Taiken Japan

Autumn Leaves 2016

"Lake Hangetsu" Mysterious Lake Surrounded By Lush Forests

"Lake Hangetsu" Mysterious Lake Surrounded By Lush Forests

Lake Hangetsu is a volcanic lake located at the west foot of Mount Yotei, the landmark of Niseko. It is not that huge as a lake; about 1.3 square kilometers (about 320 acres) in area. As the name of the lake "Hangetsu (half moon) describes, it is shaped like a fat crescent moon viewed from above. It originally had a circular shape but it shrank to present form because some of the lake bed got elevated.

Surrounded by dense virgin forest, it is hard to see the whole picture of the lake. When you walk around the promenade around the lake, however, you will see the lake surface through the woods intermittently creating spiritual atmophere. On a fine day, the area becomes the comfortable place embraced by the dim sunlight filtered through the trees and bird whispers


During summer climbing season of Mount Yotei, the parking space might get crowded because it is close to one of the starts of the climbing routes. As a spot close to Niseko resort, however, it is a calm off-the-beaten-path place.  During early to mid summer, the forest shows the bright and deep green reflection over the lake while in autumn colored leaves turn the surface of the lake bright red.


Beside the promenade, you will see the large Japanese oak trees and wild plants with lovely flowers. With some luck, you may encounter some chipmunks and great spotted woodpeckers. Deep nature, however, also entails more biting bugs. Particularly beware of hornets.

Walking along the promenade from the parking space, you will find a path leading down to the lake shore. While the promenade circling around the lake is well managed, the path down to the lake shore is narrow and steep so the walking shoes that fit well is essential.  Although lake shore does not have so much space, you can enjoy the murmuring of the trees by the gentle wind breaking the dead silence or beautiful ripples of the lake water.


Lake Hangetsu Nature Park
Address :Kutchan-cho, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido