Fantastic and mysterious hours
on a very transparent lake
Lake Kuttara is a caldera lake in Shiraoi-cho, Shiraoi-gun in the southwest of Hokkaido. Circumference of the lake is 8.5 km, its surface is 258 m above sea level and its maximum water depth is 148 m. Its underwater visibility of 28.3 m is one of the highest in Japan, which makes the landscape fantastic and mysterious for many visitors.
The lake is to the east of Noboribetsu hot spring in the Shikotsu Toya National Park. There are many active volcanoes in the surrounding. The Lake Kuttara is a crater lake of the volcano Kuttara. The name derives from "Kuttaru ushi to" meaning "A lake of Japanese knotweed" in Ainu.
Ezo Salamanders and crawfishes live in the area. Oncorhynchus nerka that was once cultured here has naturally propagated and many people come to catch them. Because there are facilities (Lake House) renting swan boats and rowboats, you can visit caves from the lake side. You will hear birds (White's Thrush, Japanese scops owl, Grey Nightjar) singing in the surrounding old-growth forests and may meet an Ezo red fox or buzzard on your way. The lake is in Shiraoi-cho but access is from Noboribetsu.
Address: Kojohama, Shiraoi-gun Shiraoi-cho, Hokkaido
Phone: 0144-82-2216 (Siraoi Tourist Association)
Directions: (Train) Take Donan bus for Noboribetsu Onsen at Noboribetsu Station on the JR Muroran Honsen (one hour from Shin Chitose Airport), get off at Noboribetsu Onsen and drive by car for 15 minutes. (Car) 10 minutes from Noboribetsu-higashi Interchange on the Doo Expressway *The road is closed in winter and available only from around late-April to mid-November.