Akan-Mashu National Park, a sprawling and beautiful area of protected wilderness in eastern Hokkaido, is one of the prefecture’s true natural treasures. It’s home to the caldera lakes of Akan, Kussharo, and Mashu, the former of which, is renowned for its marimo, strange algae balls that form in the lake and have been adopted as mascot characters. The nearby Akanko Onsen area is a great place to stay the night, with up 12 hotels and ryokan (traditional inns) lining the shores of the eponymous lake. At these lodgings, you can soak in onsen (hot springs) and eat some delicious local produce. Akanko Onsen also offers visitors an opportunity to experience Ainu (the indigenous Hokkaido population) culture. At Akanko Ainu Kotan, a replica Ainu village, you can watch descendants of the indigenous population put on traditional performances and create handmade crafts.
4-6-10 Akanko Onsen, Akan-cho, Kushiro-shi, Hokkaido