Japanese Language Blog

Crater Lakes in Japan Posted by on Jun 18, 2011 in Culture

Have you even seen a volcanic water crater? It’s one of the most beautiful sights that nature has blessed Japan with. It’s one of those things where you have to see it to understand its beauty! Mount Aso (阿蘇山) is a mountain range that consists of five major peaks. One of these peaks is named Mount Naka (中岳). Mount Naka is famous for its steaming crater lake. There was a minor eruption in 2011 because Mount Naka is an active volcano that emits steam and smoke on a regular basis.

Mount Zaō (蔵王) is a mountain-volcano complex located in Yamagata (山形県) and Miyagi Prefecture (宮城県). There are several smaller mountain volcanoes on Mount Zaō, one of which is named Mount Goshikidake (五色). Mount Goshikidake is a cone shaped mountain with a crater pond named Goshikinuma (五色沼). The name ‘Goshikinuma’ means ‘Five Lake Pond’. The name comes from the fact that the color of the crater pond changes with the season.

Mount Kusatsu Shirane (草津白根山) is a volcanic mountain that contains three crater lakes. The largest of these crater lakes is called Yugama (湯釜) [pictured left]. Yugama is sea green in color with bits of acidic, yellow sulfur floating on the surface. Mount Kusatsu Shirane is located in the small town of Kusatsu (草津町) in Gunma Prefecture (群馬県). Isn’t amazing how nature creates beautiful landscapes better than any manmade structures?


Mount Haku (白山) contains a volcanic crater lake called Midorigaike (翠ヶ池). Mount Haku spans the borders of Gifu (岐阜県), Fukui (福井県) and Ishikawa Prefectures (石川県). Mount Haku’s volcanic crater lake is named after the word “midori” which means “green” in Japanese. Depending on the season, the crater lake may look green, hence the name. Although it’s tempting to jump into the crater lake, there are many onsens or hot springs on Mount Haku, so you can indulge yourself in a nice dip in the water.

Mount Yake (焼岳) lies across the borders of several prefectures that include Matsumoto (松本市), Nagano (長野県), Takayama (高山市) and Gifu Prefecture (岐阜県). There are two main peaks on Mount Yake. In between the two peaks is a small crater lake. Mount Yake is still an active volcano mountain. There were at least twenty-two recorded eruptions on Mount Yake. In the future there may be more, which means that there is the possibility that there will be more crater lakes!


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