Play in Lake Akan
and the great outdoors
of East Hokkaido.

The area around Lake Akan
is started with this dotted with
sightseeing spots that let you relish
the lush nature and culture of this land.
Venture a little further out
to explore famous places
such as
Shiretoko, a World Heritage Site,
Lake Mashu, and Lake Kussharo.

Things to see near Lake Akan

The Lake Akan hot spring resort and its surroundings
offer many things to see and do that will stimulate your senses.
Bountiful nature, Ainu culture and art, hot springs. Mysterious legends
and good traditions lurk here as well.
Explore the country in Lake Akan at your leisure
and discover all its mysteries.

Cultural Facilities

  • Akan Art Gallery & Gift Shop

    Akan Art Gallery
    & Gift Shop

    Opened on April 29, 2022, this gallery features a permanent exhibition of photography by Makoto Ando as well as displays and sells work by other artists with ties to Hokkaido.

  • Eco-Museum Center

    Eco-Museum Center

    Has exhibitions and information on the origins of Akan National Park and its flora and fauna, with a focus on Lake Akan.

  • Marimo Exhibition and Observation Center

    Marimo Exhibition and Observation Center

    Located on Churui, a remote island floating in Lake Akan, this center lets you observe the marimo (moss ball) of Lake Akan, a nationally-designated natural monument. Arrive by pleasure craft or high-speed boat, then view the enigmatic creatures within tanks of varying themes.

  • Akan Tsuruga Besso Hinanoza Wildflower Gallery

    Akan Tsuruga Besso Hinanoza Wildflower Gallery

    A small museum with free admission that exhibits watercolors and woodblock prints of the wildflowers populating the East Hokkaido and Lake Akan areas.

  • Lake Akan Ainu Kotan

    Lake Akan Ainu Kotan

    The largest Ainu settlement in Hokkaido, with 120 inhabitants in 36 houses. There are also around 20 craft shops and restaurants.

  • Ujo Noguchi Poem Monument

    Ujo Noguchi Poem Monument

    A monument featuring a poem about Kushiro by Ujo Noguchi, famous for Red Shoes and Seven Children. Located in the courtyard of Akan Yuku no Sato Tsuruga.

  • Akanko Marimu Hall

    Akanko Marimu Hall

    A facility containing a tourist information office within the Lake Akan hot spring resort area. They provide sightseeing brochures as well as tourist information on the hot spring resort area.

  • Lake Akan Ainu Theater Ikor

    Lake Akan Ainu Theater Ikor

    Ikor is Japan's first indoor theatre specializing in Ainu culture, located in Lake Akan Ainu Kotan, a village of folk art and dance. Ancient Ainu dances and more are performed here.



    A bakery, café, and bar on the first floor of Akan Forest and Tsuruga Resort Hanayuuka. Baguette sandwiches and other bread-based foods are served during brunch and lunch, while food and bread to savor alongside beer and wine are served during dinner.

Natural and Spiritual Sites

  • Bokke (Mud Volcano)

    Bokke (Mud Volcano)

    A mud volcano within walking distance from the Lake Akan hot spring resort town. Gases spew forth from underground, meaning there is no snow even in winter.

  • Mount Oakan

    Mount Oakan

    A graceful mountain on the eastern side of Lake Akan, designated as an active volcano in 2011. Above the fifth station is an alpine belt.

  • Mount Meakan

    Mount Meakan

    An active volcano at an altitude of 1,449 meters towering on the southwest side of Lake Akan. This mecca for mountaineers is listed among the One Hundred Mountains of Japan.

  • Mount Hakuto

    Mount Hakuto

    The observatory on the south side of Akankohan Ski Resort commands sweeping views of Lake Akan. There is also a nature trail and the Mount Hakuto mud volcano (bokke).

  • Lake Taro & Lake Jiro

    Lake Taro & Lake Jiro

    Two small lakes on the eastern tip of Lake Akan, just past the Mount Oakan hiking trail. Surrounded in primeval forest, this place is full of mystery.

  • Onneto


    Also known as the “Five-Colored Lake” (Goshiki Numa), the colors of this lake shift between clear blue, emerald green, and indigo depending on the season, the weather, and the angle.

