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Toyako Onsen

Toyako Onsen

The Toyako Onsen (hot spring) area is located in the southern part of Lake Toya. The hot spring water is the result of the volcanic eruption by Mount Usu in 1910. The amount of hot spring water that is produced in the Toyako Onsen area ranks number three in all of Japan. The onsen water has mild amounts of saline, which is said to be highly curative for chronic eczema, rheumatism and wounds. At the foot of Mount Usu, the Toyako Onsen district has become the main hub for sightseeing in Lake Toya. The boat that goes to Nakajima leaves here every 30 minutes to an hour depending on the season. There are several luxury hotels lined up against the lakeshore that offer magnificent views of Lake Toya. Most of the hotels have hot spring baths available to visitors who are not staying for a fee of 500 to 1000 yen. This opportunity is only offered during the daytime. However, there are foot baths open to the public in front of the establishments at the promenade that tourists can enjoy. From May all the way to October there are daily nighttime fireworks shows for guests in the area to relish in the spectacle.

In 2000, Mount Usu erupted causing major damage to the infrastructure of the region. To the west of the Toyako Onsen you can take the Konpira Walking trails and see the damage caused by the volcanic activity from back then. The city decided to leave and preserve the disaster ridden structures as a memorial to show the destructive force of volcanoes. This path will also lead you to the Konpira Craters, which have become inactive and turned into caldera lakes. These two craters can be seen from the hill, but are not accessible during the winter. Another thing Toyako Onsen is famous for is hosting the G8 Summit back in 2008. The G8 Summit is a group of representatives from 8 countries coming together to discuss various issues on a mutual or global scale.