Lake Mashu and Kussharo

Autumn Color Blog 2008
by japan-guide.com

This is the official japan-guide.com autumn color blog for 2008 about our reporting trips to various autumn leaf spots across Japan. Check our page on Autumn Leaves for general information.

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2008/10/07 - Lake Mashu and Kussharo


by nicola

Lake Kussharo in Akan National Park

After yesterday's koyo tour in Lake Akan fell somewhat short of expectation, today we continued our colour hunt inside Akan National Park. In search of better shades and brighter hues, we headed northeast to the park's two other famous lakes, Mashuko and Kussharoko.

The blue waters of Lake Mashu

Lake Mashu was the first stop. While not regarded to be an exceptional koyo spot, it is nevertheless well known for its brilliant clear-blue colour.

Today, fast moving clouds passed overtop of the water and the shoreline, occasionally obscuring the blue waters and yellowish-gold hued koyo. Most of the deciduous trees were still green, indicating that the season has not quite arrived. However, there were definite signs of promising colouration at both of the two designated viewing spots.

Iozan (sulfur mountain)

Our next stop was Mt. Io, or Iozan. Again, this "sulfur mountain" is not listed among the typical koyo spots, but we stopped by anyway to admire the steaming sulfuric vents in the mountainside.

Iozan's sulfurous spouts bordered by red leaves

The smell of sulfur pierces the air at Iozan and steam pours out of the rocky hillside. To our surprise, a line of bright red leaves framed either side of this phenomenal steaming sight. These two narrow lines of crimson-coloured trees offered the deepest and most impressive shades of the day.

Edges of Lake Kussharo

As the sky clouded over and the afternoon crept on, we arrived at Lake Kussharo. It is possible to drive around a good portion of Lake Kussharo, and several open air baths (rotemburo) located along the way make this an appealing choice.

In terms of autumn colours, Lake Kussharo offered some really nice views as well. The shoreline is just beginning to turn gold, and a few eager trees have also deepened into red. With all of the lakeside rotemburo, I imagine peak koyo season to be especially appealing in combination with the outdoor baths. It was probably the most promising koyo spot of the day, though the colours were not yet at their peak

Kawayu Onsen town in Akan National Park

Lake Kussharo was our last stop inside Akan National Park and concludes the fall colours report from this location. Tomorrow we will head northeast to report from Shiretoko National Park.

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List of Posts:
2008/12/03 - Kamakura Report
2008/11/26 - Tokyo Report
2008/11/21 - Kyoto Report (4/4)
2008/11/20 - Kyoto Report (3/4)
2008/11/20 - Miyajima
2008/11/19 - Kyoto Report (2/4)
2008/11/18 - Kyoto Report (1/4)
2008/11/18 - Mino Park
2008/11/12 - Fuji Five Lakes
2008/11/05 - Nikko (2)
2008/10/29 - Lake Towada
2008/10/28 - Shirakami Sanchi (2)
2008/10/27 - Shirakami Sanchi
2008/10/21 - Nishizawa Valley
2008/10/16 - Nikko
2008/10/10 - Akagiyama
2008/10/08 - Shiretoko Peninsula
2008/10/07 - Lake Mashu and Kussharo
2008/10/06 - Lake Akan
2008/10/03 - Tateyama Alpen Route
2008/09/26 - Sounkyo Onsen
2008/09/25 - Daisetsu Kogen Onsen
2008/09/24 - Mount Asahidake

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