birds” under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Environment. A walking course that allows you to go around in around an hour and a half is recommended. The walking path is maintained and it is a very easy walking course. However, there are ups and downs, so easy walking shoes and clothes are essential.
If it is sunny, you can enjoy the unique lake surface of Lake Shikotsu with high transparency called “Shikotsu Lake Blue” during the daytime. Also, the morning of Lake Shikotsu where romantic scenery can be enjoyed is wonderful. In the morning sun, the silhouette of the surrounding mountains stands out, the sunrise appears on the lake surface. When staying on the shores of Lake Shikotsu, you should get up early.
Speaking of Lake Shikotsu, you should try eating “Himemasu dish”. It’s a food that you normally do not eat much, but its taste is wonderful. Especially in the season from May to July when Himemasu puts on fat.
In Hokkaido Himemasu is called “chip” and it is loved by locals as foodstuff. However, it is a good point of Lake Shikotsu Gourmet that not only Himemasu but also various dishes are prepared. Not only Japanese-style food but also Western restaurants, hamburgers, French etc, satisfying shops line up from children to elderly people. If you plan to travel Tomakomai and Chitose, you may drop by just for a meal.
It is recommended to use a car for sightseeing to Lake Shikotsu where rich nature remains. It is relatively close from Sapporo a little over one hour and from Shinchitose Airport about 30 minutes.
The maximum depth of water of 363 meters
Lake Shikotsu located in Chitose of the Hokkaido central part is a crater lake which has the 2nd pondage after Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture in Japan. The average depth of water is 265 meters, and the maximum depth of water of 363 meters is the 2nd depth in Japan. As a crater lake, it is the 2nd size in Hokkaido after the Kussharo lake.
Specular surface can be enjoyed
It is proud of leading transparency in the world, and always compete with Lake Mashu for the first or second place in Japan.
It is rare that fog appears in Lake Shikotsu in contrast with the mysterious Lake Mashu which is famous by being filled with fog, so the lake like a specular surface can be enjoyed.
The big tourist spot crowded with many people
The lake surrounded by exceedingly high mountains is quiet and it is located in the southernmost in Japan as an ice-free lake which does not freeze in winter. The spring fresh green, the summer camping, the autumn colored leaves. The winter “Hyoto Matsuri” (Ice Pillar Festival) and it show various beautiful real faces through the four seasons. Moreover, it will be easy to access from urban areas. It is a big tourist spot crowded with many people on Sunday.
Fantastic and romantic
The color of water changes from cobalt blue to emerald green at the place where depth of water becomes deep. This is the feature of a crater lake. It is the breathtakingly beautiful landscape. Clear blue water, the figure with the primitive state is fantastic. It is filled with a romantic scent in a ship.
The winter festival on behalf of Hokkaido
From the end of January through the beginning of February, “Shikotsuko Hyoto Matsuri” (Lake Shikotsu Ice Pillar Festival) is performed.
The art objects of large and small ice, which made by the water of the lake Shikotsu sprayed and freezed, stand in a row. It is the winter festival on behalf of Hokkaido.
It shines with the natural blue called “the Lake Shikotsu blue” in the daytime, and is lighted up by the colorful light and bring on a fantastic atmosphere at night.
Information(Access, Price/Charge, Tel, Address, Official site, etc.)
|Address:||Shikotsuko Chitose, Hokkaido 066-0281 Japan|
|Access:||JR Chitose-sen Line “Chitose-eki Station” (30 minutes by car)|
|Tel:||(+81) 11-299-1950 (Hokkaido Regional Environmental Affairs Office)|