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Lake Mashu

Lake MashuLake Mashu mapLake Mashu ("Mashuu-ko" in Japanese) is a freshwater caldera lake located about 50 km south-southeast of Abashiri and about 70 km north of Kushiro.
It is distorted oval and is about 6km long and 3km across. And it is 212 meters deep. A very small island is in the center of the lake.

Lake Mashu was formed by eruption of a volcano about 7.000 years ago.
There is Mount Mashu, which is 858 meters high, on the southeast side of the lake.
Most of lakeside is surrounded by cliffs which are a few hundred meters high. Therefore we cannot get close to the lakefront.

This lake has no river, and the water is cold, then impurities in the water are very low. As a result, the clarity of the water is the best in Japan, and we can enjoy the beautiful and mystic blue color of the water.
In 1931 the clarity was the top of the world. At that time, the second was Lake Baikal in Russia.
But after trying to stock this lake with trouts, the clarity has gotten worse gradually.

A scenic road runs on the cliff of the west coast, and two main observatories are set up on the road.
Near the southern edge of the lake, there is "The 1st Observatory". It is popular, and there is a rest house.
Near the western edge of the lake, there is "The 3rd Observatory". It is located about 4 km north of the 1st Observatory, and there is only a parking.

Lake Mashu is also known as a foggy lake. Particularly in June or July, fog often rises, then the lake is obscured by fog.
If you encounter the fog there, you are unlucky.

Teshikaga Navi

How to get to here

By railroad and route bus

By local train on JR Senmou Line, from Kushiro to Mashu station about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Then by route bus, to the 1st Observatory, from Mashu station about 25 minutes.

By car

About 80 km from Kushiro. It takes about 2 hours.

Lake Mashu in summer from the 3rd Observatory
Photo by easthokkaido.com
A view from the 1st Observatory
Photo by Dobutsu shashinshu
A view of southern side of the lake
Lake Mashu filled with fog
Photo by easthokkaido.com
Frozen lake in winter
Photo by easthokkaido.com

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