Shikotsu-Toya National Park

A museum of volcanic activity

Centered on Lake Shikotsu and Lake Toya—two of Japan’s representative caldera lakes—the park contains many volcanoes, such as the active Mt. Usuzan, and the stratovolcano Mt. Yotei. Hot springs, Jigokudani, and other volcanic phenomena can also be seen. The area is dotted with volcanic lakes and marshes, such as Lake Kuttara and Lake Tachibana, creating a volcanic landscape representative of Japan.

Visiting Japan's National Parks

Shikotsu-Toya National Park, like all of Japan's national parks, has no entrance fees, no opening and closing hours, and a permit is not required to enter or stay in the park. The national parks of Japan differ from national parks worldwide in that the land within the national parks is not exclusively designated for national park use and is made up of private property as well as public and protected areas. Visitors are free to enter and leave at any time.

Park Highlights

This volcanic activity is responsible for the popular hot spring areas including Noboribetsu, Lake Toya and Jozankei. The breathtaking landscape comprises interweaving lakes, forests, and volcanoes. Lake Shikotsu is famous for being at the northern limit for non-freezing lakes, and the distinctive deep blue color of the water surface is particularly appealing.

DON'T MISS

  • Climbing beautiful Mt. Yotei 
  • A visit to Jigokudani to see the belching volcanic gasses and gushing hot water
  • Try to spot the Black woodpecker—the largest species of the woodpecker family in Japan

The park’s location close to central Sapporo City and Shin-Chitose Airport makes it easy for many people to visit. Besides people visiting by private car or tour bus to see volcanic phenomena and experience nature, or on sightseeing tours for hot springs recreation, people come to the park to climb mountains and observe the alpine vegetation.

MT. YOTEI

This free-standing mountain has a beautiful shape. While climbing the mountain, visitors can enjoy the changes in the vertical distribution of vegetation, and near the summit hikers are welcomed by many species of alpine plants. Because of the mountain's high altitude, be sure to thoroughly prepare yourself both physically and mentally before attempting the climb.

LAKE TOYA

Created approx. 110,000 years ago in a gigantic volcanic eruption, Lake Toya is a caldera lake measuring 8 km to 11 km across. Agricultural land is spread in the broad plateau that was also created in the eruption and the area in the caldera is dotted with settlements and hot springs resorts dot.

JIGOKUDANI

Located to the northeast of Noboribetsu Onsen, these remains of an explosion crater measure around 450 m in length and are the source of the wellspring for the Noboribetsu Onsen. Volcanic gasses and hot water gushing out violently can be viewed from the surrounding footpaths.

NOBORIBETSU, TOYAKO AND SHIKOTSUKO ONSEN

Shikotsu-Toya National Park includes many hot springs with different qualities, notably at Noboribetsu Onsen, Toyako Onsen, Jozankei Onsen and Shikotsuko Onsen. All visitors are welcome.

About the Park 

In the southwestern part of Hokkaido Prefecture, Shikotsu-Toya National Park is a park where visitors can see not only two large caldera lakes—Lake Shikotsu and Lake Toya—but also a variety of volcanic landscapes.

FACTS & FIGURES

  • Date of National Park Designation: May 16, 1949
  • Area: 99,473ha (994.73 square kilometers)
  • Location: Hokkaido

PARKS RULES & SAFETY 

As with any national park or conservation area, visitors to Shikotsu-Toya National Park are required to observe the following rules for safety and to protect the area's natural biodiversity:

  • Carry in, carry out: Take all of your trash with you. 
  • Do not pick wildflowers or damage plants. 
  • Do not feed the wild animals. 
  • Hunting is not permitted. 
  • No fishing unless with a certified guide.
  • No smoking while walking. 
  • Campfires are only permitted in designated areas. 
  • Stay on the footpaths.
  • Do not abandon pets in the wilderness.