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Sightseeing Spots


 Attractions  Hot Spring  Museum  Park and more  


◎Attractions

Lake Mashu 摩周湖
Lake Mashu is located 11km from JR Mashu station and 12km from JR Kawayu Onsen station. The lake is 20km in circumference, 19.2km2 in area and a depth of 211m at its deepest point and the surface of the lake is 351m above sea level.The lake is surrounded by cliffs, all of which are 300m to 400m in height with an angle of 45 degrees. Lake Mashu is called “The Lake of Mist” as a thick layer of fog obscures the surface at times. However, when the fog dissipates, the true beauty of one of the most pristine lakes in the world is revealed: the water's unique shade of indigo called “Mashu blue”. The color of the lake does change from time to time, attracting visitors from around the world all throughout the year.Though there is no river flowing in or out from Lake Mashu, the water level remains constant.
Access: 14 min. drive from JR Mashu station to the Observation Deck 1 (10.9km) or 21 min. drive from JR Kawayu Onsen station to the Observation Deck 3 (10.5km)

Read more about Lake Mashu

Mt. Io 硫黄山
Mt. Io − “Atosa-nupuri” in Ainu language, is a spectacular sight to behold: an active volcano that spews clouds of sulphur into the air, providing a unique photo opportunity. Alpine flora cover the surrounding lowlands extending to the nearby town of Kawayu Onsen where the Sulphur smell of Mt. Io is still present. There is a 50m deep crater on the mountain side called “the bear trap”. As its name implies, it was used by the Ainu people to capture bears. The face of Mt. Io is roped off as loose rocks make climbing the mountain very dangerous.
Access: 20 min. walk from JR Kawayu Onsen station (1.6km) or 30 min. walk from Kawayu Onsen town center (2.4km)

Read more about Mt. Io

Lake Kussharo 屈斜路湖
Lake Kussharo is another caldera lake located 2.1km west of Kawayu Onsen. It has a perimeter of 57km, an area of 79km2, and is 117.5m deep at the deepest point. It is the largest caldera lake (6th largest overall) in Japan. The size of the lake is truly put in perspective when you spot an island, measuring 12km in perimeter and 5.7km2 in area, nestled in the center of the lake. It is the largest island in a freshwater lake in all of Japan. The surrounding mountain passes provide an astonishing panoramic view of the lake amidst the backdrop of luscious green forest and vast blue sky. Lake Kussharo offers many recreational activities including multiple campsites, sailing, canoeing, outdoor natural hot springs, and fishing. Many different forms of wildlife call Lake Kussharo home including the whooper swan, which migrates to Lake Kussharo during the winter months.

Read more about Lake Kussharo

Sunayu 砂湯
The sandy beach of Sunayu on the shore of Lake Kussharo offers swimming along with a lovely campsite. The sand of Sunayu also holds a secret. If you dig a hole, hot spring water wells up, allowing visitors to make their own personal outdoor onsen. Sunayu is also a great site to see whooper swans in the colder months.
Access: 26 min. drive from JR Mashu station (22.9 km) or 10 min. drive from Kawayu Onsen town center (8 km).

Read more about whooper swans of Lake Kussharo

Wakoto Peninsula 和琴半島
Wakoto peninsula is a volcanic islet connected to the main land by a sandbar. Because of geothermal heat, crickets can be seen even in winter! In summer, you can hear the buzz of minmin cicadas as Wakoto peninsula is the northern limit of their habitat. It takes about an hour to go around the peninsula where you can spot unique flora and fauna, while hot springs dot the landscape. At the edge of the peninsula, there is a place called “Oyakotsu-Jigoku” which was created by lava flow and is still active. There are two campsites and a field house open during the summer where you can learn about nature in the area. You can also enjoy beautifully colored leaves in autumn.
Access: 23 min. drive from JR Mashu station (19 km) or 26 min. drive from Kawayu Onsen town center (20.9 km).

