We opened our eyes in the morning and knew that today we are going to get the best of Toya lake and park. To start with- we were at the most beautiful place. Our room at the fourth floor of the Windsor Toya hotel faced the stunning view of Toya lake. Here we were, sitting in front of the big window and staring at the blue lake, watching the green woods that surround it. From each side we could see a volcano. To the left was Mount Yotei , a beautiful,1,898 meters high mountain. Having a shape that is similar to Mount Fuji, it is often called “Ezo-fuji” . To our right was the active volcano Usu.
The best breakfast in Hokkaido
Reluctantly we left the sight of the lake and went down for breakfast. The ship-like restaurant was overlooking a similar view and we prepared ourselves to enjoy the best of the kitchen. (you may read our Finshmaker choice review)
Finally, drowsy and satisfied, we decided that it is time to climb Mt. Usu. We prepared ourselves to a short hiking and felt sure that by early afternoon we will return for a nap. Mount Usu (Usuzan) has erupted four times in the past 100 years, last eruption in 2000. We took the Usuzan Ropeway that bring the visitors close to the volcano’s summit. At the upper station’s observation deck we stopped and looked at the panoramic views of Lake Toya. Then we followed an asphalt trail that lead to the second observation deck a short walk away (15 minutes walk). Here there is a nice view of the ocean and of Mount Usu’s largest crater.
Close to the crater
From this point we hesitate. The trail that leads to the crater is actually build of series of wooden stairs, hundreds of stairs. We started going down the stairs. The sun was burning and we felt how our clothes become wet with sweat. At midway we met three young men. They were from China and looked tired. One of them told us that for them it’s enough . We still couldn’t give up the desire to see the crater from a closer point and kept descending. More and more stairs (600 hundred ) until we reached the bottom. The trail continued on the border of the crater. From different spots we could see the steams breaking out of the ground, so close. Red and yellow and dark brown and black -the colors of the crater’s walls were beautiful.
It is one thing to go down 600 stairs and a totally different story to mount up. We came back exhausted, wet and dirty. All we wanted was to go and have a shower. A quick look on the watch and we understood that our nap is canceled as it was already after four. On our way back we sat for a few minutes in the small information center and watched a documentary on the volcano and it’s eruptions. Back in our room we hoped to see the fireworks display that Toya lake is famous of, but the clouds were thick and the whole lake had disappeared from our eyes.
Nest morning will be our last day in Hokkaido. It seems like the time was too short to see this beautiful island. We were left with the desire to return. But before leaving we are still going to walk tomorrow around the golf course of the hotel and enjoy the panoramic view.
Fineshmaker’s coice -Check our impression of hotel Windsor Toya