About 30,000 years ago, caldera lake, Lake Shikotsu was created by volcanic activity. The circumference of the lake is about 42km, and the most profound altitude is about 360m. Its depth is second in Japan. It is designated for Shikotsu-Toya National Park and it has outstanding nature in Hokkaido. Enjoyments are spas, sightseeing boat, and fresh water diving. And in restaurants, you can have Chitose’s specialty land locked red salmon a kind of trout.
Lake Okotampe is retained lake surrounded by conifers and broadleaf woods. And it’s 5 kilometers about. It changes its color in emerald green and cobalt blue by weather, angle, and time. This lake can be viewed from the observatory on the route 78. And its clear surface like a pane shows us even the trees surrounding itself. It reflects incredible beauties of nature.
Chitose city with grandeur nature has an abundance of hot springs. Around Lake Shikotsu, Lake Shikotsu Hot Spring, Marukoma Hot Spring, Ito Hot Spring are steaming. Lake Shikotsu Spring has the spring that makes skin as smooth as silk. It is called “Spring of Fine Skin”. Marukoma and Ito Hot Spring has an open-air baths that face the lake. And, Matsubara Hot Spring that has drinkable spring is in northeast suburb. Each of them has a day bathing plans, so enjoy without constraint.
This cave was created by Mt. Tarumae’s eruption. The volcano erupted ashes and lava and the lava has transformed into cave by weathering and erosion. The cave has 420m length overall, and 10 m height. The cave bristles with over 30 kinds of mosses and it is like visionary cloister. Inside of the cave is cool even in summer, and the cliff has the green velvety beauty.
This is the luxuriant primitive forest. Three hundred year old big trees of oak and Japanese Judas Tree rise up to the sky. There is a parking at Bifue Campsite. Walking on the pathway and finding the strength of the trunks and branches impress you with toughness of nature. This forest should be kept as a treasure in future as well as it has been.
According to this name, there is no river to flow in and out of this pond. Kuchinashi pond was composed of the water which had soaked out of volcanic ashes and has 5-km shoreline. The pathway is arranged, and you may have chance to see wild animals such as Ezo chipmunks, herons and wild ducks. It is quiet and peaceful lake with its rich nature and a good unknown spot.
This forest is located in the south of Lake Shikotsu Hot Spring and has one hundred hectare. Also it is the sanctuary of wild birds where you can watch one-third of all terrestrial birds in Japan such as bunting, black woodpecker and Japanese bush warbler. There are many trees of broadleaf wood such as painted maple, rowan tree and so on. In spring Adonis is in full bloom, in summer Ezo hydrangea. Therefore enjoyment of flower viewing and walking can be offered to visitors.
1000 meter level mountains are towering around Lake Shikotsu. Mt. Tarumae, one of those mountains, features a pudding-shaped lava doom on its top. The road goes up to the seventh stage, from there it takes one hour climbing to see a marvelous view stretching below. Mt. Eniwa and Mt. Mombetsu are challenging ones if you like to take advanced climbing.
Route 16 throughout from Downtown Chitose to Lake Shikotsu is popular among visitors as a drive course for the beauty of the Chitose River and lines of oaks and spruces. A line of white birch near lakeside of Shikotsu is a suitable, romantic and Hokkaido-like place for photographs and films. This road shows a special scene of Chitose, the town with great nature and an airport.
There is the Red iron bridge over the entrance of Chitose River. It’s a remnant of the railroad. Once, Oji Paper Manufacturing used to convey supplies in the end of Meiji. Since Taisyo 11, they started to let tourist ride. After they took off the train in Syouwa 26, bridge was used as a pedestrian bridge. In Heisei 9, the bridge was painted and restored, still loved by people.
This observatory is on route 276, on the way to Otaki village. You can see the whole Shikotsu-Toya National Park. The park has more than 90 percent of natural grown trees, such as deciduous broad leaf woods and conifers, and it is described as a sea of trees. A chink among great mountains gives you a superb view of Lake Shikotsu. And it fills us with contentment.
Lake Shikotsu is environed by nature and it is nice for camping. Of all others, Morappu and Poropinai campsite is popular with families because of their stalls. Also, Bifue and Okotan campsite is surrounded by the trees and loved by fans of nature. Looking at the calm lake will make you forget daily life.
It is an annual event of ice and lights at Lake Shikotsu, and it is held from the end of January to the middle of February. Dynamic ice world is made by spraying the clear water of lake; it takes two whole months to make. It is entertaining, representative Hokkaido’s winter festival as well as Snow Festival in Sapporo.
This is a facility of Chitose office of Salmon and Trout Resource Administration which belongs to Fisheries Agency. It has a 7-ton water tank in the display department and experience department in which former Chitose Center Hatchery is reproduced. Not only feeding fry and touching roe but also having fun of watching the pink salmon with its back red in returning season.
This is a beautiful park for its beauty of water and greenery. It is located beside the Naibetsu River which was selected as one of “The Hundred Famous Mineral Water in Japan”. An outlet of the spring is reproduced and cups are prepared so that you can enjoy the excellence of its water with ease. Even there are many people who love to take the water in large plastic containers with them. The riverside also offers a nice space for taking a walk, this park has become a place of relaxation and refreshment for citizens.
Route 337 from Chitose downtown toward Naganuma is to be called “Harvest Route”. A vast expanse of field lies as far as eyes can sweep so that you can feel nature of Hokkaido even by driving. On this route there are farms where you can enjoy the experience of harvesting strawberries, hascup berries and buying their vegetables and fruits. Because of richness of nature and fertile soil, water melons with high sugar content and vegetables with high quality can be produced in Chitose.
The maintained cycling road goes through from Chitose downtown to Lake Shikotsu. This paved road helps for cycling. Running through with the rich trees of Aoba park and the clear flow of the Chitose River brings you feelings such as relaxation and refreshment. You can gain new discovery at Usakumai Remains on the way where the trace of one thousand year old houses still remains. There are inns and hotels which have bicycles for rent so visitors can enjoy cycling.