Lake Shikotsu Visitor Center - Hokkaido

The Lake Shikotsu Visitor Center (支笏湖ビジターセンター) is a compact and modern facility that offers engaging displays showcasing the rich heritage and diverse wildlife found in the vicinity of Lake Shikotsu.  It is located at Shikotsukoonsen in the city of Chitose in Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan.

Lake Shikotsu Visitor Center

Lake Shikotsu Visitor Center details

Before embarking on your exploration of the captivating Lake Shikotsu, make sure to pay a visit to the Lake Shikotsu Visitor Center—a treasure trove of information and a perfect starting point for your adventure. This eco-friendly facility, constructed with natural materials sourced from the Lake Shikotsu region, sets the stage for an immersive and environmentally conscious experience.

Lake Shikotsu Visitor Center - Chitose City, Hokkaido Prefecture

At the heart of the visitor center lies a series of informative displays, thoughtfully designed to engage visitors in a friendly and interesting manner. Embracing the theme of "To the forest, to the mountains, to the lake, to another trip to Lake Shikotsu," the exhibition facilities vividly showcase the diverse nature of this enchanting region. Through meticulously crafted models and captivating large-scale photographs, visitors are transported into the wondrous world that thrives within Lake Shikotsu, offering a glimpse of its hidden treasures.

Inside Lake Shikotsu Visitor Center

The Bears of Lake Shikotsu Visitor Center

The map of the Shikotsu-Toya National Park

Some preserved crayfish

Having absorbed the knowledge and inspiration within the visitor center, it's time to venture out and immerse yourself in the living wonders of Lake Shikotsu. Along the picturesque shores, a walking path beckons, providing an opportunity to get up close and personal with nature's embrace. Be sure to explore the enchanting Wild Bird Forest and discover the captivating wildlife that inhabits the area—a truly unforgettable encounter awaits.

Charcoal from the eruption of Mount Tarumae

A mini replica of a steam locomotive that was common in Hokkaido years ago

As you explore the Lake Shikotsu Visitor Center, you'll discover a range of fascinating features and attractions designed to enhance your understanding and appreciation of this remarkable destination. Here are a few highlights that await your visit:

Lake Shikotsu Visitor Center Information Corner

1. Information Corner: As you enter, you'll be warmly greeted by stuffed brown bears—a delightful introduction to the local wildlife. The Information Corner offers valuable insights into the nearby national parks, maps of the Lake Shikotsu area, and seasonal nature updates provided by knowledgeable staff members.

Kokanee Tank

2. Kokanee Tank: Witness the mesmerizing Kokanee salmon, a fish that thrives in the waters of Lake Shikotsu. Admire these remarkable creatures up close and personal, and depending on the season, you may even catch a glimpse of newly born juvenile fish or witness the vibrant red nuptial colors during the breeding season.

Nature Exploration Terminal

3. Nature Exploration Terminal: Engage with captivating videos and photos that unveil the rich history and remarkable highlights of Lake Shikotsu. Immerse yourself in the journey of discovery as you explore the three-dimensional model, enabling a deeper understanding of the lake's topography.

Lecture Room

4. Lecture Room: Unwind and enjoy a visual feast as the large screen showcases easily understandable images depicting the nature and geological history of Lake Shikotsu. Delve into a captivating presentation, approximately 15 minutes in length, available in multiple languages including Japanese, English, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), Korean, and Thai.

Team Nicerio visits Lake Shikotsu Visitor Center

My family and I visited the Lake Shikotsu Visitor Center last August 22, 2022, which was the 4th day of our "From Osaka with Love" Road Trip with our Japanese family. It wasn’t originally in our itinerary and we just went there out of curiosity. However, because of the interactive displays we didn’t realize that we were already inside for an hour. It is a good place to know Lake Shikotsu deeper.

Lake Shikotsu Visitor Center Fees

It’s FREE to enter and explore the Lake Shikotsu Visitor Center. However, you might want to bring money in case you want to avail yourself of some of the souvenirs that are sold inside.

Lake Shikotsu Visitor Center Operating Hours

Plan your visit to the Lake Shikotsu Visitor Center with confidence, keeping in mind the operating hours and holiday schedule to make the most of your experience.

April to November:

The visitor center warmly welcomes guests from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM, providing ample time to explore the informative displays and immerse yourself in the wonders of Lake Shikotsu.

December to March:

During the winter season, the visitor center operates from 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM. Embrace the captivating exhibits and educational offerings within this slightly adjusted schedule.

Tuesday Closures from December to March:

Please note that the visitor center is closed on Tuesdays during the winter months (December to March). However, if a Tuesday falls on a national holiday, the center will be closed on the following day. This ensures that you have ample time to plan your visit accordingly and avoid any inconvenience.

New Year Holidays:

Additionally, the Lake Shikotsu Visitor Center observes the New Year holidays. While specific dates may vary, it is advisable to check the center's website or contact their staff for precise closure dates during this festive period.

By being mindful of the operating hours and holiday schedule, you can optimize your time at the Lake Shikotsu Visitor Center, ensuring a seamless and enriching experience. Take advantage of the wealth of information, engaging exhibits, and stunning natural surroundings to create lasting memories of your visit to Lake Shikotsu.

Why visit the Lake Shikotsu Visitor Center?

The Lake Shikotsu Visitor Center stands as a gateway to unlocking the marvels of Lake Shikotsu. Learn about the lake from the interactive and informative displays and facilities in the visitor center. What my daughter and I enjoyed here is the VR experience. You should try it too.

Getting to Lake Shikotsu Visitor Center

The fastest way to reach Lake Shikotsu Visitor Center 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 Visitor Center is just a few meters away. 

Travel time: 1 hour
Fare: 1050 yen




Overall rating


  1. That looks like a museum too. How was Shikotsu Lake?

    1. I agree with you. There is an area inside the Lake Shikotsu Visitor Center dedicated to the flora and fauna around the lake.


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