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Akan, Mashu, KussharoAkan-Mashu National Park

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Mt. O-akan Mountain Climbing Course

Mt. O-akan Mountain Climbing Courseの写真
Type:
Mountain Climbing
Time Required:
5 h 40 min.
Distance:
12.4 km
From the summit of Mt. O-akan, look over Lake Kussharo and the Shiretoko Mountain Range.

Course Outline

Passing by Lake Taro and Lake Jiro at the foot of Mt. O-akan, this course takes you through a dense belt of conifers and from Mt. O-akan’s 5th station, you will walk a ridge that cuts through an area of dwarf stone pines. The one and only route for climbing the mountain is a very long one, so compared to Mt. Me-akan, Mt. O-akan is more suited for experienced climbers. At the top, however, you will be rewarded with a grand vista looking over Mt. Me-akan, Lake Penketo, and Lake Panketo as well as a view reaching as far as Lake Kussharo, Mt. Sharidake, and the Shiretoko Mountain Range.

Highlights

An ancient lake echoing with a rippling stream
An ancient lake echoing with a rippling stream

Takiguchi

Takiguchi, where the trailhead is located, is near the headwaters of the Akan River that flows from Lake Akan. This spot is famous for its rhododendrons (Rhododendron dauricum and Rhododendron brachycarpum) and autumn foliage. After starting down the trailhead and advancing for about ten minutes, you will come to Lake Taro where you can see schools of big carp. Go on for another ten minutes to find the placid Lake Jiro, which has no rivers flowing into or out of it.

The stunning view after passing the 5th station
The stunning view after passing the 5th station

Lake Akan and Mt. Me-akan

The hardest part of the climbing trail runs along just below Mt. O-akan’s 5th station, but if you push through, the steep slope suddenly levels off into a wide-open area. Here, from the 5th station, you will have a fantastic view of the high mountain scenery carpeted mostly by dwarf stone pines, but you can also see other fauna including keyflowers (Dactylorhiza aristata), Weigela middendorffiana, and Ledum palustre ssp. diversipilosum. Continuing on, the trail is gentler and spotted with outlooks of Lake Akan and Mt. Me-akan, with the 7th station having an especially excellent view. Push on just a little further to reach the summit.

A summit overlooking majestic nature
A summit overlooking majestic nature

View from the summit of Mt. O-akan

Located on the east side of Lake Akan, Mt. O-akan has an elevation of 1,370 meters and its name in the Ainu language, Pinneshiri, is said to mean "the male mountain". From the summit, you can look down on Lake Akan, Lake Penketo, and Lake Panketo as well as catch a glimpse of Lake Kussharo through gaps in the surrounding forest and even see Mt. Sharidake and the Shiretoko Mountain Range off in the distance. From this spot, you get a true sense of the forests, lakes, and volcanoes that embody the magnificent nature of the Akan-Mashu National Park.

Course Map

Mt. O-akan Mountain Climbing Course

Course Time

Starting Point
1
Mt. O-akan Trailhead (Takiguchi)
10 min.
0.6 km
2
Lake Taro
10 min.
0.4 km
3
Lake Jiro
115 min.
3 km
4
5th Station of Mt. O-akan
65 min.
2.2 km
5
Summit of Mt. O-akan
40 min.
2.2 km
6
5th Station of Mt. O-akan
100 min.
4 km
5
Mt. O-akan Trailhead (Takiguchi)
Terminus
*Course time and distance are estimates.