East Hokkaido Part III: Mount Io || 道東3:硫黄山

※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 travelled Eastern Hokkaido, famous locally for its three volcanic lakes, Lake Akan, Lake Mashu, Lake Kussharo, and Mt. Io. In this post, I hope you will enjoy visiting Mt. Io 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。 今回は硫黄山について書きたいと思います~



Mt. Io: The Naked Mountain


Mt. Io (Io-zan in Japanese), referred to by the local Ainu people as “Atosanupuri” (naked mountain), is a volcano with the highest Sulphur concentration in Japan. The mountain is located between Lake Mashu and Lake Kussharo and is definitely worth a visit!

硫黄山: 裸の山


The bright yellow color on the ground is due to the high Sulphur content. Getting up close you can see the water boiling! Behind me, there is even a crater about 50m deep nicknamed “Bear Dropping” by the local Ainu people because it is believed that a bear fell into it before.




Most of the mountain where craters are found is off limits to visitors due to the risk of falling rocks. The barren mountain is covered by over 1,500 volcanic craters of all sizes emitting white steam! The white steam and smell of Sulphur envelopes the whole area, creating a unique atmosphere.


噴煙が上がる「アトサヌプリ」は、落石の危険性があり登山者の安全性が考慮され、立ち入り禁止となっています。 1,500個以上の火山噴火口が白い蒸気を放出していますよ! 硫黄の白い蒸気と匂いが全面を覆い、独特な雰囲気を作り出します。

After viewing the volcanic craters, you should stop by the rest house to try some of their famous “Onsen Eggs” cooked in the Sulphuric hot springs of Mt. Io!



At the resthouse with my Onsen Eggs.



It can be quite difficult to peel an egg cooked in hot springs as they can be too hot to touch, so I learned a new method of peeling eggs using masking tape!



Let’s try a new way to peel and eat “Hot Spring Eggs”!

First, you wrap the whole egg in masking tape. Then, you break the whole shell by hitting it against the table with the tape on.




When the shell is cracked, you simply remove the masking tape and your egg is perfectly peeled! No mess and no sticky hands! 








This is the third post in my 4-Part Series on East Hokkaido. Next stop: Lake Kussharo!