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Enjoy winter adventure in East Hokkaido!
#1 Lake Akan Area


  • Best Places to Visit
  • Nature
  • Activities
  • Seasons

February has begun, and temperature below 0℃ are commonplace on the eastern side of Hokkaido.

The area is covered with pure white snow and ice, creating a fantastical world.

You can enjoy a variety of scenery and activities in eastern Hokkaido in the midst of the extremely cold season.

Why not go outside this winter and fully experience nature with your body?

Through out next few posts, we will introduce winter experiences by area in eastern Hokkaido!

Lake Akan Area

At this time of year, the temperature on the shores of Lake Akan can drop to -20 degrees on cold days.

At such temperatures, you will be able to see beautiful scenery that you would not normally see, making you feel as if you have wandered into a fantasy world.

We will introduce activities that allow you to enjoy this world.

▼Let's walk on the lake with a guide!

The shores of Lake Akan are completely frozen over.

Tours are sometimes held on the ice, which is unique to this time of year.

Mt. Oakandake and the forest of Akan can be seen from angles that are not normally seen.

You will definitely be fascinated by its beautiful appearance covered in snow and ice.

*There is a part of Lake Akan called "Yutsubo" where hot springs gush out and the ice is thin.

It is very dangerous, so we strongly recommend that you take a guided tour when going on the ice.

▼Winter tradition: Pond smelt fishing showdown!

Colorful tents lined up on the ice of Lake Akan.

Smelt fishing, a winter tradition, is held inside.

There are also sets that you can enjoy even if you come empty-handed on the day, so you can enjoy it easily.

You can have the smelt you catch fried at a nearby restaurant and eat it right away.

Many of the smelt from Lake Akan are sparkling and beautiful, and the best part is that they don't have a lot of flavor and can be eaten like a snack!

▼Let's drive through the snow by buggy and snow mobile

You can also enjoy snowmobiles that dash across the ice, and four-wheeled snow buggies that even elementary school students can ride.

The distance you can drive will vary depending on the weather and ice conditions, but the exhilaration of running across an unobstructed frozen lake is irresistible!

Please enjoy the scenery of the mountains surrounding Lake Akan, such as Mt. Oakan and Mt. Meakan, from an angle that you cannot usually see (be careful not to look too far away).

What did you think?

Winter in eastern Hokkaido is the season to go outside and experience the beauty, majesty, and strength of nature.

If you happen to visit during this time, be sure to experience winter to the fullest!

Lake Akan Winter Illumination Event Information

LAKE AKAN Winter Illumination

-Mystic cave of Marimo in Lake Akan-

Event Period:2023.12.9-2024.2.29

Time:EVERYDAY 17:00~21:00

Place:Lake Akan Information Center Marimu Hall

(〒085-0467 2-6-20 Akanko Onsen, Akan-cho, Kushiro, Hokkaido, Japan)

\Share your photo on Instagram for a chance to win prizes!/

How to entry:

1. Follow @akan_tourism_association on Instagram.

2. Take photos of the Marimu Hall illumination.

3. Post the photos on Instagram at #lakeakan

Campaign Period:2023.12.9-2024.2.29

▼Announcement of Winner

Photos posted on Instagram will be screened to determine winners. Winners will be informed by DM from the Akan Tourism Association, and are asked to please reply via DM on Instagram with the required items by the deadline shown in the DM from the Akan Tourism Association.

Lake Akan Winter Illumination

Lake Akan Information Center
Marimu Hall
2-6-20 Akanko Onsen, Akan-cho, Kushiro, Hokkaido, JAPAN