Saturday, March 16, 2013

Great Outdoors

Dragons, volcanoes, and the garden of eden are more than mere myths at these national parks.

Shikotsu-Toya, Japan, executive summary by darmansjah

Shikotsu-Toya National Park is located in the southwest part of Hokkaido and features lakes and volcanoes as part of its vast landscape. The most active volcano is the 737 meters high Mount Usu, which has erupted four times over the last 100 years, the most recent in 2000, when it showered the nearby Toyako Onsen with ash and debris. Next to Mount Usu is Showashinzan, a freak of nature that popped out one day in 1943 following an earthquake and grew over 400 meters in a mere two years.

The Usuzan Gondola beside the mountains brings visitors to an observation deck with a view of the mountains and Lake Toya. From a second observation deck a short walk away, you can see Mount usu’s largest crater, which was formed by an eruption in 1977

Just north of both mountains is the iconic Lake Toya, an almost circular caldera lake that has a  diameter of 10 kilometers. Because of the geothermal activity in the area, the lake never freezes over, even during winter.
The Noboribetsu region lies within the boundaries of the park and is a popular destination for hot springs. Hotels here are geared towards this and provide an atmosphere of relaxation for their guests. Of course, it isn’t that difficult considering the stunning backdrop of the area.

The closest airport is Sapporo’s New Chitose airport. Hop on a train from the airport to Minami-Chitose station and transfer to a limited express train bound for Hakodate. Get off at Toya Station about 70 minutes later. Driving from the aiport to Lake Toya along the Doo expressway about 100 minutes and costs US$40 in tolls. Get off at Abuta-Toyoko interchange.

Surrounded in the beautiful natural Hot springs region, Noboribetsu Grand Hotel provides luxurious accommodation completer with both outdoor and indoor hot springs facilities (from US$450;


No comments:

Post a Comment