Destinations

Lake Shikotsu-ko & Shikotsuko Onsen Travel | Things to Do

Japan’s clearest lake Shikotsu-ko (支笏湖), in the eastern part of Shikotsu-Toya National Park, is plunges as deep as 363m. This mysterious lake is never freeze in winter and its convenient access from New Chitose Airport. Shikotsuko Onsen (支笏湖温泉), the charming village on the eastern shore, has accommodation, shops and restaurants.


PRACTICAL TIPS

Location 25km east of Chitose, 50km south of Sapporo on Route 453, 74km northeast of Toyako Onsen

Population 97

Highlights Sightseeing Boat, Marukoma Onsen

Tourist Information & Bike Rentals Lake Shikotsu Visitor Center (see below)


01 VISITOR CENTER

Lake Shikotsu Visitor Center

支笏湖ビジターセンター / 9am-5.30pm Apr-Nov, 9.30am-4.30pm Dec-Mar / Closed Tue Dec-Mar / FREE / shikotsukovc.sakura.ne.jp

On the lake shore of Shikotsuko Onsen, this visitor center has an informative exhibition of nature and ecosystem with a short film. You can rent a bike (1-day ¥500 / deposit ¥2000) and excursion to its surrounding area. A birdwatcher’s trail starts from the nearby century-old Yamasen Railway Bridge.


02 CRUISE

Lake Shikotsu Sightseeing Boat

支笏湖観光船 / 8.40am-5.10pm mid Apr-early Nov / ¥1620 / www.shikotsu-ship.co.jp

A 30-minute circuit lake cruise departs from Shikotsuko Onsen. Enjoy the clear bottom of a lake on the boat.


03 ONSEN & SLEEPING

Marukoma Onsen Ryokan

丸駒温泉旅館 / Tel 0123-25-2341 / 7 Horobinai / Day bathing 10am-3pm / Day bathing ¥1000 / www.marukoma.co.jp

Founded in 1915 at the northern shore of the lake, the secret Marukoma Onsen has two pleasant open-air baths: super panoramic bath and calm rocky bath. Hot water quality is perfect. It offers higaeri nyuyoku (day bathing; 日帰り入浴 11am-3.30pm / ¥1000) and lunch for nonguests. King of Sweden stayed here in 1990.


04 ICE FESTIVAL

Shikotsuko Ice Festival: Hyoto Matsuri

氷濤まつり / 9am-10pm last Fri of Jan-mid Feb / ¥300 / hyoutou-special.asia

Held at the lakeside of Shikotsuko Onsen in mid-winter, Hyoto Matsuri boasts the blue ice sculptures such as caves and mountains. They are lit up with colorful lights at night.


SHIKOTSU-KO MAP


GETTING THERE

Chuo Bus 3 runs from New Chitose Airport to Shikotsuko Onsen (50min / ¥1050) via Chitose Station (40min / ¥950) on the JR Chitose Line.


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