Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Lake Toyako - Sapporo, Hokkaido

We went on a 1 night family trip to Lake Toyako. Toya is about an hour and a half from Sapporo by train, we went by train but you can probably get a coach bus cheaper, nice and easy trip with beautiful scenery along the way. Ocean on the left and mountains on the right, comfortable trains and very fast. Once arrived in Toya it's a short trip by local bus to Toya Onsen. 

Now for those who don't know, lake Toya is a result of live volcanoes where it's filled up and now a lake. It's one of the deepest lakes in Japan and it doesn't freeze in winter because of its depth. The volcanoes are still live and you can see the heat steam coming up when your on the mountain. 

The town is very small and hardly anyone on he streets, but there are bus loads of Chinese and Korean tourists. The hotels are quiet old, don't have too high expectations from the websites as they all look very nice. The service is very friendly and we enjoy the local company, it's not like 5 star hotels but warm service.

We caught a taxi up to the rope way to Mt Usu, it's about 1700 yen as not that frequent bus services around. Once up top of Mt Usu the view is spectacular, the lake and if weather permits you can see Yotesan, you could mistaken it for Mt Fuji, maybe Hokkaido version. There is a few walking tracks up top and you can see the volcano is very much live but of course safe. At night there are many local restaurants which are very nice if you take a walk. Once back in hotel you can enjoy the baths till late.

Next morning it's back in the bath before we hop on the cruise on the lake for some more spectacular view. By the way all the Hotels are more or less in front of the lake with lake views.

After the cruise we decided to go and see the remains of the last volcano, it's a walking track half way of the bus trip back to the train station. I must say it was very interesting as they have just left the houses, roads and whatever was affected by the earthquake volcano. The mountain is very much alive and you can see all the steam coming up, there are also before and after photos to give you some idea of what it was like.

It was a nice short trip and very pleasant with all the nice natural scenery. Enjoy the photos...

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