Akan National Park attractions

Top Choice Lake in Kawayu Onsen

Mashū-ko

Considered by many to be Japan's most beautiful lake, Mashū-ko once held the world record for water clarity. The island in the middle was known by the Ainu as the Isle of the Gods. A road runs along the western rim.…
Top Choice Village in Akanko Onsen

Ainu Kotan

This collection of shops and households is actually the largest Ainu village in Hokkaidō. Residents make a living promoting their culture: dancing on the stage at Ikor, cooking pochie (fermented potato dumplings) in…
Top Choice Lake in Kawayu Onsen

Kussharo-ko

Japan's largest caldera lake is a rich blue on sunny days. A small volcano peeks out from the centre, creating the island Naka-jima – best viewed from the Bihoro Pass.
Museum in Akanko Onsen

Akan Kohan Eco-Museum Centre

At the eastern edge of town, this centre has exhibitions on local flora and fauna, including marimo in aquarium tanks. It also has hiking maps in English and info on trail conditions and bear sightings.
Volcano in Kawayu Onsen

Iō-zan

This hissing mountain (512m), a couple of kilometres south of Kawayu Onsen, is stained sunshine-yellow in patches from sulphur. Locals steam eggs in the hot volcanic vapours for a speciality known as onsen-tamago. C…
Museum in Kawayu Onsen

Museum of Ainu Folklore

In the Kussharo kotan (Ainu village) on the southern shores of Kussharo-ko, this museum displays traditional Ainu tools and crafts. Ask the staff to play the 25-minute English video, which talks about Ainu history a…
Museum in Akanko Onsen

Ainu Folklore Museum

At the top of the hill in the Ainu kotan, this small museum has changing exhibitions of contemporary Ainu artisan work, and sometimes thought-provoking shows. There are some traditional dwellings here, too.
Viewpoint in Kawayu Onsen

Bihoro Pass

This lookout point on Rte 243, which runs between Abashiri and Mashū, has a fantastic panoramic view over Kussharo-ko, with Naka-jima in the middle.
Museum in Kawayu Onsen

Taihō Sumo Museum

This museum is full of photos, both official and candid, of legendary hometown hero, the sumo wrestler Taihō (大鵬; 1940–2013). He was born on Karafuto (Sakhalin) to a Ukrainian father and Japanese mother, brought up …
Museum in Kawayu Onsen

Kawayu Eco-Museum Centre

Stop by this museum and visitor centre in Kawayu Onsen to see how the surrounding volcanic landscape got its shape and to pick up hiking maps. There's a cafe, and free wi-fi throughout. A number of short nature trai…