Friday, 20 April 2012


有珠山 . 우수산

(A sightseeing stop in the Hong Thai Travel 7D Hokkaido Package Tour, my first packaged tour experience.)

We started Day 2 of our tour with a visit to Mt Usu, or Usuzan 有珠山 as the locals called it. This active volcano last erupted in Year 2000, and Mr. Tour Guide reassured us that it would not erupt when we were there.

Source: Usuzan Gondola Website

We arrived at Kazan-mura 火山村 to see an exhibition on the volcanic eruption of Mt. Usu and Mt. Showa Shinzan (another active volcanic mountain nearby). This exhibition also had a section that simulated the intensity of an eruption. Then it's off to board the Usuzan Ropeway 有珠山ロープウェイ!

After 6 mins, the gondola brought us to the Usuzan Sancho Station 山頂駅 in the mountain, where there was a Lake Toya Observation Deck. It was a breathtaking sight!

Lake Toya 洞爺湖

Showa Shinzan on the left - you can see some smoke coming out

Usuzan Sancho Station

We turned left and took a 15-min hike up to the Usu Crater Basin Observation Deck. Because we were at the mountain top, there was still a lot of snow and it was rather cold. I even made a small snowball, and aimed it at Mom, ha ha!

There is still smoke coming out!


I was panting a little by the time we reached the Usu Crater Basin Observation Deck. Mom said it was because it was cold, and the air up in the mountains is thin. Brr... it was so cold at the observation deck, so we circled it quickly and headed back to the gondola station.

Outer Rim Boardwalk is closed because of snow
I managed to collect an ink imprint of Mt. Usu at the Usuzan Sancho Station, whilst everyone else headed for the toilet after all that walking. The winds outside were strong, and Mom forbade me from going out lest I catch a cold.
After we returned to Kazan-mura, Mom went to shop for some snacks at the gift shop, while some Aunties bought soft-serve ice-cream from a small store nearby.
Then it was off to lunch!

Photo in front of Showa Shinzan
   Directions: 15mins from JR Toyako Station by Donan Bus bound for Toyako
                   Onsen. Get off at the Toyako Onsen Bus Terminal.
                   Change to Donan Bus bound for Showa Shinzan, and alight after
                   15mins at the last stop.
   Operating Hours:  8am - 6pm (subject to seasonal changes)
   Tel:                     0142-75-2401
   Ticketing:            Click here

Lunch @ Wakasaimo わかさいも本舗洞爺湖本店
After a 10-min ride, we reached the restaurant that is on Level 2 of Wakasaimo, located next to Lake Toya 洞爺湖. As we ate, we got to enjoy beautiful views of Lake Toya. We ate quickly because Grandma and Mom wanted to check out the sweets shop downstairs whilst I wanted to see the toys.

    Address:北海道虻田郡洞爺湖町 洞爺湖温泉144
    Tel:        0142-75-4111
    Operating Hours: 9am - 7pm (subject to seasonal changes)
Grandma getting all excited about the scenery
I didn't like this as it was all vegetables
Mom said the weather was very good, so we went to take more pictures of the huge lake. The lake is very beautiful but it was very windy.

Read about our next stop - Hakodate.
Read about our previous stop - Noboribetsu Jigokudani.



  1. Dear. Would like to know about how are you going back from Showa Shinzan to Toyako Onsen Bus terminal (near lake toya), is it by bus or taxi?

  2. Mom: Sorry for the late reply, and thanks for reading our blog!

    You can take the Donan Bus 道南バス. For some reason, its website is not working (in Japanese only) so perhaps this is the next best reference -