Lake Toya | Take My Breath Away

I have been waking up to this every morning (see picture above), and if this doesn’t take your breath away, nothing will. Lake Toya (洞爺湖) is probably one of the most understated attractions in Hokkaido, ironically, in contrast to neighbouring Noboritbetsu (登別) and its stinking sulphur. In fact, after a day trip to the “Hell Valley” (a.k.a Noboribetsu), I would say Lake Toya (洞爺湖) takes the cake hands down. Not only the view but no rotten egg smell too. I mean, just look at this!DSC09899And that’s not all. If you make the short hike up Nishiyama, you would be confronted by another view – on both sides. One side takes you to a baby caldera lake, the other opens up to the Sea of Japan.  Toyako (洞爺湖) or Lake Toya, when written in Japanese kanji, literally translates to “hole grandfather” (not sure who named it). It should really be called the Playground of the Gods.DSC09942One of my personal highlights on this trip to Hokkaido are the train rides. I know train journeys can be boring, monotonous, painful, even nauseating for some people. And some popped the sleeping pill almost as soon as they boarded the train. But I assure you that in Hokkaido (unless you’re a local of course), train rides are an excellent opportunity to marvel at the natural beauty of Hokkaido.DSC09960Every time the train emerges from a tunnel, a new snow draped mountain unfolds before my eyes. And like the curtains on a stage, the peaks start to reveal themselves one after another. I zipped past endless rows of snow-spangled cones from Furano (富良野) to Niseko (ニセコ). My trips from Sapporo (札幌) to Otaru (小樽) took me to the ocean, where the tracks literally hang precariously next to the crashing waves. I was rewarded with a huge flock of seagulls dancing above the waters on my journey from Lake Toya (洞爺湖) to Hakodate (函館). Every turn is a postcard. Every turn a surprise. I found myself humming to the lyrics of Roxanne.  LS


8 thoughts on “Lake Toya | Take My Breath Away

  1. Pingback: Weekend Wanders – lonesojourns

  2. We recently traveled to Hokkaido and also LOVED Lake Toya! We wished we’d stay there for two nights to fully explore all the hiking trails, the little island in the middle of the lake, maybe do some cycling… Lake Toya is definitely the prettiest lake we saw in Hokkaido and so underrated! It’s just so beautiful waking up to it!


  3. Pingback: WE WANT SNOW | HAPPY 2022!! – lonesojourns

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