  • Yaitai Island

    Yaitai Island

    An island where the White Dragon God is enshrined. Guarded by both the Water Dragon and the Mountain Dragon, this place is full of powerful feng shui energy. Yaitai Island is accessible by motorboat.

  • Shrine to the White Dragon God

    Shrine to the White Dragon God

    Located on Yaitai Island, this shrine consecrates the White Dragon God.

  • The Navel of Lake Akan

    The Navel of Lake Akan

    The deepest part of Lake Akan at 44 meters deep. Yet this sacred spot offers views of four mountains, including Mount Meakan.

  • Owl Shrine

    Owl Shrine

    Located just behind the lobby at Akan Yuku no Sato Tsuruga is a shrine with a giant wooden sculpture of a Blakiston’s fish owl.


  • Kamuy Lumina (Summer)

    Kamuy Lumina (Summer)

    Held annually from June to November. A new tale of the forest at night, based on tales from the indigenous Ainu. Magical lights, sounds, images, and stories beckon you to worlds of the unknown.

  • Senbon Taimatsu (Thousand Torches) Festival (Autumn)

    Senbon Taimatsu (Thousand Torches)
    Festival (Autumn)

    Held annually from September to October. Torches are lit to pray for the continued protection of the lush nature surrounding Lake Akan. Flames flicker throughout this hot spring resort town as a way of giving thanks to the god of fire, Apehuci Kamuy, and this vast northern land.

  • Lake Akan Ice Festival (Winter)

    Lake Akan Ice Festival (Winter)

    Held annually from February to March. Enjoy the Winter Fireworks Show set off over frozen Lake Akan as well as many events and activities that can only be experienced during winter on Lake Akan.

Hand Baths & Foot Baths

  • Lake Akan Marimo Foot Bath Ure Karip

    Lake Akan Marimo Foot Bath Ure Karip

    A new foot bath opened in the Lake Akan hot spring resort area. Relax casually here as a break from walking around town.

  • Benkei Foot Bath

    Benkei Foot Bath

    A gazebo-style foot bath next to the walking path. Take in a foot bath while gazing at Lake Akan. Unavailable during the snow season.

  • Fukuro no Teyu (Owl Hand Bath)

    Fukuro no Teyu (Owl Hand Bath)

    A hollow trunk of an elm thousands of years old, full of hot water. Above the bath is a wooden sculpture of a Blakiston’s fish owl, the guardian deity of the village.

  • 工房の手湯

    Kobo no Teyu (Hand Bath)

    Outside is a hand bath. Inside is the Foot Bath Cafe, where you can soak your feet while enjoying some sweets.

  • Marimo Hand Bath

    Marimo Hand Bath

    Next to the hot water basin is a magnificent granite marimo (moss ball) sculpture, and lyrics to the song “Marimo no Uta” written on the sign add a seasonal touch.

  • Itsutsu no Shiawase no Yu

    Itsutsu no Shiawase no Yu

    A foot bath in front of Pan de Pan. Warm your mind and body as you read the sign about the “Five Mindsets” possessed by the forest spirits of Akan.

Things to see in East Hokkaido

East Hokkaido is home to countless nature parks, including three national parks.
This dynamic land is interwoven with precious primeval forests, magnificent mountains,
stunning lakes and rivers, vast flower gardens, and marshes.
Get ready for the awe and excitement awaiting you in each area!

Kushiro Area

  • Washo Market

    Washo Market

    The enormous “kitchen of Kushiro”, home to over forty fishmongers, grocers, tea shops, and sushi restaurants. You’ll want to visit this place at least once if you ever find yourself in Kushiro, which boasts some of the largest catches in Japan.

  • Robata


    Robatayaki is a cooking method in which seasonal fish and vegetables are grilled over charcoal. Choose what you want to eat and have it grilled for you on the spot.

  • Chikuroen Azumaya

    Chikuroen Azumaya

    A restaurant specializing in Soba that was founded in the city of Otaru in 1874, then relocated to Hakodate in 1912. We recommend the special course offering three different kinds of soba.

