Akan National Park (Hokkaido)
Attractions: caldera lakes, volcanoes
Akan National Park boasts three major caldera lakes, four volcanoes and magnificent forests. Lake Akan, located less than a two hours drive from Kushiro City, is known for its "marimo", or waterweeds. The marimo has a diameter of 6in/15cm and can be found at the bottom of the lakes, making the water appear shimmering green.
There are other crater lakes, such as Lake Masshu, Lake Kusshoaro, and gIozanh, an active volcano covered with sulfurous vents.
On the western side of the Akan National Park lies Lake Akan (alt 1,375ft/ 419m), which has a circumference of 14mi/ 22.5 km and a maximum depth of 118ft/ 36m. This lake is noted for its abundance of fish (trout, salmon) and for its waterweeds known as the marimo. Normally found on the bottom of the lake, the marimo grows to the surface of the water and can reach a diameter of 6in/ 15cm. When the sun shines, the lake appears a shimmering green color. The marimo, also found in Lake Yamanaka and Lake Sakyo, is a statutorily protected species. On the south side of the lake rises Me-Akan (4,931ft/ 1,503m), and on the east side, O-Akan (4,498ft/ 1,371m) - two volcanoes which form a magnificent backdrop to the lake.