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Lake where Marimo lives

Lake Akan-ko

Recommended degree
★★★★

Best season:Spring(Mar.-May)Summer(June-Aug)Autumn(Sept.-Nov.)Winter(Dec.-Feb.)

Lake Akan-ko

Enjoy the culture and nature of Lake Akan-ko

Lake Akan-ko is located in Kushiro city of Hokkaido Prefecture and is the 5th largest freshwater caldera lake in Hokkaido.  It is famous because it is the only lake in Japan with colonies of Marimo (Type of spherical algae).  Because these Marimo algae grow in a perfect spherical shape, it has been designated as a special natural monument of Japan.

The majestic scenery of Mt. Oakan towering on the east bank is a masterpiece. There are four islands within Lake Akan-ko such as Chuurui Island and Yaitai Island. There is a sightseeing boat that goes to Chuurui Island where visitors can see Marimo in their natural habitat.

The four seasons bring a different nature experiences to Lake Akan-ko. In particular, during the winter, the surface of the lake freezes and visitors can enjoy smelt fishing, skating, snowmobiling, winter sports, Akan-ko Ice Festival and ornate fire on the ice surface.

In the spring, an icebreaker boat breaks the surface of the ice.  In the fall, in September and October, the ‘’Thousand Torchlight’’ event is held.  The Ainu, indigenous people of Hokkaido, pray to the fire god and form a line of light and parade through the onsen hot spring town.  It is possible to participate in this event as well.

In addition to the Akan-ko Onsen hot spring in the hot spring town on the south bank of Lake Akan-ko, there are other attractions such as the Ministry of Enviroment’s Eco Museum Center, and Maeda Kinenkan Memorial with exhibits about those who contributed to nature protection around Lake Akan-ko.

The "Ainu Kotan" village exists in one corner of the lake.  It is Hokkaido’s largest Ainu village.  There are traditional dances at the "Onnechise" stage, "Ainu Living Memorial" which introduces their traditional culture, "Forest and Lake Arts Museum", as well as shops selling wood carving souvenirs. 

Access

By public transportation:  Take the JR Nemuro-honsen Line to Kushiro Station.  There, transfer to the Akan Bus Akan Line and get off at the "Akan-ko Onsen" bus stop. 

By car:  It is a 1 hour 10 minute drive from the "Bihoro IC" interchange on the Bihoro Bypass.  There are paid parking lots around the onsen hot springs area.

Information of Lake Akan-ko

Spot name Lake Akan-ko
Address Akan-ko Onsen, Akan-cho, Kushiro-shi, Hokkaido
TEL 0154-67-3200
FAX 0154-67-3024
Fee 0yen

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