Ainu Kotan is a small Ainu village near Lake Akan. The village comprising some 40 Ainu households live here in scattered huts in an attempt to preserve the Ainu culture. The Ainu are greatly skilled in wood works and various shops can be found in the village selling wood carvings and embroidery.
We ride to lake of the Gods. The aborigine Ainu called it so, for a reason. Surrounded by 200 m high crater walls, the deep blue mirror-like waters of Lake Mashu make for a unique landscape. We are lucky travelers I guess, for it is frequently blanketed in heavy fog and a rarity to view at its scenic best
Iōzan, also known as the Sulfur Mountain spews volcanic gases, rich in sulfur all year round. Standing amidst these steam bellowing vents and yellow crystallized rocks, it feels like we are on a different planet altogether.
Lake Kussharo is the largest of the three caldera lakes that make up Akan National Park. In winter the lake becomes home to hundreds of whooper swans and other migratory birds. The still simmering volcano keeps the water warm for these feathered tourists from the Russian Arctic