Hokkaido Tourist Attractions: How to enjoy Lake Toya

hokkaido

Introduction

Lake Toya is a beautiful lake located in Hokkaido, Japan, that attracts visitors with its rich nature and variety of activities. The lake is a caldera lake, and its calm waters and the surrounding majestic mountains create a landscape that looks different from season to season. In particular, the sunset from the hot spring resort of Lake Toya is spectacular and sure to soothe the soul.

Lake Toya’s charm is not limited to its scenery. Around the lake, there are many activities and sights for tourists to enjoy. Visitors can fully enjoy outdoor activities such as boat cruises, canoeing on the lake, and cycling along the lakeside. Visitors can also relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery while soaking in the hot springs at Lake Toya Onsen.

Furthermore, the area surrounding Lake Toya is home to active volcanoes such as Mount Usu and Mount Showa Shinzan, allowing visitors to see these natural wonders up close. There is also a volcano museum and an observatory where you can feel the energy of the earth. Don’t miss the seasonal events and fireworks displays. The summer fireworks display in particular attracts many tourists because of the beautiful fireworks reflected on the surface of the lake.

In this article, we will introduce in detail how to enjoy Lake Toya. It covers all the useful information for visiting Lake Toya, including sightseeing spots, activities, hot springs, gourmet food, and more. When planning your Hokkaido trip, be sure to visit Lake Toya and enjoy its natural beauty and diverse experiences.

History and Culture of Sightseeing Destinations

Along with its beautiful natural scenery, Lake Toya is a tourist destination with a rich history and culture. The formation of Lake Toya dates back to volcanic activity about 110,000 years ago. Lake Toya, a caldera lake, was formed by the eruption of Mount Usu and is of great geological value.

Historical Background

The area around Lake Toya has been inhabited by the Ainu people since ancient times, and their culture and traditions remain strong. In the Ainu language, “Toya” means “lake,” and the area is deeply connected to the nature of the region. Usu is also one of the most active volcanoes in Japan and has experienced several eruptions in the past. The eruption in 2000 is particularly fresh in our memories, and its effects can still be felt today.

Cultural Features

Around Lake Toya, a culture has developed that takes advantage of the rich natural environment created by volcanic activity. Hot springs are scattered around the lake, and Toya Lake Onsen is a typical example. In the hot spring resort area, visitors can experience traditional Japanese hot spring culture. Locals make it a part of their daily routine to relax in these hot springs.

Also in the Lake Toya area is the Lake Toya Long-Run Fireworks Festival, which is held every summer. This is a nightly fireworks display over a long period of time, attracting many tourists. The fireworks display provides a beautiful and fantastic sight of fireworks reflected on the surface of the lake.

Furthermore, there are facilities around Lake Toya where visitors can learn about Ainu culture and see the history, traditions, and crafts of the Ainu people. This will allow visitors to experience the culture of the Ainu, the indigenous people of Japan.

Lake Toya is a place that offers many impressions to visitors not only through its beautiful nature, but also through its history and culture. Visit Lake Toya to gain a deeper understanding of its history and culture, and to fully appreciate the charm of the region.

Places to visit

Lake Toya is a popular destination for tourists because of its beautiful nature and variety of activities. When visiting, you can enjoy the area even more if you keep in mind the time of year and the highlights of the area.

Suggested time of year

Lake Toya has different attractions throughout the four seasons, but the best time to visit is from spring to autumn. In spring, the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, making the lakeside scenery even more spectacular. In summer, the temperature is comfortable and ideal for outdoor activities. In fall, the leaves turn beautiful colors and the trees around the lake turn red and yellow. In winter, the lake is covered with snow and offers a serene view of the lake.

Major sights and popular tourist attractions

There are many sights to visit in Lake Toya.

  • Toyako Onsen: Located on the northern shore of Lake Toya, this hot spring resort offers visitors the opportunity to soak in hot springs while enjoying a view of the lake. Many accommodations are available, and you can also enjoy a day trip to the hot springs.
  • Usu Ropeway: A ropeway takes you to the top of Mt. Usu, from the top of which you can enjoy a spectacular view of Lake Toya and Mt. There is also an exhibition where visitors can learn about the geological features of Mt. Usu and the history of volcanic activity.
  • Showa Shinzan: A new mountain formed by the 1943 eruption, visitors can observe its topography up close. The Showa Shinzan Bear Farm is also nearby, where you can see bears up close.
  • Lake Toya Cruise: A cruise ship operates to allow visitors to enjoy Lake Toya from the lake. You can also land on Nakajima Island and enjoy a nature walk.
  • Long-Run Fireworks Display: Every year from the end of April to the end of October, a fireworks display is held every night. The fireworks reflected on the lake are very beautiful and well worth a visit.

Points to note at tourist attractions

When visiting Lake Toya, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Weather Changes: The weather around Lake Toya is changeable, so check the weather forecast and prepare appropriate clothing when visiting. It can be windy and cool, especially near the summit.
  • Protecting the Natural Environment: Lake Toya is a tourist destination rich in natural beauty. Please be sure to take your trash home with you and observe good manners to protect the environment. Please be considerate of the surrounding environment, especially when enjoying nature walks and camping.
  • Transportation: Public transportation is limited around Lake Toya, so renting a car is convenient. We recommend that you confirm and plan your transportation needs in advance.

Lake Toya is an attractive tourist destination for its natural beauty and variety of activities. When visiting, be sure to take note of the highlights and be prepared to enjoy your visit in comfort. We hope you enjoy your wonderful time in Lake Toya.

Access

Access to Lake Toya is very convenient from major airports in Hokkaido. Below are the accesses to Lake Toya from New Chitose Airport, Sapporo Okadama Airport, and Asahikawa Airport.

