The scenic sightseeing spots of Shikotsu-Toya National Park offer breathtaking views and natural beauty that will leave visitors in awe. Located in the vastness of Shikotsu-Toya National Park, Lake Toya is a stunning natural wonder that captivates visitors with its picturesque scenery. Surrounded by mountains and forests, the lake is a popular destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.
One of the highlights of Lake Toya is the Lake Toya Long Run Fireworks Festival, a 187-day-long display of fireworks that runs from April 28 to October 31. This festival is a must-see event for visitors to the area, as it offers a mesmerizing spectacle of lights and colors against the backdrop of the lake. The fireworks can be enjoyed from various spots around the lake, including hot springs and observation decks.
In addition to the fireworks festival, Lake Toya is also home to an active volcano, Mt. Usu. Visitors can take a ropeway to the top of the volcano and enjoy panoramic views of the lake and the surrounding area. From the peak of Mt. Usu, visitors can also see the Showa-shinzan, a lava dome created by volcanic activity in 1943. On a clear day, the view from Mt. Usu is simply breathtaking, with the entire national park and the Pacific Ocean visible in the distance.
For those who prefer a more relaxing experience, Lake Toya offers a range of hot springs and onsen baths. Visitors can indulge in a lake-edge onsen hot pool or enjoy the view from an open-air bath. The hot spring town of Toya offers a variety of options, from first-class hotels to popular local hangouts. Visitors can also make day trips to nearby Shikotsu Onsen or Noboribetsu to bathe in their famous waters. After a relaxing soak in the hot springs, visitors can take a pleasant stroll along the lakefront and enjoy the unique sculptures and friendly locals.
Lake Toya is also a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. The area offers numerous camping grounds and facilities for those who want to spend a night under the stars. From general free sites to more upscale auto-campgrounds and lodges, there is something for everyone. Visitors can also explore the national park by bicycle, taking in the beautiful scenery and enjoying the fresh air. With very few streetlights, the conditions are perfect for stargazing, making Lake Toya a popular destination for astronomy enthusiasts.
In addition to its natural beauty, Lake Toya also hosts a variety of events throughout the year. One of the highlights is the Lake Toya Marathon, held in May. The marathon takes participants on a scenic lakeside course that showcases the beauty of the area. The event attracts athletes from all over the world and has been running since 1975.
Another event that draws visitors to Lake Toya is the Toyako Anime and Manga Festival, held in June. During this festival, the town transforms into a cosplay venue, with participants dressing up as their favorite anime and manga characters. The festival features famous voice actors, manga and anime creators, and stage events, attracting anime and manga fans from all over japan.
To get to Lake Toya, visitors can fly to Chitose City’s New Chitose Airport from Tokyo and then take a local train to the lake. Alternatively, they can take the shinkansen from Tokyo, with the journey covered by the JR Rail Pass. Fixed-route buses also operate from Toya Station, and renting a car is a convenient option for exploring the area.
In conclusion, the scenic sightseeing spots of Shikotsu-Toya National Park, particularly Lake Toya, offer a wealth of natural beauty and attractions for visitors to enjoy. From the stunning fireworks festival to the majestic views from Mt. Usu, there is something for everyone to experience and appreciate. Whether it’s soaking in the hot springs, camping under the stars, participating in a marathon, or immersing oneself in the world of anime and manga, Lake Toya has something to offer every visitor. With its picturesque scenery and serene atmosphere, Lake Toya is truly a destination worth exploring.
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