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Following the eruption of Mt. Shitoyama in 1910, Lake Toya Hot Spring (Toyako Onsen) opened in 1917. The healing efficacy of its brownish-yellow hot spring water has become well-known, reportedly helping to relieve neuralgia, arthritic pain, oversensitivity to cold, etc. Moreover, the water is famous as a skincare treatment. If you take a bath in this water, your skin is said to become smoother and more attractive. To enjoy these benefits, why not visit this famous onsen? Since it’s only about two hours from Sapporo by car, you can take a bath and come back to Sapporo on the same day. In addition to daytime bath services for single-day trippers other than overnight guests, there are even spots where you can enjoy relaxing footbaths and handbaths. Just take a walk, or rent a bicycle, and find a soothing onsen experience for yourself!
Lake Toya (Toyako), the third largest caldera lake in Japan, spreads out in front of Lake Toya Hot Spring. According to geologic research, this lake formed due to a gigantic eruption that occurred about 110,000 years ago, and four islands near the center of the lake were lava domes that rose and cooled about 50,000 years ago due to eruptive activity at the bottom of the lake. These islands together are called Nakajima, and visitors can see them close-up by taking a sightseeing tour cruise. Lake Toya is regarded as one of Hokkaido’s three great landscapes for its beautiful lake views that change from morning to evening.
Lake Toya Hot Spring is also famous for its unique lakeshore fireworks displays. Usually such events are only scheduled several times during the summer, but here, a gala fireworks exhibition concludes each evening from spring to fall. This nightly 30-minute show of about 450 fireworks creates a fantastic display for all around the area to share. You can take a night cruise to see fireworks from the lake, rent yukata (Japanese summer kimono), etc., and make the most of delightful Japanese summer evening festivities.

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