Mt. Usu and Mt. Showo-Shinzan
Feel the history of vivid eruption with your skin
Close to the active volcano that has been there for thousands of years
Mt. Usu is a 737-meter high active volcano that was formed to the south of Lake Toya, Hokkaido, about 20,000 years ago. At the foot of the mountain, rose Showa-shinzan, a Special Natural Monument of Japan, during the period from 1943 to 1945. The two mountains are protected as part of Shikotsu-Toya National Park. The place where geological, natural and historical heritages including Jomon Era ruins have been discovered is important for academic studies as well. Mount Usu and Lake Toya joined the Global Geopark Network as "Toya Caldera and Usu Volcano Geopark," which is one of the three Global Geoparks in Japan.
A ropeway brings you in six minutes from the foot of Showa-shinzan to the top of Mount Usu with a great panoramic view. There is a 40-minute walking trail from the observatory at the vent to the observatory at the outer rim of crater. The observatories command a bird's eye view of Lake Toya and the Pacific. Many interesting spots that make the place attractive for tourists include a museum of Masao Mimatsu, a researcher of Showa-shinzan, and Showa-shinzan Bear Farm where you can observe brown bears and hot springs scattered from the crater to the foot of the mountain.
Address: Aza Showa-shinzan, Usugun Sobetsucho, Hokkaido
Phone: 0142-75-2401(Wakasaresort Co.,Ltd.)
Directions: Train: Take Donan Bus for Toyako Onsen at Toya Station on the JR Muroran Honsen (one hour and 20 minutes from Shin-Chitose Airport) for a 15-minute ride to Toyako Onsen Bus Terminal, change to Donan Bus for Showa-Shinzan for a 15-minute ride to the terminal and take a short walk; then 6 minutes by ropeway and 7 minutes by foot to the summit. *No bus service during winter.
Car: 15 minutes from Date Interchange on the Doo Expressway (car parking available for 410 yen)