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Friday, July 11, 2008

Toyako Hokkaido

洞爺湖

The recently concluded G8 Conference was held in Toyako (Lake Toya) in Hokkaido.

About 80km south west from Sapporo, Toyako is a popular onsen resort, famous for its beautiful mountains and lakes in the Shikotsu-Toya National Park.



Lake Toya is a caldera lake with the island of Nakajima at its center. Toyako Onsen is the main resort town on the lake's southern shore. 2km from town are the still active volcanoes of Usu-zan (732m) and Showa Shin-zan (402m), which were formed in the 1940s during the war. Mount Usu last erupted in 2000 and caused a temporary evacuation of Toyako Onsen.

The Volcanic Science Museum (Tel: 0142 75 2554) explains the formation of the two volcanoes and has audio-visual exhibits of the 1977 and 2000 eruptions. It is possible to visit the area damaged by the eruptions, the Konpira Parade and to walk to numerous, small crater lakes and see the mud flows from the volcanic activity in the area.

The main G8 Summit site was the Windsor Hotel Toya Resort & Spa, a luxury hotel perched on Mount Poromoi with amazing views of Lake Toya.


Access

There are trains from Hakodate and Sapporo and buses from Toya Station to Toya-ko Onsen. Alternatively, there are direct buses to Toya-ko Onsen from Sapporo.



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