Let’s go for early morning walk on frozen Lake Akan to see “Frost Flowers”

Snowfield and Mount Oakan in a morning glow, “Frost Flower” also called as “winter flower”, hoarfrost and diamond dust. I went for an early morning walk on frozen Lake Akan to see those beautiful nature sceneries.
 
This time, I participated in “White silver Lake Akan, early morning walk tour” planned by “Akan Tourism Associatin”.
 
 
 
 
The meeting time was 6:20 a.m.
Once I stepped out of the hotel, my sleepiness had gone away immediately. The temperature on the day was - 22 degrees celsius. No matter how much I wore, cold air strikes my skin. However, this coldness creates amazing beauty of the nature.
 
First of all, I wore snow shoes to walk on the frozen Lake Akan. 
 
 
 
 
I kept walking to the center of the lake. The sky got gradually lighter after the sunrise.
 
 
 
 
After I walked about 10 minutes, I saw a little forest on the snow.
This forest, actually an island that floats on Lake Akan. During summer, you can’t reach this island without a ship, however, you are able to walk to this island in the mid winter.
 
 
 
 
Keep walking until the shore of the island.
 
Not only humans walk to this island during winter.
 
 
 
 
According to Mr. Nakadaira, my guide, footprints of Ezo deers are also found quite common. 
As the sun goes up, the beauty that nature created began to shine.
 
 
 
 

 
As I walked around the shore of the island, I reached the final point of this early morning tour.
A part of frozen lake melted and looks like a pond.
 
 
 
 
This is a particular point where the temperature is a little bit higher than other parts of the lake, because of the onsen underground. However, the water is still cold and you will not be able to bathe in. There were steams around but these are not because the water is hot, the steams appear because the  outside temperature is too low and there are a huge gap between the water temperature. 
 
If you see the border line of melted water and frozen lake, you see little white something. What is this…!?
 
 
 
 
This is “Frost Flower”.
When temperature is cold, frozen vapor stick to the surface of ice, and create shapes that look like flowers. This is a natural phenomenon seen in some parts of Eastern Hokkaido such as Lake Akan and Lake Kussharo.
 
“Today was a really lucky day” says the guide Mr. Nakadaira.
About -20 degrees celsius, no wind, and sunny. On the day like this, Frost Flowers, hoarfrost, and diamond dust are especially beautiful.
 
“The sunrise is extremely beautiful if you come out a bit more early. The sunrise is late until the mid February so you can watch that during the tour. If you are staying until tomorrow, try to wake up earlier and go out!”
 
If I hear that, I could not think of any reasons to not go out.
On the next morning, I woke up earlier and went to the lake again!  
 
Left the hotel at 5:45 a.m. Walked on the frozen lake, still dark, towards the floating island on the ice. 
At about 6:20 a.m., the sunrise started.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I was really satisfied that I woke up so early. I could not stop looking, and forgot about the coldness.
 
 
 
 
I could stay more but I left as the sun went up. I just have to go back the same way.
 
 
 
 
As the onsen district gets near, it’s time to say good bye to this beautiful early morning scenery. Warm breakfast is waiting me at the hotel.
If you wake up a little early, even the breakfast tastes different. Why don’t you participate in this early morning walk?


 

Akan Tourism Associatin

0154-67-3200
http://www.lake-akan.com/en/index.php
The tour operated from late January to mid March
The tour duration is 6:30 a.m. - 7:30 a.m.