Read more about Wakoto Peninsula

900 Grassland 900草原
Vast 1,440 hectares grassland where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the whole town of Teshikaga, Mt. Mashu, Mt. Io, and Mt. Mokoto. On a clear day you can even see Mt. Meakan and Mt. Oakan. This grassland is a ranch with 2,300 milking cows. The ranch is so huge that a motorbike is used for managing the cows. There is an observation tower, lounge, park golf course, and a walking path as well. You will be amazed by the magnificent endless rolling green. The lounge is closed from November to late April and the access roads are usually closed from December until late April depending on the snow condition.
Access: 16 min. drive from JR Mashu station. (6.1 km)

Bihoro Pass 美幌峠
The pass is located 525m above sea level and divides Bihoro town and Abashiri city on route 243. Bihiro pass offers a breathtaking view of Lake Kussharo. The absolutely stunning view of the sunrise through a sea of clouds will provide memories to last a lifetime. In 1953, a very popular movie, “Kimi no Na wa” (Your name), was shot here.
Access: 46 min. drive from JR Mashu station. (43.6 km)




◎Hot Spring

Kawayu Onsen 川湯温泉
Kawayu Onen is a historical hot spring area with several large hotels. There are a few rivers of hot water and pine tree forests surrounding the hot springs. The water of Kawayu's hot springs is very acidic (PH of about 1.8) and has bactericidal effect on your skin.

Hot Spring Description
Quality : Acid hydrogen-sulphide springs & Acidic Sulphur springs
Temperature : 35〜64.4℃
Indications : Rheumatism, diabetes, neuralgia, sciatica,skin disease

【JR Kawayu Onsen Station Foot Bath】 川湯温泉駅 あし湯
Opened on June 20 in 2003 at the station, this hot spring is called "Hot Spring of Beauty" since it contains sodium bicarbonate which smooths skin. The hot spring also contains salt which prevents the evaporation of perspiration, leaving a salt film on the skin to keep your body warm. The temperature of the hot spring is about 70℃. Relax here and relieve some stress. Then continue on your pleasant trip.
Access: 0 min. from JR Kawayu Onsen station

【Kawayu Onsen Foot Bath】 川湯温泉街 あし湯
Opened in 2002 at the center of Kawayu Onsen town, this foot bath became a fantastic gathering place, as locals and tourists soak their feet and chat together. Yunokawa hot spring river directly flows into the foot bath, so you can experience 100% natural, alfresco, Onsen.
Access:10 min. by bus from JR Kawayu Onsen station to Kawayu Onsen bus terminal and then walk 5 min. (4 km)

【Kawayu Onsen Public Bathhouse】 川湯温泉 共同浴場
Just across the road from the foot bath, you can find the public bathhouse which is loved by locals as well as tourists. Some are waiting for the baths to open (9:00am) while enjoying the foot bath.
Access:10 min. by bus from JR Kawayu Onsen station to Kawayu Onsen bus terminal and then walk 5 min. (4 km)


Mashu Onsen摩周温泉
Mashu Onsen is another historical hot spring area located in the heart of Teshikaga. Opened in 1875, the hot spring is not only used for bathing, but also for heating roads and houses in winter. The hot spring is mild and refreshes the skin. There are some Ryokan (Japanese style small inn) and B & B accommodations in this area.

Hot Spring Description
Quality : Chloride spring - alkalescent, hypotonic and high temperature water.
Temperature : 25〜96℃
Indications : Incised wound, depression, skin disease, rheumatism

【JR Mashu Station Foot Bath】 摩周駅 あし湯
Located outside of the station, you can enjoy the foot bath while waiting for your train or bus. Free cushions are available at the information desk in the station building. There is also a hot spring drinking fountain.
Access: 0 min. from JR Mashu station

【Izuminoyu Public Bathhouse】 泉の湯 共同浴場
If you like piping hot hot springs, this is the place for you! You’ll meet locals and get local information.
Open: 1:00 pm − 9:00 pm
Closed: every Tuesday
Fee: JPY 200 / adult
Access: 19 min. walk from JR Mashu station. (1.6 km)

