Shikaribetsu Lake “Kotane”, a popular tourist destination in Hokkaido, is a village that exists only in winter on Shikaribetsu Lake. Lake Shibetsu “Kotan” is a phantom village where you can enjoy “because of the cold winter in Hokkaido”. Would you like to enjoy the world of silver, superb views, and hot springs as far as you can see? Introducing the light, hot springs and ice bars, various experiences, and recommended information for the dream village Shikaribetsu Lake “Kotan”.
Shikaribetsu Lake is the highest altitude lake in Hokkaido. The minimum winter temperature is minus 30 degrees, and the lake surface is covered with about 60 centimeters of ice from the end of December. The phantom village Shikaribetsu Lake “Kotan” will appear there for 60 days only from late January to the end of March.
Shikaribetsu Lake Kotan’s buildings, playgrounds, and outdoor hot springs are all made of ice and snow. Everything will melt away in the spring. Therefore, there are rules that must be observed during the period. Eating, drinking and smoking outside of the designated areas are prohibited. Do not spill hot water when bathing in the open-air hot springs. Do not squeeze towels outside. Please note that if you can’t follow the rules, you must do forced labor.
All the buildings of the phantom village “Kotan” are not artificially constructed, but are made of natural ice pillars and snow 40 cm square cut out from the lake. The construction of the building is done by local people around Lake Shikaribetsu, Self-Defense Forces, craftsmen, volunteers from all over the world, Japanese artists making Swedish ice hotels, etc.
Frost flower is an ice flower that can only be seen in the morning on a very cold day. The frost that forms on the surface of the frozen lake gradually grows from the middle of the night and looks like a beautiful flower. At Shikaribetsu Lake “Kotan”, you can see many beautiful natural phenomena that are limited to winter that you can’t see anywhere else.
Recently, it has become a popular tourist spot visited by as many as 40,000 people. There is a free shuttle bus from Obihiro Station. The ride time from Obihiro Station to Shikaribetsu Lake is about 1 hour and 40 minutes.
Every year, igloos are handmade one by one, and in the true sense they are the only one, no one is the same.
One of the highlights of Shikaribetsu Lake Kotan is the art of ice and snow. The largest igloo (ice tent) is two stories high. Everything you see, such as finely decorated tables, pillars, animals and trees, will be beautifully drawn into the world of snow and ice sculpture. It is made of snow blocks made by consolidating snow on ice, or blocks cut from ice on the lake.
Speaking of ice lodges, there are many people who think of Finland and Sweden. Actually, there is an ice lodge in Shikaribetsu Lake “Kotan”. Of course the building, but also the beds, tables and chairs are all made of ice and snow. Even if you don’t go to the Nordic region, you can stay at the longed-for ice lodge at Shikaribetsu Lake “Kotan”.
There is also an accommodation facility in an igloo building in Shikaribetsu Lake Kotan. “Ice lodge”, where both the building and the bed are made of ice, has a completely different experience from the accommodations that have been available so far. The inside of the building is unexpectedly warm, and when sleeping, there is a shruff for extreme cold, so it is not cold. Why do not you stay at a wonderful ice lodge that will last a lifetime?
Shikaribetsu Lake “Kotan” becomes a silent world at night. There are various sounds in everyday life, and there is almost no silence. A night of silence on a frozen lake is a memory you will never forget.
Inside the ice dome, where attention is paid to every detail, it’s fine enough to call it art.
Lake Shikaribetsu is a famous tourist spot where tourists constantly visit regardless of the season. It is located in the east Tokachi area of Hokkaido, a lake that spans the northern Shikaoi-cho Town in Tokachi and the southwestern part of Kamishihoro-cho Town, the altitude is about 810 meters, and in Hokkaido it is located at the highest altitude. In the winter, the lake freezes, and villages made by human hands appear. It is “Shikaribetsuko Kotan”, and many tourists visit as events that can be enjoyed only during this period. “Kotan” means “village” in the Ainu language, and it is an event that people who visited become residents and have experience of the coldness of winter.
The inside of the ice dome, which sticks to details, is so beautiful that it can be said as art, but you can enjoy just by watching ice sculptures. Ice objects are lighted up at night, and ice and light celebrations invite you to a world that is unlikely reality.
On the lake there are many ice tents called igloos and you can enter inside. There are many igloos made on the ice of Lake Shikaribetsu, and various events are held. These events are held late at night, so after having enjoyed Kotan you can taste the nature as much as you can watch the starry sky.
The building with the ice sculpture is very high quality. It is also one of the fun of “Shikaribetsuko Kotan” that you can appreciate many ideas and technologies packed in it.
The popularity of Kotan that can fully enjoy “cold” and “ice” has spread rumors abroad, and it has evolved to an event that is drawing attention from all over the world now.
Make a village with snow and ice
Lake Shikaribetsu that altitude is the highest in Hokkaido is the only natural lake in Daisetsuzan National Park.
“Shikaribetsuko Kotan”, which is an event to represent winter of Hokkaido, is held on the lake which continues freezing for the longest time in Japan until from the end of January to the end of March. It is an entertainment to make a village with snow and ice on the ice of the Lake Shikaribetsu that froze,
Ice pub and outdoor bath on the ice
During a period ice pub and outdoor bath on the ice, the ice lodges which can enjoy a staying experience, various igloos (ice house) stand.
Enjoy in the deep of winters of Hokkaido
“Kotan” is the word of the Ainu race and is the meaning of “a village, the community”.
People made a building “igloo” made with snow and ice to enjoy in the deep of winters of Hokkaido to their heart’s content. This was the start of the Shikaribetsuko Kotan.
The changing rooms are made with the snow and the ice
During the period of this event, an outdoor bath on the ice which can experience only at this time comes up. It is the natural hot spring in a high quality, and the changing rooms are made with the snow and the ice. Because the entrance fee for the hot spring is free and it opens from 6:30 until 22:00, you can enjoy an open atmosphere only in Hokkaido of the cold winter.
A glass made of ice
In “the ice pub” which can drink delicious liquor with a glass made of ice, not to mention hot drink warming a cool body, the original cocktail is prepared. You can enjoy cocktail, a soft drink for one cup of 500 yen.
|Adresse:||Kitaurimaku Katogun Shikaoicho, Hokkaido 081-0344 Japan|
|Access:||JR Nemuro-honsen Line “Shintoku-eki Station” (1 hour by car)|
|Tel:||(+81) 156-69-8181 (Shikaribetsuko Kotan Executive Committee)|
|Price/Charge:||Ice Lodge : 11,000 yen / person|
Please refer the official web page.