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What Not to Miss at Akan National Park

Established in the 1930s, Akan National Park is one of the oldest national parks in Hokkaido. Adorned with some of the clearest lakes around, naturally formed hot springs, and breathtaking scenery that goes through radical transformations with the seasons, the park promises outdoor activities aplenty and a true feast for the eyes.

  • Lake Mashu

    Lake Mashu

    Lake Mashu

    One of Akan National Park’s most enticing features has to be Lake Mashu whose crystal blue waters have earned it its status as the second clearest lake in the world. While it’s not possible to approach the water’s edge, taking a drive around the surrounding hills promises fantastic views over the lake, especially along the western side, whether it’s reflecting the bright blue sky and surroundings on a clear day or sat mysteriously in one of the frequently passing fogs. Traveling to the lake without a car involves a 25-minute bus ride from Mashu Station which will take you straight to one of the three observation decks.

  • Marimo Algae

    Marimo Algae

    Marimo Algae

    Found in just a few countries around the globe, marimo are large balls of algae that form naturally at the shallow shores of lakes. The right conditions are rare with a need for low light combined with currents that spin the algae causing it to form a spongy velvet-like ball. The eye-catching marimo can be found in their natural habitat at the edges of Lake Akan, while the Akan Lakeside Eco Museum Center offers a close up look from inside. Not limited to just the natural, the creation of the marimo mascot Marimokkori was inspired by these fluffy algae balls and attracts attention at shops all around Hokkaido for the risqué marimo ball he hides down his pants.

  • Lake Kussharo

    Lake Kussharo

    Lake Kussharo

    At 57 kilometers all the way round, Lake Kussharo is the largest of Akan National Park’s lakes. With an abundance of natural hot spring water in the area, there are several onsens offering a relaxing place to bathe whether inside or at an unmanned outdoor lakeside spring. The path that borders the lake acts as a picturesque hiking or cycling route, especially around the Wakoto Peninsula at the south of the lake which offers scenic trails through the luscious forests. Activities are by no means limited to the land with opportunities to get out onto the lake for a spot of kayaking or fishing.

  • Akan Lakeside Eco Museum Center

    Akan Lakeside Eco Museum Center

    Akan Lakeside Eco Museum Center

    The diverse natural landscapes and wildlife of Lake Akan can be appreciated in full with a trip to the Akan Lakeside Eco Museum Center. Found to the west of the lake, the museum is a great place to visit before heading out to the lake. With thorough explanations of everything from the mysterious marimo algae balls to the lake’s wildlife on land and off, you’ll know exactly what to look out for when arriving at the lake.

  • Autumn colors

    Autumn colors

    Autumn colors

    While the hues of Hokkaido transform together throughout the seasons, the autumn leaves of the woodland surrounding Lake Akan are in particular a sight to behold. Anyone visiting between the months of September and November shouldn’t miss the chance to scramble up a hill for a birdseye view over the multicolored forests below or follow a trail for a close-up look. For one of our recommended spots, head to the southeastern corner of Lake Akan where you’ll find the small adjoining Lake Taro. The rapids running off the lake here storm through low hanging blankets of trees in spectacular shades of red, orange, and yellow.

    阿寒
    Address
    北海道釧路市阿寒町阿寒湖温泉
    Phone
    0154-67-3200
    Akan-Mashu National Park
    Address
    Hokkaido Kushiroshi , Teshikaga Town, Kawakami gun, others
    Phone
    Lake Mashu
    Address
    Hokkaido Kawakamigunteshikagachou
    Phone
    Akankohan Eco-Museum Center
    Address
    Hokkaido Kushiroshi Akanchouakankonsen 1-1-1
    Phone
    0154674100
  • Lake Kussharo
    Address
    Hokkaido Kawakamigunteshikagachou
    Phone
    Taroko
    Address
    Hokkaido Kushiroshi Akan-cho National Forest 2129 Hayashihan
    Phone
    0154673200
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