  • Sarubo Observatory

    Sarubo Observatory

    At the entrance to the observatory is an information board as well as a hiking course that lets you observe nature throughout the seasons.

  • Hosooka Observatory

    Hosooka Observatory

    An exemplary observatory commanding views of Kushiro Marsh. Gaze out over the meandering Kushiro River and vast green wetlands against the Akan Mountains in the distance.

  • Kushiro Marsh Observatory

    Kushiro Marsh Observatory

    Located 5 kilometers north of the city center of Kushiro is Kushiro Marsh, the largest marsh in Japan. To the west of Kushiro Marsh Observatory is a walking path.

  • Kushiro Marsh Wildlife Conservation Center

    Kushiro Marsh Wildlife Conservation Center

    Display boards provide information on the current status of endangered wildlife, such as Blakiston’s fish owl and the red-crowned crane, as well as on Kushiro Marsh, one of their natural ecosystems.

  • Kushiro Red-Crowned Crane Reserve

    Kushiro Red-Crowned Crane Reserve

    A nature park where red-crowned cranes roam free. The park was established in 1958 to conserve and propagate the endangered red-crowned crane.

  • Akan International Crane Center Grus

    Akan International Crane Center Grus

    Grus is the Latin word for crane. The Crane Center displays materials introducing the ecology of the red-crowned crane as well as crane pastures.

  • Kushiro Fisherman's Wharf MOO

    Kushiro Fisherman's Wharf MOO

    A lively building on the waterfront, connected directly to Nusamai Bridge. This center consists of MOO, a facility that brings together dining, shopping, and leisure, and Ever Green Garden, also known as EGG.

  • Kushiro City Museum

    Kushiro City Museum

    The exhibition is divided into 8 themes, with highlights such as “The People of Sakorobe”, which presents Ainu culture, and the “Red-Crowned Crane Corner”.

  • Nusamai Bridge

    Nusamai Bridge

    A bridge connecting Kita-Odori road in the center of Kushiro to Minami-Odori road on the opposite bank. One of the top three most famous bridges in Hokkaido, this bridge is lined with four bronze statues symbolizing each season.

Teshikaga/Lake Mashu Area

  • Lake Kussharo Monogatari Marukibune

    Lake Kussharo Monogatari Marukibune

    Located on the shore of Lake Kussharo in Akan National Park is Lake Kussharo Monogatari Marukibune, where you can enjoy a full course of Ainu fusion cuisine. The water is sourced from Kushiro River at 159 kilometers.

  • Lake Kussharo Tsuruga Auberge SoRa

    Lake Kussharo Tsuruga Auberge SoRa

    Vegetables and seasonal produce grown in plenty of sunshine are transformed into natural French cuisine. Not only is lunch and dinner served here, but this auberge (French-style inn) lets you stay as well. (Closed in winter)

  • Lake Mashu

    Lake Mashu

    Boasting some of the clearest waters in the world, this lake is blue as far as the eye can see, and is renowned for its magical fog in summer.

  • Lake Kussharo

    Lake Kussharo

    Popular activities here include fishing, canoeing, and other sports and leisure activities, as well as bathing in the open-air baths dotting the lakeshore.

  • Mount Io

    Mount Io

    The rumbling plumes of sulfur are overwhelmingly powerful. In early summer, white rhododendron flowers bloom all across the foothills.

  • Lake Mashu Observatory No.1

    Lake Mashu Observatory No.1

    An observatory overlooking Lake Mashu, called Kamuy To (meaning “lake of the gods” in Ainu).

  • Lake Mashu Observatory No.3

    Lake Mashu Observatory No.3

    An observatory located 3 kilometers north of Lake Mashu Observatory No.1, offering commanding views of Kamuishu Island on the Lake, Mount Mashu in the front, and Mount Io and Lake Kussharo in the background.

  • Uramashu Observatory

    Uramashu Observatory

    An observatory in the town of Kiyosato on the northeast bank. It is located at an altitude roughly 100 meters lower than Lake Mashu Observatory No.1 and No. 3, for a relatively higher chance of seeing the lake surface.

