East Hokkaido Part 2: Lake Mashu
道東2: 摩周湖


Lake Mashu: The Mysterious “Mashu Blue”


※The recent earthquake was such a disaster in Hokkaido… But amidst the avalanches, broken roads collapsed houses, the Japanese spirit of resilience to such hardships is amazing and truly shines through. This past summer, I had the chance to visit Hokkaido for the first time. Although visiting Sapporo is arguably the most popular for first-time visitors to Hokkaido, I wanted to explore the much less traveled Eastern Hokkaido, famous locally for its three volcanic lakes, Lake Akan, Lake MashuLake Kussharo, and Mt. Io. In this post, I hope you will enjoy visiting Lake Mashu with me!

※北海道の最近の地震は本当に残念なことですね…しかし、土砂崩れ、家屋や道路の崩壊があった中、苦難から直ぐに立ち直ろうとする日本の精神は素晴らしいと思います。私は、今夏 初めて北海道を訪れました。札幌は人気がありますが、私が訪れたのは道東の3つの火山湖(阿寒湖摩周湖屈斜路湖)と硫黄山です。 今回は摩周湖について、ご紹介したいと思います~

Lake Mashu is famous for being one of the clearest lakes in the world – the water is a color so brilliant it deserves its own name of “Mashu Blue.” Created when snowmelt and rainwater pooled in the caldera of an active volcano that erupted 7000 years ago, Lake Mashu is surrounded by steep, forested cliffs, and beyond them, the peaks of other volcanic mountains found in the Akan National Park. Despite not having any water flowing in or out, it is a mysterious lake where the water level never changes!


Visitors may only view the lake from the designated observation decks. The best view is from the 3rd observation deck!

訪問者は指定された展望台から湖を見ることができます。 最高の景色は第3展望台からです!

During the summer, the surface of Lake Mashu is often obscured by fog, so we were incredibly fortunate to lay eyes on the beautiful lake.

Or, perhaps we were not actually lucky…

Local legend has it that those who see Lake Mashu’s surface beneath the mist will either a) not be able to marry until later in life, b) break up with their partner if they’re in a relationship, or c) be unable to get ahead in their career. *shock*




Unfortunately, I only found out about this legend after visiting Lake Mashu..!!

Oh well… It was a breathtaking sight nonetheless, and totally worth the risk!

This is my second post in a 4-Part Series on East Hokkaido! Read more about my adventures to Lake AkanLake Kussharo, and Mount Io in my other posts!

まあ… それにもかかわらず、息をのむような光景でした!



2018 Oiran Dochu Parade

I can’t believe it has already been a year since I was the first-ever foreign oiran performer to lead the Oiran Dochu parade at the 2017 Shinagawa Shukuba Festival! It was so much fun to be featured on the poster for this year’s parade, and so exciting to see them posted all along the Kita-Shinagawa Shopping Street! (Click here for last year’s Oiran Dochu News on my Tayu experience, including newspaper articles and videos!)

Recently dropped by to meet this year’s Oiran cast during their workshop to practice before the festival. (Find out more about my experience practicing being an Oiran: Tayu Oiran Soto-Hachi Monji Walk ) The ladies performing the parade this year are all kind and beautiful, and I am sure they will put on a spectacular show! For those in Tokyo, do visit the festival to support them on Saturday, September 29th!

Unfortunately, I will have to be in Singapore to attend a friend’s wedding and will have to miss it this year, but hope to continue promoting awareness of such Japanese cultural events~!


話が変わりますが、私は2017年品川宿場祭りで、初めての外国人の花魁太夫をやらせていただいてから、もう1年経ったとは思えません! 今年の花魁道中のためにポスターすることは大変名誉なことと思います。北品川商店街にポスターがたくさん貼ってあるのを見た時とても嬉しかったです! (「花魁道中ニュース」のリンクをクリックすると、新聞の記事やビデオを含む自分の経験についての詳細情報が表示されます。)

最近、花魁ワークショップを訪問しました。(八外文字を練習しました!去年の私の経験について、ビデオも編集しましたので、リンクをクリックしてご覧ください:「太夫の外八文字の練習会 」)今年花魁道中の女性たちは、皆、優しくて美しいです。素晴らしいパフォーマンスを行うことと確信しています! 東京にいる方は、9月29日(土)にお祭りを訪ねてください!



About Rachel

Rachel Leng is COO and Co-Founder of SeiRogai, Inc., a Tokyo-based business consultancy & media production company. Previously, she was Leader of Business Development on the Investment Management team at a Japanese private equity fund, as well as Policy Analyst at a top think tank in Seoul, South Korea.

As an East Asia specialist and former Miss Singapore titleholder, Rachel is passionate about the potential of media to educate and raise awareness about history, culture, art, business, and societal issues to enhance mutual understanding.

Recent Posts

Affiliate Partners

Subscribe to my newsletter and stay updated!