Walking
Hot Spring
Distance
3.2 km
Time
1 h0min
Start
Wakoto Field House
Finish
Wakoto Field House

Wakoto Peninsula Walking Trail

Observe volcanic activity and a rich variety of flora and fauna on the Wakoto Peninsula

The Wakoto Peninsula was originally an island formed by volcanic activity. It later became a peninsula connected to Lake Kussharo's shore as sediment collected over the years. This walking trail starts at the Wakoto Field House, where you can find information about the nature of the area. The trail takes you across the sandbar for beautiful views of Lake Kussharo. Walk clockwise around the peninsula and look out for the diverse array of flowers and trees. Highlights include the Oyakotsu Jigoku, or "Oyakotsu Hell," spewing volcanic fumes, and a free open-air hot spring at the trailhead, where you can relax after completing the walk.

Highlights

Band-legged ground crickets

Insects and wild birds

You can hear the chirping of band-legged ground crickets on the peninsula year-round. They are active even in the freezing winter thanks to the warm microclimate heated by geothermal energy. The Wakoto Peninsula is also the only place in eastern Hokkaido where you can hear the min-min cicada (Hyalessa maculaticollis)—the peninsula is the cicada's northernmost habitat in Japan. As you explore the area, keep your eyes open for narcissus flycatchers, grey-headed woodpeckers and white-backed woodpeckers.

View of Oyakotsu Jigoku from the observation deck

Oyakotsu Jigoku

Oyakotsu Jigoku, at the tip of the peninsula, is a great spot to get a close-up look at volcanic activity. Japanese explorer and author Takeshiro Matsuura, who visited in 1858, wrote, "The vents belch black smoke, and the echoes can be heard far off. When the sun goes down, its fire is reflected in the lake's surface as bright as day." There is a wooden observation deck here, where you can look down a rocky cliff into the lake to see the boiling water between rocks at the waterline and steam spouting from cracks in the rock face. It can also be accessed by canoe.

Autumn foliage

Botanical life

The Wakoto Peninsula is home to a rich variety of spring flowers such as the yellow fukujuso (Adonis ramosa), snowy white Asian skunk cabbage, nirinso (Anemone flaccida) and ichirinso (Anemone debilis). Take a stroll under rows of cherry trees and explore a forest of beautiful white birch, Erman's birch and katsura trees. Katsura trees were used by Ainu communities to make dugout canoes. They also colored their tattoos with soot from white birch.

Trail Map

Wakoto Peninsula Walking Trail

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