Lake Kussharo

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Lake Kussharo
130713 Lake Kussharo Teshikaga Hokkaido Japan01s5.jpg
July 2013
Lake Kussharo 屈斜路湖 is located in Japan
Lake Kussharo 屈斜路湖
Lake Kussharo
LocationTeshikaga, Hokkaidō
Coordinates43°37′39″N 144°19′46″E / 43.62750°N 144.32944°E / 43.62750; 144.32944Coordinates: 43°37′39″N 144°19′46″E / 43.62750°N 144.32944°E / 43.62750; 144.32944
Typeacidotrophic crater lake
Primary inflowsAtosa River (跡佐川, Atosa-gawa), Amemasu River, Onnenai River, Shikerepenbetsu River, Onneshireto River, Toikoi River, Meshikimemu River, Enetokomappu River, Ossappe River (尾札部川, Ossappe-gawa)
Primary outflowsKushiro River (釧路川, Kushiro-gawa)
Basin countriesJapan
Surface area79.3 km2 (30.6 sq mi)
Average depth28.4 m (93 ft)
Max. depth118 m (387 ft) [1]
Water volume2.25 km3 (0.54 cu mi)
Shore length157 km (35 mi)
Surface elevation121 m (397 ft)
SettlementsKawayu Onsen and Kotan in Teshikaga
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.

Lake Kussharo (屈斜路湖, Kussharo-ko) is a caldera lake in Akan National Park, eastern Hokkaidō, Japan. As with many geographic names in Hokkaidō, the name derives from the Ainu language. It is the largest caldera lake in Japan in terms of surface area, and sixth largest lake in Japan. It is also the largest lake in Japan to freeze over completely in winter. The name Lake Kutcharo is also sometimes used.[2][3]

Relief map of Kussharo Caldera (left) & Mashu Caldera (right)

The lake's central island, Nakajima (not to be confused with another island of the same name in Lake Tōya), is a stratovolcano. It is also Japan's largest recursive island. Volcanic gases render the lake water acidic, and it supports few fish except in areas where inflowing streams dilute the water. Rainbow trout, which are also resistant to fairly acidic water, have been artificially introduced. In 1951, a rare form of cicada (Hyalessa maculaticollis) was discovered, and is now protected by the government. The lake is also on the migratory path of the whooper swan.

Along the lake shore are several outdoor hot springs and a sand beach with naturally heated sand and hot ground water. Wakoto Peninsula extending into the lake has a number of active sulfurous vents.

The lake is also known as Japan's Loch Ness, after numerous reported sightings on a lake monster dubbed Kusshii by the press from 1973.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Geographical Survey Institute map 25000:1 屈斜路湖
  2. ^ "Kutcharo volcano". Volcano Discovery. Archived from the original on July 7, 2019. Retrieved March 24, 2021.
  3. ^ "Kutcharo". Oregon State University. Archived from the original on October 31, 2020. Retrieved March 24, 2021.

External links[edit]