Lake Shikotsu in Chitose city, Hokkaido, the high transparency is one of the best in the whole country. The beautiful water that is qualified as No. 1 in the water quality survey is shining deep and beautiful light blue called “Lake Shikotsu Blue”. In addition, there are facilities such as Lake Shikotsu Onsen and Hokkaido’s only “vacation village” around Lake Shikotsu, and it is the national park with the most users among many national parks in Hokkaido. It is a spot where many people visit sightseeing throughout the year because access from Sapporo city by car is about 40 minutes.
“Shikotsuko Hyoto Matsuri” (Lake Shikotsu Ice Pillar Festival) will be held at such Lake Shikotsu. Speaking of Hokkaido’s winter, the “Sapporo Snow Festival” is famous, but the “Ice Festival” is also known as a winter festival that lasts more than 35 years. The beautiful world created by ice and the fantastically lighted up world are beauty nothing else. Please feel the beauty of Hokkaido in winter in the world of icy that the clear water of Lake Shikotsu creates.
Shikotsu Toya National Park in the southwestern part of Hokkaido. Lake Shikotsu Ice Pillar Festival is held from late January to late February every year, with Lake Shikotsu in the park as the venue.
“Lake Shikotsu Ice Pillar Festival” is an unparalleled festival specialized in “ice” in the whole country, large and small objects of ice show beautiful sights throughout the day and night.
Most of the numerous “Ice Pillar” decorating the festival is made by spraying water of Lake Shikotsu with a sprinkler and freezing it.
In “Lake Shikotsu Ice Pillar Festival”, you can see various works by ice. It is not an elaborate modeling like the “Sapporo Snow Festival” to be held at the same time, but an event that makes us feel the formative beauty that made use of the original ice form.
The ice pillar made from the beautiful water of Lake Shikotsu is colored in bright Lake Shikotsu Blue during the day. The water of Lake Shikotsu with high transparency reflects only the blue light when sunlight passes through it, so it shines like this beautiful blue.
The beauty that can be said to be the scenery of ice unique to Lake Shikotsu is a must-see.
It is a good lake of water quality, so that Lake Shikotsu becomes No.1 of Japan for eight consecutive years in spite of the city suburbs type lake of about 1 hour from Sapporo and Shin-Chitose Airport.
The event which exhibits “pale blue ice” which froze the water of this highly transparent Lake Shikotsu is “Lake Shikotsu Ice Pillar Festival.”
The “Pillar Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival” which is held during about half a month from the end of January every year, is the event which represents winter in Hokkaido as well as “Sounkyo Hyobaku Matsuri Festival” of Kamikawa-cho town and “Sapporo Snow Festival” of Sapporo-shi city. It is a historied festival which will continue for about 40 years, and 200,000 people visit every year.
The feature of this festival is in beauty of the ice which pumped up the water of highly transparent Lake Shikotsu and froze it. The Lake Shikotsu has little muddiness since it is “oligotrophic lake”, which generate few plankton, and there is also no inflow of drainage from the household. There is even the record of 30.7 meters of transparency. In order to freeze this highly transparent water taking many time, the completed ice has few impurities and tends to let a blue light pass.
The ice shining blue without dyeing.
It’s the characteristic that the art object of ice of light natural blue can be enjoyed.
The “Cave of Moss”, famous also as the sightseeing spot of Lake Shikotsu is reproduced in the icy cave. About 30 kinds of moss grow thick in originator’s the “Cave of Moss. However, in the icy cave, it is reproducing by a needle-leaf tree spreading around the wall or the ceiling.
The fireworks are launched from time at 18:30 on Saturday and Sunday during the period, and the festival site at fantastic night is colored more showily. The event which heaps up the festival such as the live music of the dynamic Japanese drum, the game convention and the present planning etc. are jam-packed.
|Name:||Shikotsuko Hyoto Matsuri (Lake Shikotsu Ice Pillar Festival)|
|Address:||Shikotsukonsen Chitose, Hokkaido 066-0281 Japan|
|Access:||Approximately 60 minutes from Shin-Chitose Airport by bus|
|Tel:||(+81) 123-23-8288 (Lake Shikotsu Ice Pillar Festival Executive Committee)|