There is a deep blue lake in Hokkaido, occasionally shrouded in a mysterious mist, which attracts many visitors. Surrounded by the primeval nature of Akan National Park, stand the pristine waters of the "mysterious" Lake Mashu.
Lake Mashu is known by a couple other names as well. It is sometimes called "Blue Mashu" due to its distinctive deep blue color, and "Foggy Lake Mashu" because occasionally it is covered in a thick milky fog. Lake Mashu is not connected to any rivers, being supplied primarily by rain water and snow melt, and so does not suffer from many forms of human or natural contamination such as sewage or plankton. This makes its waters some of the most transparent in the world.
The landscape surrounding the lake is a mixture of mountains and marshes, making the area a great representation of typical Hokkaido scenery. To preserve this beautiful area Teshikaga Town proposed an environmental "Master Plan" in 2001. The plan was an aggressive and concrete commitment to environmental protection of the area, and assures that this area will be protected as a regional treasure for years to come.
▲ Lake Mashu in Winter (Shot Selected from the Hokkaido Heritage Photo Contest)
Lake Mashu is a well known landmark to the local population in Teshikaga Town, whose main product is nearly 100 tons of buckwheat per year. With a sense of humor that shows a deep fondness for the lake they call their product "Mashu Meal."
The "Starry Night at Lake Mashu" event is also popular. Guide will lead visitors to Lake Mashu Viewing Platform where they can enjoy the magnificent starry night sky, as well as appreciate the beautiful lake itself.
▲ (Shot Selected from the Hokkaido Heritage Photo Contest)
＜Portal Site - Teshikaga Town Tourism＞
Homepage: http://www.hokkaidoisan.org/ (Japanese)
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(Hokkaido Likers Writer - T・H)
(Photographs provided by NPO法人北海道遺産協議会)