When looking at the lakes of Hokkaido, the near perfect roundness of Lake Kuttara always stands out. Located in the caldera of a volcano in the town of Shiraoi but towards Noboribetsu, it's part of the Shikotsu Toya national park. The lake is home to freshwater crayfish and salamanders that can be easily spotted due to the remarkable clarity of the water.
Access to the lake is from Noboribetsu Station on the Muroran Main Line, which connects to other train lines going to Hakodate, Chitose, and Sapporo.
Access to the lake is from the Noboribetsu side, despite the lake technically being in the town of Shiraoi. It is a short 15-minute drive from the center of Noboribetsu.
The water of Kuttera Lake is the 2nd clearest in Japan according to the Ministry of the Environment, with a transparency of 19 meters
There is no record of volcanic activity in more than 200 years, but the lake is in the caldera of an active volcano
The lake has a fishing area, which is famous for its sockeyed salmon fishing
If you are planning to be in Noboribetsu to enjoy a hot bath or at the Shiraoi Ainu Museum, you should add Kuttara to your plans. It is one of the many caldera crater lakes of this volcanic and geothermal area. The colors of the trees and landscape change through the year, so any picture taken at Lake Kuttara will be unique.
Despite being a close to town, a variety of animals can be seen in and around the lake. Local Hokkaido foxes, squirrels, tanuki and deer are often seen. For bird-lovers, thrushes can be seen during the day. At night, nocturnal birds such as nightjars and owls are common.