Akan Mashu National Park - Japan Travel Guide - Japanspecialist

Akan Mashu National Park

All the way up in northern Hokkaido are some of the world's most beautiful crater lakes.

About Akan Mashu National Park
Akan Mashu National Park in northern Hokkaido is known for unspoiled nature, volcanoes and crater lakes of almost unearthly beauty. The most famous lake is Lake Mashu, considered by many to be Japan's most beautiful lake. The water here is the clearest in all of Japan.

A unique unspoiled landscape created by volcanoes
Lake Mashu has several different vantage points from where you can enjoy stunning views if the weather permits. Please note that the lake is often shrouded in clouds. There is also a serene walking route that reaches approx. one third around the lake (about 7 km). Another lake is Lake Kussharo, which is the largest of the crater lakes with a circumference of 57 km. There are many opportunities for water activities here, as well as hiking and cycling. Most usually spend the night at Lake Akan, in the small town of Akankohan. You can go on cruises on the lake famous for its special round algae, or climb one of the area's two mountains, Oakan and Meakan, both of which are ancient volcanoes. They are not difficult to climb, but it requires proper footwear and is only recommended between June and October due to the weather.

Other attractions in Akan Mashu National Park
You can visit Ainu Kotan - a small village where you can buy traditional crafts made by Hokkaido's indigenous people, the Ainu. If you are interested in birds, you can drive approx. 1 hour to another national park, Kushiro Marshland: the home to the only remaining Japanese cranes.

NOTE: Meakan is still an active volcano, and this may from time to time result in restrictions on how close you can get. We ask for your understanding of this.

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