Eastern Hokkaido’s first onsen town founded in 1883, Teshikaga (弟子屈) is a convenient location for exploring both Mashu-ko and Kussharo-ko by public transport or taxi. JR Mashu Station (摩周駅) is a good gateway of the town center and lake Mashu-ko.
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Sleeping in Mashu Onsen & Around
Central Teshikaga’s Mashu Onsen (摩周温泉) has a number of good onsen hotels, smaller ryokan and minshuku, all with 100% onsen.
01 LAKE & SCENIC VIEWPOINTS
There are no rivers flowing into or from the caldera lake, Mashu-kois up to 211m deep and once the clearest lake in the world. Due to its rugged shores are prohibited to enter, but there are two viewpoints on the western rim for a view over the lake to the picturesque surrounding areas. The lake often covered in a fog from spring to summer, check the weather condition before you go.
Mashu Viewpoint 1 (摩周第一展望台), Known as the Dai-ichi Tenbodai, is the main viewpoint of Mashu-ko. A parking ticket (¥500: late Nov-early Apr) is also available at Io-zan near Kawayu Onsen. Alternatively, a 6.6km footpath (takes about 2hrs) connects JR Biruwa Station (美留和駅) and the Viewpoint 1.
There are two buses daily between JR Mashu Station and Mashu Viewpoint 1 (25min / ¥570).
02 SCENIC FARM
900 Glassy Meadow
900草原 / Q-maru-maru Sogen / 418-66 Tobetsu / 24hrs May-Nov / Restaurant 10am-4pm May-Oct / FREE
Named after the 930-hectare glassy meadow on the scenic hills, the Q-maru-maru Sogen has a good rural view of the town. It is about 6km south of JR Mashu Station, there is a jumbo taxi for Teshikaga Eco-Passport holders from mid June to early October.
03 PUBLIC ONSEN
泉の湯 / 3-4-30 Izumi / 1-9pm / Closed Tue / ¥200
This simple and rustic municipal onsen bathhouse is a 10-minute walk south of JR Mashu Station. Admission is only ¥200. Bring your own soap and towel.
Teshikaga Mashu Onsen & Lake Mashu-ko Map
Getting There & Around
Mashu (摩周) can be reached by JR Senmo Line. Trains run from Kushiro (80min) via Shiretoko-Shari, and Abashiri (2hrs) via Kushiro-Shitsugen.