Hot springs around Lake Shikotsu

Hot springs around Lake Shikotsu

Enjoy Shikotsu hot spring water from virgin forests.

An area renowned for its many inns featuring hot springs with mineral-rich water

Experience Hokkaido’s unique natural environment to the fullest!

Hot springs on the eastern shore of Shikotsu – a lake surrounded by virgin forests
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The hot springs around Lake Shikotsu were first discovered in 1974 as a result of drilling into the ground. Shikotsu-Toya National Park is home to Shikotsuko Onsen on the eastern shore of the lake, and to Marukoma Onsen and Shikotsuko Ito Onsen on its northeastern side. All these hot springs are located by the lake.

Shikotsuko Onsen, located near the pleasure-boat boarding point, is a hot spring resort area with a variety of restaurants and souvenir shops, while Marukoma Onsen and Shikotsuko Ito Onsen both offer visitors outstanding peace and quiet with just a single inn each. As local architectural regulations prohibit the construction of buildings more than three stories high, all hotels have fewer than four floors.

Accordingly, all the existing hotels are structures of less than four stories.

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Marukoma Onsen, the oldest spring on the shores of Lake Shikotsu, opened in 1915 when boats sailing along the shore offered the only means of transportation. Today, the area is also served by overland routes.

Akihime ontama rice and other specialty dishes served at local hot spring inns are made using kokanee salmon (also known as chip salmon) previously transplanted from Lake Akan to Lake Shikotsu.

Event Schedule

Late January
Late January

Ice Festival

A major Hokkaido winter event attracting 200,000 people every year Large.and small ice sculptures are made using sprinklers to spray water from the lake (recognized as having some of the clearest water in Japan) onto specially made frames. The crystal-clear shapes that form have a brilliant blue color during the day and are colorfully illuminated at night to create a world of fantasy. As well as admiring the ice sculptures, visitors can also enjoy ice slides (for children), horseback riding, warm food at the rest spot, fireworks displays, ice weddings, complimentary flower service, Japanese drum performances and other events. The venue is also located near hot springs with outstanding water where visitors can warm themselves and experience the ultimate in relaxation. A day-visit to one of these springs is perfect for those who might be pressed for time.

April(3rd Sun.)
April(3rd Sun.)

Lake-opening Ceremony

A ceremony held to pray for safety at Lake Shikotsu at the beginning of the tourist season This.ceremony is performed at the lake, with its surface mirroring the clear blue sky and the remaining snow on the mountains. The chief Shinto priest recites a prayer, and children from Shikotsuko Elementary School haul a large key into the lake and release juvenile kokanee salmon from a pleasure boat. On the day of the ceremony, the Onsen Ryokan Association, local stores and other sponsors offer a variety of discounts on pleasure boat cruises, hot spring admission, souvenirs and restaurant dining.

Early July(Sat/Sun.)
Early July(Sat/Sun.)

Lake Festival

This fantastic summer festival held in magnificent natural surroundings at Lake Shikotsu includes a drum and fife band parade by students of Shikotsuko Elementary School, a sunset concert, a ceremony involving floating lanterns on the water, and an evening fireworks display. The close proximity between the viewing area and the boat from which the fireworks are launched makes for a truly beautiful display. Another boat releases a series of water-surface fireworks, producing beautiful flower-like displays on the lake. Visitors enjoy a grandstand view of these fantastic pyrotechnics and the powerful sounds they create, allowing true appreciation of the splendid world of illumination that encompasses the sky and the entire lake. A truly memorable summer experience for all.

Mid-October
Mid-October

Autumnal Foliage Festival

This is an annual event at which visitors can enjoy autumn harvest delicacies while viewing the season’s red and yellow leaves. The highly popular food served includes a total of 300 bowls of soup with kokanee salmon (also known as chip salmon) – a specialty of Lake Shikotsu – and lots of mushrooms. People flock to the lakeside area with its autumnal hues and its many stalls selling seasonal mushrooms and vegetables as well as yakitori and lottery tickets. Discounts on hot spring admission and pleasure boat cruises are also offered. Relaxing by the lake or at a hot spring after the festival is highly recommended!