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【Hokkaido】 Lake Toya, a caldera lake created by a volcanic eruption about 110,000 years ago2015.06.26

150626 洞爺湖

Lake Toya is Japan’s third largest caldera lake created by a major volcanic eruption about 110,000 years ago. Situated in the southwestern part of Hokkaido, it is one of the most popular spa resorts at lakes in Japan. In a setting of the natural beauty that shows a myriad of features from season to season, visitors can enjoy canoeing, jet skiing, hiking, cycling, camping, fishing and horse riding among others. The circular shaped lake attracted global attention in 2008 when the G8 summit was held there.

In Japan, it is the ninth largest lake with a circuit of about 50 kilometers. It is remarkable that Lake Toya blends with the surroundings. In the center of the lake, there are four uninhabited green islands called Nakajima altogether. Hundreds of Yezo sika deer live on Oshima, the biggest island of the four.

Nearby mountains also increase the attractiveness of visiting the lake. Mt. Yotei sits in the north of the lake and Mt. Usu in the south of it. Mt. Yotei has an altitude of 1,898 meters and looks elegant with the lake water. When capped in snow, Mt. Yotei strikingly resembles Mt. Fuji in appearance. Mt. Usu, an active volcano, last erupted in 2000. A relatively new international body backed by UNESCO designated the caldera area in 2009 as “Toya Caldera and Usu Volcano Global Geopark.” A Global Geopark is a unified area with geological heritage of international significance.

Lake Toya is rated high in Japan as well. In 1927, it was selected as one of Japan’s 100 best sceneries by domestic newspapers. Japan’s largest travel agency JTB also included the lake in its list of 100 tourist spots to visit in Japan in 1966.

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