The natural beauty of Hokkaido, with its wide-open wilderness, lush forests, and many mountains and lakes, is a wonder to explore. Activity tours help you get the most out of Hokkaido’s trail network. Here are your options.
Lake Shikotsu (Shikotsuko)
Chitose, Hokkaido, Japan
There are many ways to enjoy Lake Shikotsu. Go bird-watching at Shikotsu Wild Bird Nature Path or the Yacho-no-Mori bird sanctuary. During the summer, popular activities include fishing, boating, snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, hiking, cycling, and camping. During the winter, popular activities include snowmobiling, snow rafting, and sledding. Hot springs (onsen) can be enjoyed year-round.
Visit independently or as part of a guided hiking, mountain biking, snow-activity, or Ice Festival tour to Lake Shikotsu. Visitors looking to explore more of the area can join a guided tour with additional stops at Lake Toya and the Toya-Usu UNESCO Global Geopark.
The colors of autumn were all over the mountain and lakes! There was a bit of snow at Mt. Usu. Tour team assigned to us was amazing! Really worth it!
katlising, Nov 2019
Recent reviews from experiences in Sapporo
Great Experience Cycling Tour
tiffenybeh, Oct 2019
Lake Shikotsu Mountain Bike Tour from Sapporo
Had a great time with tour guide Marion. He is very careful and always make sure your safety comes first. Cycling through the park with some bumpy path was great. The view of Lake Shikotsu was awesome with the surrounding of autumn leaves on the trees.
Neal_M, Jul 2020
Lake Shikotsu & Lake Toya National Park Private Day Trip
Sumi was a fantastic tour guide. She was so easy to talk to, and she was very knowledgeable about the Shikotsu-Toya National Park, Sapporo and Hokkaido. The whole park area was gorgeous, the two calderas were beautiful, and the views from Mt. Usu were stunning.
Day trip from Sapporo
Chris H, Nov 2019
Explore Lake Shikotsu, Toya & Mount Usu
Met our tour guide Sam, a young guy from Northern Territory, Australia at 7:45. We were still gas bagging at 17:30 when our day out finished. Very pleasant trip with 2 lakes, volcanos and lovely autumn colors. Lunch to boot. Thank you.
Great tour option when you don't want to hire a car!
jessharling, Oct 2019
Explore Lake Shikotsu, Toya & Mount Usu
Enjoyable tour with an informative guide. All of the locations are beautiful and worth seeing. We visited some places that are tricky to get to without a car so good for those who cannot hire a car.
Things to Know Before You Go
Lake Shikotsu is ideal for nature lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, and adventure travelers.
Don’t forget your camera to capture stunning vistas around the lake.
Onsen hotels around the lake are open to nonguests.
Be sure to dress appropriately for the weather and activity.
How to Get There
Lake Shikotsu is located inside Shikotsu-Toya National Park, about 27 miles (43 kilometers) south of Sapporo and 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of New Chitose Airport. For those not visiting as part of a tour, it’s easiest to get there and around by car. By public transport, take the train from Sapporo to Chitose Station, then transfer to a bus to Lake Shikotsu. Buses are also available from New Chitose Airport.
When to Get There
When to visit Lake Shikotsu depends on which activities you want to do. Several popular festivals take place nearby, including the Lake Shikotsu Festival in late July, the Lake Shikotsu Autumn Leaves Festival in early October, and the Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival in late January to mid-February.
Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival
Every year, water from Lake Shikotsu is sprayed to create stunning ice sculptures, which are lit at night, for the Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival. In addition, the festival includes a variety of activities such as ice skating, sledding, and tubing. On weekends and public holidays, there are additional special events, including drumming performances and fireworks displays.
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