The fuming Iōzan

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.

From the lovely lake Kussharo, we drove into the mountains towards Mount Io, also known as Iōzan Gradually the landscape changed as the forest of Sakhalin Spruce gave way to the rocky surface of Iōzan Only a few dwarf stone pines and heathberry plants can be seen in the vicinity Barren landscape around Iozan Shitona, our tour guide kept us entertained with legends and mythical folklore of the area But she only spoke Japanese These are the times I deeply wish I had learnt a bit of Japanese I so love to hear stories As we got closer it seemed like a thick cloud had engulfed the side
Igloo Village of Shikaribetsu

The Igloo Village of Shikaribetsu

We ride to Lake Shikaribetsu, the highest lake in Hokkaido to visit a phantom village. Hidden deep in the mountains, the “Lake of the Sky,” as named by the Ainu, makes for a very serene and peaceful experience. The village exists only during the winter months and disappears with the onset of spring.

Our first day in the beautiful island of Hokkaido I was excited and looking forward to spending my next week surrounded by snow Coming from a land where temperatures frequently touch 50° Centigrade, it is like a fantasy coming to Hokkaido in winter It was going to be a long day We were headed for the city of Kushiro, almost 300 km away On the way, we had planned to take a break at Obihiro, and visit the phantom ice village on Lake Shikaribetsu Phantom?? Because nobody actually lives in that village Shikaribetsuko Kotan (然別湖コタン) is a winter event held from late January to mid March at Lake Shikaribetsu, located in

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