Lake Mashu & Geothermal Hokkaido
Local Sightseeing, All
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Approximately 7 Hours
Visit the remote eastern part of the island of Hokkaido.
Your first destination is misty Lake Mashu, which is widely reputed to be the world's clearest lake. It features the most beautiful transparent, emerald-colored surface that changes moment by moment. The Ainu people have revered this lake as the 'lake of the gods' since ancient times, and today you'll enjoy a splendid view from one of the three observation sites. Another intriguing feature of this lake is that it is almost always shrouded in mist.
Nearby is the Mashu Hot Springs area. Visit Iozan (also known as Sulfur Mountain), an active volcano whose yellow, sulfurous vents can be viewed from up close. You may want to try some eggs cooked by the natural heat of geo-thermal activity (usually sold near the vents).
After lunch, free time is afforded for you to stroll around Kawayu Onsen -- a hot-springs resort town located northwest of Lake Mashu. The spring water has high sulfuric hydrogen content (rare in Hokkaido) and acts as a natural antibacterial. This quiet town has ashiyu (foot baths) where you can sit back and relax as you soak your feet in the natural hot water.
Not advisable for guests with mobility limitations. Wear comfortable walking shoes. Views are atmospheric conditions permitting. Lake Mashu is often surrounded by mist. Bring a towel if you wish to enjoy a brief footbath.