Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Noboribetsu & Lake Toya-Memory From Hokkaido 8

The best part of my trip in Hokkaido: Noboribetsu & Lake Toya.

Noboribetsu is perhaps best known for its various kinds of hot spring baths but there are also plenty of other beautiful places nearby this lovely sea side town.

One is the Jigokudani (Hell Valley), is a large crater that was formed by Kuttara volcano about 200,000 years ago. It is 450 meters in diameter and is surrounded by red stone cliffs. Hot steam vents and sulfurous streams pour out from the sides of this red valley area giving it a very hell like appearance.
This area is one of the major sources for the Noboribetsu hot springs. I did enjoy the hot spring in the hotel after the trip back from Hell Valley.

The other highligh is "Lake Toya", which is located in the southwestern part of Hokkaido, belongs to Shikotsu-Toya National Park(支笏洞爺国立公園). This caldera lake lies 11km east and west, 9km south and north and measuring 43km around.
The active volcano that stands proudly near the lake with white smoke rising above it is Mt.Usu. It is one of the most active volcanoes, with repeated eruptions on a cycle of between 30 and 50 years. 
The photo below is the amazing views of lake toya from a high place at Shikotsu-Toya National Park. Lake Toya is an ice-free lake. It never freezes, even in winter when the temperature falls quite drastically. There are big and small four islands in the middle of the lake...

Our Japan Airline tour arranged our nite stay at Toya Kanko Hotel. There is a very great view of lake Toya from our room. It would be great to go for a walk at nite if it was not so cold. I wanted to have an evening stroll to see if I could take a picture of the beautiful white swans, I saw them in friend's photo, but it was really too cold for me to move around. The area is very quiet, there is not much options to go out, so I stayed in the room, watching the sunset, blue sky and the lake, white snow-capped mountain in the far...Day dreaming...

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