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 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.
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…
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…