4 Reasons Why This Lake in Japan Should Be on Your Itinerary

It's just an hour away from Sapporo.

Located just an hour away from Sapporo City,
Lake Shikotsu is famous for having crystal clear waters. While the lake alone is worth a visit, there’s more to Japan’s second deepest lake than just the view. Here are four reasons why this needs to be a stopover.

It’s very near the Kyoboku no Mori.

This primitive forest on the west coast of Lake Shikotsu is home to towering 300-year-old trees that will take your breath away. In fact, its name literally means Gigantic Tree Forest! 

Kyoboku no Mori is located at Bifue, Chitose, Hokkaido. You can contact the Chitose Tourist Association via +81-123-24-8818.

It brings you closer to the aquatic life. 

See what swims beneath Lake Shikotsu’s famously transparent waters when you go sightseeing by boat. With glass windows located two meters below deck, the Lake Shikotsu Sightseeing Boat can introduce you to more than a few interesting water creatures. You can also rent a high speed boat for a 10km course (10 minutes) or ride a pedal boat.

You can find the dock at Lake Shikotsu Hot Spring, Chitose, Hokkaido. Contact them at +81-123-25-2031. Opening hours are from 8:40 a.m. to 5:10 p.m., depending on the season and the day’s weather. Closed from the beginning of November to late April. Charge for sightseeing boat: ¥1,620 for 30 minutes (¥810 for children).

It’s a great place for kayaking. 

Here’s another option for those who want to see what’s underneath Lake Shikotsu. The Lake Shikotsu Clear Kayak Tour has kayaks with transparent bottoms that will make you feel as if you were actually in the water.

The meeting place for the Lake Shikotsu Kayak Tour is at Guesthouse Shikotsu Kamui. Contact the Ocean Days Hokkaido Diving Shop at +81-123-25-4133. Reservation is required. Charge for the tour: ¥7,000 for 2 hours.

A rare hot spring can be found here. 

Separated only by rocks from Lake Shikotsu, Hot Spring Hotel Marukoma is popular among tourists and locals alike. Aside from its proximity to the picturesque lake, however, this hot spring is also famously rare in Japan because of the 50-degree-Celsius waters coming out from the underlying gravel and rocks. Depending on the season or the weather, the depth of the hot spring can also change from around 50cm to 160cm, which would make it the same water level as Lake Shikotsu.

Hot Spring Marukoma is located at 7 Shikotsuko Borobinai, Chitose, Hokkaido. Contact them at +81-123-25-2341. Open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (last admission to the spa is 3 p.m.). Charge for a day spa: ¥1,000 for adults.

Why don’t you relax at the hot spring after your forest and boat trip at Lake Shikotsu?

Provided by Japan Walker™ and Hokkaido Walker™ (20 August 2017)

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