Akan Yuku no Sato Tsuruga is a secluded hotel near Lake Akan, a lake in the eastern part of Hokkaido. Surrounded by mountains and forests, this area for ages has been home to the indigenous Ainu people. And recently, it has become a popular sightseeing spot along with its hot springs.
With the theme of relaxing and enjoying deserved pampering at a local spa, we headed to Akan Yuku no Sato Tsuruga, a hotel renowned for the quality of its hospitality.

▲ Akan Yuku no Sato Tsuruga standing beside Lake Akan. It gives you the perfect time to relax with nature and the lake. (Photo provided from Akan Yuku-no-Sato Tsuruga)

Majestic natural scenery and Ainu culture: Attractions of Lake Akan Onsen

Lake Akan Onsen is an area located in the southern part of the Lake Akan lakeside, a 60-minute drive from Tancho Kushiro Airport, and a 90-minute drive from Kushiro City.
Cute algae balls (called “Marimo” in Japanese), which were designated as a National Treasure, are living in the lake. This area has not only nature but also examples of the Ainu culture, which you can see at “Kotan” Ainu village.

▲The best located hot spring area surrounded by the majestic nature.

▲There are Marimo all over the world, but only the ones from Lake Akan grow up big and well-shaped. (Picture provided by Akan Tourism Association)

▲ Lake Akan Ainu Theater ‘Ikor’ performs traditional Ainu dance. You can have such a spiritual time there with members of the Ainu culture.

This hot spring area has an old history. When Bushiro Matsura, who was investigating Hokkaido, found the place in 1858, Ainu people were already using the hot spring.
After the Akan-Mashu National Park was registered as a national park, many people started visiting the area, helping the park develop as a landmark. Right now, there are a lot of hotels, restaurants and souvenir stores.
The hot springs’ quality of this area is rich in hydrogen sulfide and comes in temperatures from 38 ° to 85°C degrees (100° to 185°F). It is said that this material is suitable for neuralgia, coldness, fatigue recovery, rheumatism, chronic digestive diseases, and hemorrhoids. You can enjoy seeing the beautiful scenery in open-air baths. Moreover, there are footbaths and hand baths all along the hot spring street.

▲ The “Handbath of Marimo” located on a corner of the hot spring street. It makes your hands warm.

Art inspired by great nature of Lake Akan welcomes you

Akan Yuku no Sato Tsuruga is one of the most popular and reputable hotels in this area. You will be able to have a great time there with a wide variety of rooms and heartfelt hospitality.

▲The entrance of the hotel facing the main hot spring street. (Picture provided by Akan Yuku-no-Sato Tsuruga.)

This Lake Akan Onsen hotel is located a 5-minute walk from both the Kotan Ainu Village and the dock. Behind the hotel, there is the lake, and you can enjoy the view from some of the rooms and while you enjoy soaking in the hot spring.

▲Two sculpture of the gracefully dancing cranes welcomed me in the lobby.

When I entered the hotel, the beautiful sculptures of cranes and owls welcomed me. These are the works of the sculptor, Mr. Masamitsu Higuchi. He admired a young man who sculpted a bear in Akan when he was young, and he moved to this place to become like the young man.
Since then, as a woodcarving sculptor, he has continued making sculptures form the grand nature of Akan and Ainu culture, using driftwoo…

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