Although the lake and mountain have been a very familiar sight to me for over 30 years as my wife’s family home is only a few kilometers away, it was not until a visit with Leon and Matt on an extended road trip that I finally got round to climbing it. The car park was busy as usual with coaches and tourists lining up for their selfies in front of one of Hokkaido’s most famous sights, so we quickly pulled on our boots and set off. We soon left the crowds behind. It was a sunny day and we thoroughly enjoyed the gentle stroll around the lake rim, then the climb through the birch forest up the ridge that finally spat us out on the rocky summit, the steep drops and jagged eroded ridges providing a stark contrast to the earlier easy ramble. A few alpine flowers bloomed in the rocky soil, clinging to the rim of the sheer drop into the secondary crater. Eastern Hokkaido with its lakes, volcanoes and rolling agricultural and pastoral landscapes spread out all around us. Although the view of the lake from the summit did not have the symmetric beauty one sees from the tourist viewpoint, it was, we agreed, a much better place to be.
Kamuinupuri (Mashu-dake) Hiking
カムイヌプリ（摩周岳） | Kamuinupuri