Lake Shikotsu - Hokkaido

Lake Shikotsu (支笏湖) is a caldera lake located in the city of Chitose in Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan.

Lake Shikotsu

Lake Shikotsu details

Lake Shikotsu is the second deepest lake in Japan, with a maximum depth of 363 meters (1,191 feet). The lake is approximately 40 kilometers (25 miles) south of Sapporo, the largest city in Hokkaido, and is part of the Shikotsu-Toya National Park.

Lake Shikotsu - Chitose City, Hokkaido Prefecture

The lake has a circumference of approximately 40 kilometers (25 miles) and a surface area of 42.9 square kilometers (16.6 square miles). The lake is fed by several small streams and is drained by the Chitose River. The water in Lake Shikotsu is clear and has a blue-green color, which is caused by the presence of dissolved minerals.

Pictures of Lake Shikotsu

Lake Shikotsu is a popular outdoor destination for fishing, boating, and hiking. The lake is surrounded by mountains and forests, and there are several hiking trails in the area. Every winter, The Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival is celebrated near the Lake Shikotsu Visitor Center on the eastern side of the lake. It takes place over several weeks in late January and early February and is one of the most popular winter festivals in Hokkaido.

Yamasen Bridge Ruins


The event is open every day from 10 a.m. to 8 PM, however, the lighting begins at 4.30 p.m. The admission fee is 500 yen.

The Lake Shikotsu Sightseeing Boat ticket office

Lake Shikotsu glass bottom boat ride

During summer, Lake Shikotsu is a popular getaway for those who enjoy water activities. You can rent a kayak and paddle around the lake or in the Chitose River. You can also ride the glass bottom boats and see the creatures living in Lake Shikotsu

Kayaking in Chitose River

Chitose River

Chitose River

The lake is also known for its hot springs, which are located on the lake’s eastern shore. The hot springs are a popular destination for tourists, and several hotels and resorts in the area offer hot spring baths.

Lake Shikotsu Onsen Guide Map

Team Nicerio visits Lake Shikotsu

A picture with our Kayaking teacher

My family and I visited Lake Shikotsu last August 22, 2022, which was the 4th day of our "From Osaka with Love" Road Trip with our Japanese family. Aside from enjoying the view, we also tried out several activities like kayaking in the Chitose River and riding the glass bottom boats. We also learned a lot about the lake because of the displays inside the Lake Shikotsu Visitor Center. Given a chance, I would surely bring my family back and stay for the night in one of the resorts along the lake and maybe take a dip in its onsen as well.

Overall, Lake Shikotsu is a beautiful natural attraction in Hokkaido that offers a variety of outdoor activities and is a popular destination for tourists in any season.

Lake Shikotsu Fee

It’s FREE to explore the lakeside of Lake Shikotsu but if you would bring your car, you need to pay 500 yen for the parking fee. You also need money to try out the different activities here.

Why visit Lake Shikotsu?

In my opinion, Lake Shikotsu is one of the most beautiful lakes in Hokkaido. Aside from that, a whole day wouldn’t be enough to fully enjoy what the lake has to offer. Whether you are looking for outdoor activities, relaxation, or cultural events, Lake Shikotsu has something to offer.

Getting to Lake Shikotsu


The fastest way to reach Lake Shikotsu from New Chitose Airport is by riding the New Chitose Airport Limousine Bus (Airport Shuttle Bus Shikotsuko). You will find the limousine buses at the New Chitose Airport (JAL) (Bus) (New Chitose Airport Line/Outbound) terminal. 

Board down at the Shikotsuko bus stop. From there, Lake Shikotsu is just a few meters away. 

Travel time: 1 hour
Fare: 1050 yen




Overall rating


  1. The glass bottom boat seems to be enjoyable but the kayaking activity is the best among the activities there.

    1. I agree with you on some extent. I like how I was able to control the kayak and go where I want to go but the glass bottom boat is a relaxed experience perfect if you have young kids or older people in your group.

  2. Lake Shikotsu is beautiful!


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