|A Mysterious Gem in the Mist
Lake Mashu, one of the three caldera lakes in Akan National Park (Lake Akan and Lake Kussharo are the other two), is known for its remarkable water clarity and heavy mist which often shrouds it. The lake holds the world record of transparency (41.6 meters (137 feet) below the surface in 1931). Although there are three observatories around the lake, heavy mist often obscures the lake surface like an immaculate deep-blue velvet. Thus, the lake is generally regarded as being hidden and inaccessible, and is sometimes called "the mysterious lake."
Although there are no rivers running into or out of the quiet lake, the water level barely changes throughout a year, which adds to the mystery. Surrounded by the sheer cliffs, the lake features a small isle in its center. The isle is the peak of a lava hill which rises about 230 meters (755 feet) from the bottom of the lake. The Ainu people who have long lived here call the isle "Kamuishu," which roughly means "Island of the Gods."
Photos: (Hokkaido Tourist Association)
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