【Kamenoyu Public Bathhouse】 亀の湯 共同浴場
Close to the campsite of Sakuragaoka Shinrin park, campers come here for refreshment in summer. Exchange travel information while relaxing in the hot spring!
Open: 6:00 am − 8:00 pm
Fee: JPY 200 / adult
Access: 26 min. walk from JR Mashu station. (2 km)


Onsen around Lake Kussharo

There are many hot springs along the shore of Lake Kussharo. You can enjoy different types of hot springs, mostly outdoors with spectacular views of the lake and surrounding mountains. There are a few lakeside accommodations in the woods: you can relax while listening to the birds sing in the morning and watching the stars shine in the evening.

【Sunayu Outdoor Bath】 砂湯
If you scoop out a hole in the sand at the beach “Sunayu”, you will find enough hot spring water welling up to be able to make your own open air Onsen bathtub.
There are also campsites along the shore. You can go swimming in the lake and then take a dip in the hot springs.
Whooper swans come to visit Sunayu in late October and, after their long journey, stay for aboutsix months. You can watch them from the foot bath on the beach in winter.
Access: 26 min. drive from JR Mashu station (22.9 km) or 10 min. drive from Kawayu Onsen town center (8 km).

【Ikenoyu Outdoor Bath】 池の湯
If you like WILD hot springs, this is the one for you. Lake water flows directly into the bath, and the temperature is about 38℃ which is refreshing even in the summer. In winter, you can try out bathing with whooper swans! You’ll find an amazing view of the lake, especially at sunset, while relaxing in the warm water. There are changing rooms for visitors.
Access: 24 min. drive from JR Mashu station (20 min.) or 17 min. drive from Kawayu Onsen town center. (11.1 km)

【Kotan Onsen Outdoor Bath】 コタン温泉
Built by local volunteers who wanted to create the greatest outdoor bath in all of Hokkaido at the lakeside of Kussharo. The bath offers an unbelievable view. You'll be able to gaze through the transparent water of the lake in spring and summer, take in the beautiful lake surface reflecting the burning reds of Autumn, and share an afternoon with about 150 whooper swans dancing right before your eyes in winter. The beautiful scenery at twilight is beyond description. You will make unforgettable memories!
Closed between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm on Tuesday and Friday for cleaning.
Access: 18 min. drive from JR Mashu station (15.8 km) or 19 min. drive from Kawayu Onsen town center. (15 km)

【Kotan Onsen Public Bathhouse】 コタン温泉 共同浴場
Close to the outdoor bath, there is a public bathhouse for both locals and tourists. Meet locals and chat with them!
Open: 12:00 noon − 10:00 pm
Closed: every Wednesday
Fee: JPY 200 / adult
Access: 18 min. drive from JR Mashu station (15.8 km) or 19 min. drive from Kawayu Onsen town center (15 km)

【Wakoto Onsen Outdoor Bath】 和琴温泉
Go for a walk through Wakoto Peninsula and then get a great view of Lake Kussharo while relaxing in the huge hot spring located at the entrance of the walking path. Whooper swans may take a bath with you in winter! There is a changing space in the hut next to the outdoor bath. Because it is close to the campsites, many campers come in the morning and evening throughout summer.
Access: 23 min. drive from JR Mashu station (19 km) or 28 min. drive from Kawayu Onsen town center. (20.9 km)





◎Museum

Mashu area
【Teshikaga-no-kura】 てしかがの蔵
Local museum with all the history of Teshikaga town.
You’ll find treasures of Hokkaido railways as well as thousands of photos, posters, and household items from days gone by. You might even discover something very precious among them!
You need to make a reservation 5 days in advance to visit this museum.
Tel: 015-482-2948 (Teshikaga Boad of Education)
Acess: 10 min. walk from JR Mashu station. (800 m)


