This Snow Village in Hokkaido Is Located on Top of a Frozen Lake
And it's only around for 60 days!
Lake Shikaribetsu Kotan
Kitaurimaku, Shikaoi, Kato District, Hokkaido
Open from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Schedules may vary)
Admission Fee: Free
Lake Shikaribetsu is known as the highest lake in Hokkaido. On this lake, a dreamlike village called the Lake Shikaribetsu Kotan appears for 60 days every year. There, you’ll find buildings and igloos made of snow and ice, which will all eventually melt away during the springtime.
This year, the village will be open from January 26 to March 21, 2019.
A sneak peek of the breathtaking view of the snow village on top of Lake Shikaribetsu.
Kotan means “settlement” or “village” in Ainu. The buildings found in the snow village, such as the church and the theater, were actually built to look good both in person and in photos.
Aside from that, there is an open-air bath where you can relax and admire the magnificent snowscape. The bath is open from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. The men’s bath is open from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., while the women’s bath is open from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Do note that the temperature here drops to as low as negative 30 degrees Celsius. We recommend that you wear clothes, which you can take off easily since the changing rooms are also made out of ice and snow.
An open-air bath on the lake!
After taking a bath, you can drink alcohol at the two-story ice bar and also sleep at the ice lodge. The sleeping bags provided are surprisingly warm so you can expect to sleep better than usual.
Staying at Lake Shikaribetsu Kotan allows you to witness amazing sights, which you can only see under rare weather conditions. You can gaze at the beautiful starry sky at night and view the “diamond dust” on the silvery white landscape during the morning.
The church and theater in the snow village are made out of ice and snow.
During the middle of February, the village holds a candlelight event when visitors can light candles inside an ice chapel.
Overall, being in this snow village will feel as if you’re dreaming and have been transported to an extraordinary place.
Provided by Japan Walker™, Walkerplus™, Tokyo Walker™ (21 January 2019)