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  • Nakajima in Lake Toya
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  • Footpath on Nakajima
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  • Welcome to Lake Toya
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  • Swans
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  • Vast meadow
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Toyako (Lake Toya) Recreation Forest

571.60ha

Elevation Lowest: 100 m / Average: 100–450 m / Highest: 450 m

A volcanic gift: lush green islands in a caldera lake

Magnificent forests and valleys that you’ll feel compelled to photograph

Newest information
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Please visit official tourism websites for the latest updates and information.
Area
Hokkaido
Activities
Autumn leaf viewing (Includes surrounding area) Birdwatching (Includes surrounding area) Picnics (lawn area/park) (Includes surrounding area) Paddling / fishing / boating (pond / lake / river) (Payment required in some cases)
Overview
Geographical/topographical features
Nearly circular Lake Toya is Japan's third largest caldera lake. It is also Japan's sixth deepest lake, with a maximum depth of 180 m. The lake is famous for the clarity of its water: you can see driftwood and fish at the bottom of the lake on a canoe tour.
The four uninhabited islands of various sizes in the middle of the lake are collectively called Nakajima. Visitors can take a boat cruise (fare required) from the lakeside to the largest island.
Mt. Usu, which last erupted in 2000, and Mt. Showa-Shinzan―which suddenly rose on the plateau within just two years after a great eruption followed by the formation of a lava dome in 1944―soar near the Toyako (Lake Toya) Recreation Forest.
Historical/cultural features
The name "Toya" is said to be derived from "to-ya," which means "the shore of a lake" in the Ainu language.
The first onsen (hot spring) inn opened on the lakeside in the late 1910s, and Toyako Onsen began developing into a popular hot spring resort by the late 1920s.
In July 2008, Toyako Onsen found itself in the international spotlight as the venue for the 34th G8 Summit (the Hokkaido Toyako Summit). This brought Toyako Onsen to the attention of people both within and outside Japan.
Climate, flora and fauna
The area receives little snowfall and has a mild climate for Hokkaido.
Nakajima is home to wild Ezorisu (Hokkaido squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris orientals)) and Ezoshika (Yezo shika deer (Cervus nippon yesoensis)). Also, a variety of fish species can be found near the shore, including not only native species, but also many introduced species such as Himemasu (sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka)). Therefore, Nakajima attracts a large number of fishing enthusiasts in the summer (around June through August) when sockeye salmon, Sakuramasu (masu salmon (Oncorhynchus masou)), and Nijimasu (rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)) can be caught (a recreational fishing fee is required).
Meanwhile, Yezo shika deer were introduced to Nakajima after World War II. Their swelling numbers have led the Ministry of the Environment and Hokkaido Prefecture to work on controlling the population.
Attractions
The Toyako (Lake Toya) Recreation Forest boasts magnificent scenery that changes throughout the four seasons, with fresh verdure in the spring and crimson and golden foliage in the autumn. The entire area is within Shikotsu-Toya National Park.
The Recreation Forest is surrounded by a variety of points of interest, including volcanoes and hot springs. It also offers a number of facilities where visitors can experience nature, such as a lakeside campsite and the Lake Toya Forest Museum on Nakajima. Visitors can learn about the earth (i.e., our geological heritage) at the Toya-Usu UNESCO Global Geopark―designated as Japan's first UNESCO Global Geopark in 2009―by walking trails that provide a view of a crater, visiting the Volcano Science Museum, as well as going on guided canoe tours, riding horse, picking fruit and bathing in hot springs.
The Naka-Toya Campsite has "Kimundo-no-ie" Onsen (fee required), which uses only natural spring water and enables campers to casually enjoy the hot springs of Lake Toya.
Latest Information
Information on temporarily unavailable facilities
Lake cruise: Passengers cannot disembark at Nakajima during the winter (from November through early April).
Regular events
Lake Toyako Long Run Fireworks Display
(from late April through October 31 every year)
Hokkaido Two-day March
(mid-September every year)
Lake Toya / Tsukiura Wine & Gourmet Festival
(early October every year)
Warnings (Flora and fauna)
Ticks: Please note that ticks are present in the underbrush. Wearing long sleeves and long trousers is essential.
Usage Guide
Entrance fee
None for the Recreation Forest itself
Naka-Toya Campsite: Overnight Use - Adults 450 yen, Children 340 yen / Day Use - Adults 230 yen, Children 130 yen
"Kimundo-no-ie" Onsen: Adults 420 yen, Elementary or Junior High School Students 140 yen, Preschoolers (4 years of age or older) 70 yen, Children 3 years of age or younger are free
Lake Toya Forest Museum: Adults 200 yen, Children 100 yen
Operating hours and seasons
(Recreation Forest itself) Accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (However, nighttime visits are not recommended for safety reasons as there are many rocky areas and the nearby lake.)
Staffed facilities such as administration buildings
Naka-Toya Campsite: In operation from late April through the last day of October Lake Toya Forest Museum: Open 9:00 am – 4:00 pm from late April through early November
Hakusen Falls, Rarumanai Falls and Sandan Falls are accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Accommodation options
[Outside the forest]
Naka-Toya Campsite / There are also many hot spring inns near the Recreation Forest.
Facility
Toilets and drinking fountains (Includes surrounding area) 1 location Walking trail (Includes surrounding area) Parking lot (Includes surrounding area) 3 locations Visitor center (staffed only) (Outside the forest) 1 location (Payment required in some cases) Vending machine (Outside the forest) Shop (Includes surrounding area) Restaurant (Includes surrounding area) Campsite and/or cabins (Includes surrounding area) 2 locations (Payment required for use of facilities and participation in activities) Resource center/Museum (Includes surrounding area) 3 locations (Payment required for use of facilities and participation in activities) Accommodation facilities (Hotels/Japanese inns) (Outside the forest) Hot Spring (Outside the forest) (Payment required for use of facilities and participation in activities)
Map
pdf
Location
Toyako Onsen, Toyako Town, Abuta County, Hokkaido / Nakajima, Sobetsu Town, Usu County, Hokkaido
Access
(Distances and times are provided as a guide only)

Parking lot capacity / parking charges
  • Free parking for 20 vehicles at the Lake Toya Cruise Pier parking lot
Nearby tourism facilities
  • Usuzan Ropeway, Mt. Showa-Shinzan (about 15 minutes by car from the Cruise Pier)
Management office contact details
Shiribeshi District Forest Office
Information on Other Local Tourist Attractions
Volcano Science Museum [External link]
Toyako Visitor Center [External link]
Usuzan Ropeway [External link]
Showa-Shinzan Bear Ranch [External link]
Official Tourist Information
Toyako Town website [External link]
Sobetsu Town website [External link]
Recreation Forest Management Committee
Supporters
Other

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