Lake Shikotsu is located in the south west part of Hokkaido and is about 40 kilometers around, the maximum water depth of about 360 meters and the average depth of about 265.4 meters.
Lake Shikotsu is the second deepest lake in Japan after lake Tazawa in Akita prefecture and is also famous for the clearest water in Japan. It is said that Lake Shikotsu is an unfrozen lake in northernmost Japan due to the warm water remains in the deep part of the lake and it is difficult to drop the temperature of the water surface. However, in actual It may frozen if cold days continue.
You can easy to go there from Sapporo City in about 1 hour by car and is about 40 minutes from Shin-Chitose Airport. Let me introduce mysterious and beautiful Lake Shikotsu.
How to get the Lake Shikotsu
In my case, I rented a car for 7 hours in Sapporo City and It cost about 3500 yen. There are a lot of rental car shops so I looked cheapest cars up on the internet the day before. I recommend checking a lot of car shops on the internet beforehand because it depends on the season but I’ll show you some recommend car shops.
Don’t miss the way you want to go because there are many one way street. And then you can see beautiful nature when you go a little from Sapporo City.
・It takes about 55 minutes from Shin-Chitose Airport, take the Hokkaido Chuo Bus bound for Lake Shikotsu. (1050 yen one way)
・It takes about 45 minutes from JR Chitose, take the Hokkaido Chuo Bus bound for Lake Shikotsu. (950 yen one way)
Spectacular Lake Shikotsu
The Lake Shikotsu is truly spectacular and is surrounded by rich nature such as Mt. Eniwa and Mt. Tarumae that you can go on a hike because there are some hiking trails.
It looks a little bit cloudy but I saw Mt. Fuppushi in front of me.
The road around the Lake Shikotsu is wide and easy to drive and then there are some cafes or rest areas, so I’m sure you can enjoy driving along the Lake while looking out at the beautiful scenery.
If you go toward Lake Shikotsu Onsen, you will find some parking lot, cafes and park. It was surrounded by a rich nature with fresh air so It’s good idea to grab a coffee and relax at the park. In addition to that there are some souvenirs shops around here.
It was really delicious here where you will get to eat fresh whelk shell for only 100 yen each.
If you’d like enjoy from the top of the Lake, you will be able to get on the rowboats. The price is depends on the type of rowboats but it is about 1000 to 4000 yen per hour. There are also underwater pleasure boat and boat where you can fishing.
Late April to the end of September
Yamasentetsu Bridge is the symbol of Lake Shikotsu and was built over the Sorachi River as the Daiichi Sorachi River Bridge on the Hokkaido Government Railway Kamikawa Line in 1902. After that, It was moved to its current location by Oji Paper Company in 1924. It was used for the purpose of transporting materials until 1951 but general public was able to ride later.
Yamasentetsu Bridge that was rebuilt for three years from 1995 due to deterioration was certified as a modern industrial heritage by the Ministry of Economy in 2007.
The most clear river I’ve ever seen before.
You will be able to see the source of the Chitose River from the Yamasentetsu Bridge
How was sightseeing of Lake Shikotsu?
There are more nice places at Lake Shikotsu such as hot springs, hotel and restaurants. If you have time, I recommend that you will go hiking, get on the rowboats or renting a bicycle. If you are interested in Sapporo, Hokkaido please check the my blog below.