Hokkaido is an island awash with natural splendor, located at the north end of the Japanese archipelago. As Hokkaido is remote from the center of the country, it possesses various unique cultural elements. There are several large lakes in Hokkaido including Lake Akan, which is located in the eastern part of the island and is famous as a habitat for marimo, or moss balls which is designated as a Special Natural Monument. Akanko Onsen hot springs can be found on the south bank of the lake. This onsen was already being used by the Ainu, an indigenous people of Japan, when explorer Takeshiro Matsuura made a survey of the area in 1858. Hot spring types here include both simple onsen and sulfur onsen.
On the south side of the lake, there are two shopping streets with many hotels and inns that feature various styles of onsen such as open-air baths, handbaths and footbaths. These facilities can offer Japanese pond smelt freshly fished at Lake Akan and other fresh local seafood to guests, thanks to their close proximity to the port of Kushiro. Ainu Kotan Village, an Ainu village created for tourists at the west end of the onsen district, features Ainu folk crafts and dance performances for visitors to enjoy. There are complimentary shuttle buses connecting hotels, the Visitor Center, and Ainu Kotan Village in the onsen district.
You can enjoy leisure sports around the great nature of Lake Akan. Anglers from all over the nation come to fish and admire the fantastic scenery. Many climb Mt. Oakan-dake and Mt. Meakan-dake, known as two of Japan’s 100 finest mountains. Further attractions include canoeing on the lake and rafting on the Akan River, and at night, the beautiful starry sky is a highlight. Skiing and snowboarding are popular during the cold season.
Tokyo (Haneda Airport) → Kushiro Airport: about 1 hour and 40 minutes by plane Kushiro Airport → Akanko Onsen: about 1 hour and 10 minutes by bus
Akan Tourism Association & Community Development Promotion Organization