Three Select Spots to Visit in the Lake Akan and Lake Mashu Areas
The Lake Akan area has a kotan (village), where you can come into contact with Ainu culture. It is the largest settlement of the Ainu people in Hokkaido, where you can purchase cute Ainu goods. We also introduce a mystic pond near Lake Mashu and a gourmet dish that is famous around the country!
Akan Ainu Kotan
This is a kotan (village) to the west of the Akan Onsen village where approximately 130 Ainu people live. There are about 30 shops where you can purchase traditional crafts, such as wood carvings, and enjoy Ainu food. In addition, at Lake Akan Ainu Theater Ikor (1,080 JPY to view performances), you can watch traditional Ainu dance performances and have various Ainu cultural experiences.
The "cise" exhibits houseware and other items to show how the Ainu people lived.
There are other shops that sell Ainu crafts too!
Wood carvings by artists, accessories, etc. are exhibited in the Fujito Museum of Antique Ainu Culture in the basement of the crafts shop, Kumanoya.
This is a pond that is said to have been created by the pure underground water of Lake Mashu. Approximately 12,000 tons of underground water wells up every day. In the clear, blue pond, you can see the sand fluttering in the spring water welling up at the bottom and Dolly Varden trout swimming around. The pond's color transforms mystically with the changes in the light, and the transparency that allows you to see to the bottom of the pond is amazing!
The Mashu Pork Rice Bowl on the menu evolved from the Pork Rice Bento sold at JR Mashu Station, which once placed second in a national competition of station bento boxes at a Tokyo department store. It is now famous around the country!
The secret to the fabulous flavors is the skills through which the meat is cooked at just the right heat while being mixed with a soy based sauce that has been nurtured for over 15 years. The pork loin in the Mashu Pork Rice Bowl (1,080 JPY) is grilled on a net so that extra fat drips off and the umami flavors of the meat is maximized.
[This article was originally published in Walkerplus on 05.07.2017]
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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