Kawayu Onsen area
【Taiho Sumo Museum】 大鵬相撲記念館
Since the great Yokozuna (Sumo Champion), Taiho, spent his boyhood in this town, a Sumo Museum and his statue were built to memorialize his great triumph. You can even try on the deceptively heavy “keshomawashi” −a sumo wrestler’s ceremonial apron-- in the museum.
Open: 5:30 am − 9:00 pm (June 1 − October 20)
9:00 am − 5:00 pm (October 21 − May 31)
Fee: JPY 420 / adult
H/P: http://www.masyuko.or.jp/sumo/
Acess: 10 min. by bus from JR Kawayu Onsen station to Kawayu Onsen bus terminal and then walk 1 min. (4 km)

【Kawayu Eco-museum Center】 川湯エコミュージアムセンター
This museum is a must for anyone who wishes to learn about nature in this region of Hokkaido. The museum offers information on: the geographic history of Akan national park, Ainu culture, the flora and fauna in the Kawayu area, and more!! After studying, or maybe even a guided tour, you can enjoy the nearby foot bath.
Open: 8:00 am − 5:00 pm (April − October)
9:00 am − 4:00 pm (November − March)
Closed: every Wednesday (The following day if a public holiday falls on Wednesday) and December 29 − January 3.
H/P: http://www6.marimo.or.jp/k_emc/english/english.html
Access: 10 min. by bus from JR Kawayu Onsen station to Kawayu Onsen bus terminal and then walk 8 min. (4.3 km)


Kussharo area
【Ainu Folklore Museum】 アイヌ民俗資料館
Opened in 1982, this museum has been educating about the lives of the Ainu people who have lived in Kussharo Kotan (village) since ancient times. You can find artifacts from two to six thousand years ago and learn about Ainu culture and history. A film of “Iyomante” − a ceremony for sending back the spirits of bear cubs is available.
You can also experience some of Ainu culture! Try on traditional Ainu clothing and have your picture taken. The instructor will teach you about the significance of Ainu patterns and embroidery.
Open:9:00 am − 5:00 pm(April 29 − October 31)
Closed:November 1 − April 28
Fee: JPY 420 / adult
Access: 17 min. drive from JR Mashu station (15.6 km) or
20 min. drive from Kawayu Onsen town center. (15.3 km)





◎Park and more

Mashu area
【Suigo Park】 水郷公園
A park with a walking path and bird watching hut beside a pond where you can enjoy flowers and birdwatching (including whooper swans in winter and white-tailed eagles all year round). There is a bridge called “Nandaro” − meaning “what is that?” over the Kushiro river near the park. The name of this bridge was chosen from suggestions offered by the public. A junior high school student thought up “Nandaro” because if people saw the bridge from a distance, they would say “what is that?”. When it was constructed in 1997, it was the longest wooden bridge in Japan at 55 meters in length.
Access: 25 min. walk from JR Mashu station. (1.7 km)

【Sakuragaoka Shinrin Park】 桜ヶ丘森林公園
There is a walking path where you can enjoy birdwatching. The huge campsite is very clean and quiet even though it's located near the town center.
Campsite Open: late June − late September
Access: 28 min. walk from JR Mashu station. (2.2km)

【Yunoshima Park】 湯の島公園
This park features a rock garden and a stream cutting through it. You can also spot seasonal flowers such as moss phlox and azalea in the spring and summer. The vast picnic area with a luscious grass lawn is the perfect place for families to spend an afternoon.
Access:15 min. walk from JR Mashu station. (1.2 km)

【Michi-no-Eki Mashu Onsen】 道の駅 摩周温泉
Michi-no-eki are roadside rest areas for those who are driving across Japan. You will find a nice foot bath (natural hot spring), local foods, souvenirs, an art gallery and a tourist information desk here. The Kushiro river is nearby, and it is nice to stroll along the path beside the river to unwind and refresh yourself.
Open: 8:00 am − 6:00 pm (May − October)
9:00 am − 5:00 pm (November − April)
Closed: New Year’s holiday
H/P: http://www.masyuko.or.jp/michinoeki/
Access: 22 min. walk from JR Mashu station. (1.8km)



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