Destinations

阿寒湖観光案内 | Lake Akan-ko & Akanko Onsen Travel

アイヌ語で「不変・不動」を意味する阿寒湖はマリモの生息地として名高い火山堰止湖。阿寒摩周国立公園の西側にあたり、南岸には道東を代表するアイヌコタンと温泉街が広がる。初夏の新緑や秋の紅葉、冬の樹氷など、太古の昔からほとんど変わらないであろう四季折々の自然美が人々を惹きつけるところだ。

阿寒湖から少し足を伸ばすと、雌阿寒岳や雄阿寒岳などの山々、オンネトーに代表される小さな湖、森の中に佇む温泉宿などが点在しているので、時間があれば是非とも訪ねてみたい。

In the western part of Akan-Mashu National Park, Akanko Onsen area is Eastern Hokkaido’s classic tourist destination that has picturesque lakes, coniferous forest, volcanic mountains, pleasant onsen and the lakeside Ainu kotan (village).


PRACTICAL TIPS

Location 80km north of Kushiro, 40km west of Teshikaga Mashu Onsen, 70km south of Kitami, 125km northeast of Obihiro

Lake Type Caldera Lake

Surface Area 13.25 sq-km

Depth 45m

Highlights Akan Sightseeing Cruise, Akanko Ainu Theater Ikor

Tourist Information & Bike Rentals Akan-ko Marimukan Tourist Information Center (阿寒湖まりむ館観光インフォメイションセンター): Tel 0154-67-3200 / 1st floor of Marimukan building, 2-6-20 Akanko Onsen-cho / 9am-6pm / en.kushiro-lakeakan.com


ORIENTATION

The triangle-shaped Akan-ko (阿寒湖: meaning unshakable in Ainu) is best known for its marimo (マリモ: spherical moss) into the lake. Marimo have been preserved from 1921, the north shore is only accessible by sightseeing cruises or special tours.


01 CRUISE & MARIMO VIEWING

Akan Sightseeing Cruise

阿寒湖汽船 / 15 Apr-30 Nov / 85min / ¥1900 / www.akankisen.com

The sightseeing cruise on Akan-ko takes you to the Marimo Exhibition and Observation Center (マリモ展示観察センター) on the tiny island of Churui-to (チュウルイ島) in the north of the lake, passing through the mouth of the waterfall Takiguchi (滝口).


02 MUSEUM & HIKING

Akan Kohan Eco Museum Center

阿寒湖畔エコミュージアムセンター / 1-1-1 Akanko Onsen / 9am-5pm / Closed Tue / FREE / Wi-Fi / business4.plala.or.jp/akan-eco

This eco museum center at the eastern edge of town provide information and advice about Akan-ko area, including high-quality videos, volcanic conditions and marimo in tank. In winter snowshoes and cross-country ski rentals are available (¥500 for two hours, ¥1000 for a day).
From the Eco Museum Center, a short leafy trails lead to the mud volcano pool of Bokke (ボッケ) on the shore.



03 ONSEN

Marimo-yu

まりも湯 / 9am-10pm May-Dec, 10am-9pm Jan-Apr / Closed 2nd & 4th Wed Jan-Apr / ¥450

The town’s only sento (bathhouse) is small and inconspicuous, but locals and tourists like this 100% onsen. There is no locker.


04 AINU CULTURE

Akanko Ainu Theater Ikor

イコロ / One to five times a day / Closed New Year’s holiday / ¥1080 per performance / www.akanainu.jp

The worth seeing 30-minute performance demonstrates the koshiki-buyo (Ainu song and dance). From late April to late November, the Iomante Fire Festival is staged at 9pm.


Guide Map


Directions

Akanko Onsen (simply called ‘Akan-ko’ on bus timetables) bus center is located on Route 240. It has a convenience store (6am-midnight). Most buses are operated by Akan Bus (阿寒バス: www.akanbus.co.jp).
Akan Bus operates regular buses from Kushiro Station stop 15 to Akan-ko (3-4 daily / 1hr 50min), stopping at Kushiro Airport (1hr) and Akan-cho.
There are also intercity buses from Kitami and Asahikawa (via Onneyu and Sounkyo), and seasonal buses to Mashu Station on the JR Senmo Line.