Access from New Chitose Airport

New Chitose Airport is the largest airport in Hokkaido and has plenty of domestic and international flights.

If you take the train.

  1. take the JR Rapid Airport train from New Chitose Airport and get off at Minami Chitose Station (about 3 minutes).
    At Minami Chitose Station, transfer to the JR Super Hokuto Limited Express and get off at Toya Station (about 1 hour and 30 minutes). 3.
    From Toya Station, transfer to a bus bound for Toyako Onsen and get off at Toyako Onsen Bus Terminal (about 20 minutes).

If you use a car.

  • It is about 100 km from New Chitose Airport to Lake Toya, and it takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes by car. Take the Hokkaido Expressway, get off at the Date IC, and access Lake Toya via Route 37.

Access from Sapporo Okadama Airport

Sapporo Okadama Airport is mainly served by domestic flights and is located within the city of Sapporo.

If you take a train.
From Sapporo Okadama Airport, take the Toho Subway Line to Sapporo Station (approx. 20 minutes). 2.
At Sapporo Station, transfer to JR Sapporo Station, board the JR Super Hokuto Limited Express train, and disembark at Toya Station (approximately 1 hour and 50 minutes). 3.
From Toya Station, transfer to a bus bound for Toyako Onsen and disembark at the Toyako Onsen Bus Terminal (approximately 20 minutes).

If you use a car.

  • It is about 120 km from Sapporo Okadama Airport to Lake Toya, which takes about 2 hours by car. Take the Hokkaido Expressway, get off at the Date IC, and access Lake Toya via Route 37.

Access from Asahikawa Airport

Asahikawa Airport is located in the central part of Hokkaido, providing convenient access to Biei and Furano.

If you use the train.

  1. take a bus from Asahikawa Airport to Asahikawa Station (about 35 minutes). 2.
    Take the JR Hakodate Line at Asahikawa Station and get off at Sapporo Station (about 1 hour and 30 minutes). 3.
    At Sapporo Station, transfer to the JR Super Hokuto Limited Express and disembark at Toya Station (approximately 1 hour and 50 minutes). 4.
    From Toya Station, transfer to a bus bound for Toyako Onsen and disembark at the Toyako Onsen Bus Terminal (approximately 20 minutes).

If you use a car.

  • It is about 200 km from Asahikawa Airport to Lake Toya, which takes about 3 hours by car. Take the Hokkaido Expressway, get off at the Date IC, and access Lake Toya via Route 37.

Opening Hours, Admission Fees

The following is information about opening hours and admission fees for tourist attractions and facilities around Lake Toya. When visiting, please check them in advance so that you can enjoy sightseeing smoothly.

Lake Toya Onsen

Opening Hours.

  • Most hot spring facilities are open from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., but hours may vary by facility. Some hot springs attached to lodging facilities are available 24 hours a day.

Admission Fee.

  • For day-trip bathing, the fee for adults ranges from 500 yen to 1,500 yen, and the fee for children is 300 yen to 700 yen. The fee for using the hot springs at lodging facilities is included in the lodging fee.

Mt. Usu Ropeway

Opening Hours.

  • Summer (April to November): 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
  • Winter (December to March): 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

Admission Fees Adults (junior high school students and older)

  • Adults (junior high school students and older): 1,800 yen
  • Children (elementary school students): 900 yen

Showa Shinzan Bear Farm

Opening hours

  • Summer (April to November): 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
  • Winter (December to March): 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

Admission Fees Adult: 850 yen

  • Adult: 850 yen
  • Children: 500 yen

Lake Toya Cruise

Opening Hours

  • Summer (April to October): 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (last service)
  • Winter (November to March): 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (last service)

Admission Fees Adult: 1,420

  • Adult: 1,420 yen
  • Children: 710 yen

Lake Toya Long-Run Fireworks Display

Period.

  • The festival will be held every night from the end of April to the end of October. Fireworks are launched at 8:45 p.m. for approximately 20 minutes.

Admission.

  • Admission is free. Special seating and viewing from cruise ships may be available for a fee.

Gourmet

There are many restaurants and cafes around Lake Toya where you can enjoy delicious food made with fresh ingredients unique to Hokkaido. Here are some of our recommendations for dining and restaurants.

Restaurants in the Lake Toya Onsen area

Restaurant Mochi Yotei.

  • Address: 144, Toyako Onsen, Toyako Town, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido
  • Recommended Menu: Lake Toya Salmon Sashimi, Hokkaido Steak
    At this restaurant, you can enjoy fresh local seafood and meat dishes. The Toyako Salmon Sashimi is especially exquisite.

Restaurant at Lake Toya Onsen Hotel Hanami

  • Address: 29, Toyako Onsen, Toyako Town, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido
  • Recommended Menu: Kaisendon, Genghis Khan
    At the restaurant of Hotel Hanami, you can enjoy Kaisen-don (seafood rice bowl) made with fresh seafood from Hokkaido and the famous Genghis Khan.

Cafe Kohan

Cafe Kohan

  • Address: 12 Kohan, Toyako Town, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido
  • Recommended Menu: Lake Toya cream soda, homemade cakes
    Overlooking Lake Toya, Cafe Kohan offers a relaxing atmosphere with a beautiful view of the lake. Lake Toya cream soda and homemade cakes are popular.

Cafe Rokka.

  • Address: 102, Toyako Onsen, Toyako Town, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido
  • Recommended Menu: Handmade sandwiches, latte art
    Cafe Rokka offers delicious homemade sandwiches and latte art in a stylish atmosphere. It is a perfect place to stop by between strolls along the lakeside.

Using local products

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