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29. May 2022

Hokkaido Trivia – Volcanic Landscapes In Eastern Hokkaido

If you select a tour that takes you around Eastern Hokkaido, you’ll find yourself immersed in nature surrounded by active volcanoes.  In Eastern Hokkaido there are 7 active volcanoes, 18 if we are to include those in the “4 Northern Islands”.  This amounts to 60% of the entire active volcanoes in Hokkaido.

Lake Kussharo is Japan’s largest caldera formed by many volcanic activities.  I love Kussharo-ko (as we call it here) at any seasons for its majestic beauty that tells us its story of birth.  Mt. Iwo in Kawayu spa area is still active and the short walk around the bubbling fumaroles covered in bright yellow sulfur is fun and interesting.  Mt. Me-Akan is also an active volcano with breathtaking landscape surrounding the mountain.  Even the Shiretoko Peninsula partially owes to volcanic activities for its birth.  Many of these landscapes have strong acid in their environment that causes no fish to survive or only specific plants to grow – good example would be Kussharo-ko.

In Abashiri and other areas, watch out for large stones and cliff with column-shaped cracks.  These are outcomes of magma forming cracks when cooling.

Lastly, like I wrote before, if you have any comments or requests about this column, please write to me at info@ahww.jp. I’d be happy to respond! Hope this can be a little hint for you to enjoy your activities in Hokkaido in your future travels to Japan!

Kussharo-ko
Mt. Iwo