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Lake Akan

Akan, Ainu and Marimo Moss

Experience the culture of the Ainu, the indigenous people of Hokkaido. Visit the hot springs at Lake Akan’s Onsen town. Learn about the mysterious green moss balls, the Marimo.


Discover Lake Akan

Lake Akan lies on the Eastern side of the island of Hokkaido, in the Akan Mashu National Park. Lake Akan formed inside an active volcanic crater, resulting in surrounding natural onsen and rich verdant forests.

It is most famous for its Marimo, a rare form of algae that collects over time, eventually forming perfect, bright-green balls as big as 30cm in diameter.

The volcanic activity around Lake Akan provides some of the best hot springs found in Japan. Visit an onsen and relax in one of these remarkable natural wonders. This volcanic activity also provides some natural features around the lake, such as the bokke walking trails, which follow a path around small craters which create bubbling mud volcanoes.

The ‘bokke’ bubble with water and volcanic gases which reaches upwards of 90 degrees celsius. The indigenous Ainu people named these mud volcanoes ‘bokkeas that is the sound the mud makes as it gurgles and steams in the craters. Take a trip to Lake Akanko Ainu Kotan, a settlement of 120 Ainu people, to learn more about Japan’s indigenous culture through craft, performances, and workshops. At the settlement, expert craftspeople create wooden carvings and other souvenirs which are valued the world over.  

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