If you would like to visit a calm place as we say secluded regions, it’s a good idea to go to Lake Shikaribetsuko and go hiking Mt.Haku-un-san.
I went there with my family in the beginning of the winter 2021. It was a wonderful experience and we monopolized the beautiful scenery from the top of Mt.Haku-un-zan.
It is located in Shikaoi town, East-Northern area of Hokkaido that is about 3 hours from Sapporo by the highway.
This is a natural lake and the highest lake in Hokkaido, 810m altitude and 100m depth. The area is a part of Taisetsuzan national park, the largest park in Japan. The park has some artificial lakes such as Nukabirako, but Lake Shikaribetsuko is natural one. A very special lake in Hokkaido surrounded by mountains. Mt.Haku-un-zan is one of them.
There are a few tourists because of its secluded location. This is a place deep in a forest in the Taisetsuzan mountain range.
You would like to stay here?
There is the only hotel called “Fusui (風水)” that I recommend to stay here before hiking. It is not stylish and fashionable like a urban hotel. But their dinner is one of the best I’ve ever had. I swear!
Japanese traditional styled dinner.
Buffet styled breakfast.
Camping is also available in the summer season from July to September. Call and ask Shikaoi town information center(0156-66−1135) or 0156−66-4034(weekday 8:30-17:15).
You will get several information at the Nature Center. But I don’t know if there is a english speaker or not. If not, they try to get you some useful information about outdoor activities such as canoeing, hiking and camping.
I recommend you to go hiking Mt.Haku-un-zan in the early mourning.
data for hiking
- time: about 3 hours
- distance: 3.9km
- up: 527m
The entrance is at a small cove called “Kotei-senro(湖底線路)” which means “sunk line”. You would see two small sightseeing ships which would be lifted up in winter.
You can park here, about 20 cars available but no toilet maybe. There is the only toilet at the Shikaribetsuko Nature Center in the front of hotel Fusui. You may bring some portable toilets which you can get at outdoor shop such as Montbell store, 3 packs set for $5.
We got there in the bottom of November 2021, the mountain was covered with light snow. It’s a little bit cold but getting hotter as hiking.
Mt.Haku-un-zan is 1,186m high, about 3hours and 4km hiking. Crampons are very helpful in winter season.
With blue sky and some clouds, there were a few hikers we met and monopolized the hole view of Lake Shikaribetsko from the top of mountain.
In these mountain area, rock rabbits are here and there. But you can rarely see them because they are always very watchful even if you hear their crying. The best you can do is watching their footprints.
Maybe these are rock rabbits’ footprints?
Anyway, there are more beautiful experiences waiting for you.
Here is a movie that shows a rock rabbit near Lake Shikaribetsuko, 2020-08-08.
Meet Rock rabbits
It was a lucky day I met a rock rabbit at the first time. This is the place where you will be showed for watching rock rabbits as you get some information about it at the Nature Center.
Googlemaps shows a place I got the movie. This is the most famous place you can see them if you have a luck.
By the way, I have met him/her only one time while I’ve tried for 4-5 times in last two years. I saw him/her at the only first time, it’s the beginner’s luck isn’t it?