  • Taiho Sumo Memorial Museum

    Taiho Sumo Memorial Museum

    Kawayu Hot Springs in the town of Tashikaga is where 48th yokozuna (sumo grand champion) Taiho, touted as the “eternal yokozuna”, spent his youth. His beloved ornamental apron as well as photographs are on display.

  • Kussharo Kotan Ainu Folk Museum

    Kussharo Kotan Ainu Folk Museum

    This museum consists of five themes surrounding the people of the village of Kotan and has screenings of Multi-Scope, a program on Ainu culture. Here, the life and culture of the Ainu come alive.

  • Kawayu Eco Museum Center

    Kawayu Eco Museum Center

    This center helps connect visitors with nature, history, and the culture of Kawayu.

Shiretoko Area

  • 喰いもの処 車馬道

    喰いもの処 車馬道


  • しれとこ海鮮料理 番屋

    しれとこ海鮮料理 番屋


  • Shiretoko Five Lakes

    Shiretoko Five Lakes

    A set of five amorphous lakes. The lakes do not have individual names and are called things like Lake One and Lake Two for convenience. These truly enigmatic lakes have no rivers flowing in or out.

  • Furepe Falls

    Furepe Falls

    South of Utoro Lighthouse the waterfall where underground water springs forth from a Cliff facing the Sea of Okhotsk. This place is also called Otome no Namida (“Maiden’s Tears”) because only a small amount of water trickles here.

  • Oshinkoshin Falls

    Oshinkoshin Falls

    Situated on Route 334 connecting Shari to Utoro is the biggest waterfall on Shiretoko Peninsula. It is also called Futami (“Two Beauty”) Falls because the waterfall splits in two midway through.

  • Shiretoko Sightseeing Ship Aurora

    Shiretoko Sightseeing Ship Aurora

    Gaze out at Shiretoko Peninsula from aboard the boat. Watch cliffs carving an intricate coastline flowing forth with waterfalls as you relax aboard the craft.

  • Shiretoko Museum, Shari

    Shiretoko Museum, Shari

    The harshness of life in nature in prehistoric times among indigenous peoples as well as the history of the town of Shari and its wild flora and fauna are presented through models and videos.

  • Higashimokoto Shibazakura Park

    Higashimokoto Shibazakura Park

    Moss phlox turns the entire slope of the hill pink when in bloom. Moss phlox is in season from late May to early June.

  • Shiretoko World Heritage Conservation Center

    Shiretoko World Heritage Conservation Center

    Learn about the magic and highlights of the Shiretoko World Heritage Site, as well as seasonal area information and rules for conserving nature. Photographs of animals as well as models of claw marks and other traces of wildlife are also on display.

  • Shiretoko National Park Nature Center

    Shiretoko National Park Nature Center

    An original film that lets you experience nature in Shiretoko is shown on one of the largest screens in Hokkaido. There are also promenades and walking courses in the surrounding area.

  • Shiretoko Rausu Visitor Center

    Shiretoko Rausu Visitor Center

    The nature, history, and culture of Shiretoko are presented in detail through panels and other exhibits as well as through video. This center provides the information necessary for understanding Shiretoko National Park and enjoying the wildlife there.

Things to see near Lake Akan

*Please scroll horizontally.

  Temperature(℃) Appropriate attire for the Lake Akan area
High Average Low
Jan -4.3 -10.5 -17.7
  • Down jacket
  • Scarves
  • gloves
A down jacket or coat is required.
Scarves and gloves are also required.
Feb -3.4 -9.9 -17.6
Mar 0.9 -4.8 -11.7
Apr 8.2 2.2 -3.7
May 14.8 8.1 1.7
  • Down jacket
  • Scarves
On some days, a long-sleeved shirt may suffice.
Jun 18.7 12.7 7.2
Jul 21.7 16.5 12.1
Aug 22.8 18.0 13.7
Sep 18.4 13.4 8.6
  • sweater
  • Scarves
  • Down jacket
A jacket or sweater is required.
On some days, you may need a coat.
Oct 13.1 7.2 1.6
Nov 5.6 0.4 -4.9
Dec -1.3 -6.5 -12.4
Annual 9.6 3.9 -1.9



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