Discover Lake Shikotsu and Chitose

Nestled in the far north of Japan, Lake Shikotsu is a popular tourist destination conveniently located near Chitose Airport and Sapporo City. The picturesque lake, surrounded by breathtaking mountain scenery, offers a serene retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life. Explore the area's hiking trails, or simply relax by the water's edge and take in the tranquil beauty of Lake Shikotsu.

Things to see and do

Tours and Activities


Getting around Lake Shikotsu and Chitose

The easiest way to get around Lake Shikotsu and Chitose is by car, but most major sights and attractions are accessible by a combination of trains and busses. Though, travelers will have to rely on single tickets or a prepaid card, since no special train or bus passes are provided within this area. If you decide to rent a car, it is advised to do so from the nearest airport in the vicinity. You can use our car rental widget in the FAQ menu below. 

Getting to Lake Shikotsu and Chitose

Public transportation:

To get from Sapporo to Lake Shikotsu and Chitose by public transportation, travelers need to:

  1. First, take the JR Rapid Airport train from Sapporo Station to Chitose Station. The total travel time is approximately 40 minutes. 

  2. From there, it is around 45 minutes by bus to most sights around Lake Shikotsu. 


Nearest airport: 

The nearest and most convenient airport is New Chitose Airport. 

  • by car: approximately 40 minutes

  • by public transport: approximately 1 hour


Car rentals:

How long to stay at Lake Shikotsu and Chitose

We recommend staying here for about two days.

Hotels near Lake Shikotsu and Chitose

Flights to Lake Shikotsu and Chitose

The nearest and most convenient airport is New Chitose Airport. 

  • by car: approximately 40 minutes

  • by public transport: approximately 1 hour

Seasonal information

Scenic rides:

  • Shikotsu Lake Glass Sightseeing Boat: click here to go to the official website



The hiking season in this area typically runs from Spring until Autumn.

Festivals at Lake Shikotsu and Chitose

There are two well-known festival in this area. Please be advised that the following info is based upon previous entries of the festival and that the dates might have changed for the following year. It is also possible that the entire festival is cancelled in the case of heavy rainfall or a natural disaster. Please check with the official organisers' website for the most up-to-date information. 
For the exact location of the festivals, you can consult our map above by clicking on the icon in the upper most corner of the map to open the map legend. Festivals are hidden by default but can be made visible by clicking on the "Festivals" checkbox in the map legend.


  • Lake Shikoku Ice Festival

    • Date: January 24th until February 16th

    • Time: 09:00 - 22:00


  • Lake Shikotsu Water Festival

    • Date: June 29th

    • Fireworks: 19:45 - 20:30

Getting mobile data in Japan

Day trips from Lake Shikotsu and Chitose

Situated within the Shikotsu-Toya National Park, Jozankei Onsen provides a relaxing retreat for weary travelers. Enjoy the local shops and restaurants in the charming town or visit the intriguing Iwato ...

Travel time:

Distance, km: 28.85

Read More

Sapporo, a lively city in the northern corner of Japan, is renowned for its beer, skiing, and snow. But this vibrant metropolis offers so much more to explore. Take your ...

Travel time:

Distance, km: 32.99

Read More

Explore the intriguing landscape of Noboribetsu, best known for Jigokudani or 'Hell Valley.' This unique area allows you to witness volcanic activity up close through its various hiking trails. Traverse ...

Travel time:

Distance, km: 37.45

Read More

Located in the picturesque Japanese village of Rusutsu, this winter wonderland is an ideal destination for those who love skiing and snow-related activities. Surrounded by beautiful landscapes, Rusutsu offers a ...

Travel time:

Distance, km: 41.57

Read More

Discover the majestic beauty of Lake Toya, a volcanic crater lake that boasts breathtaking views. This stately wonder offers numerous hiking opportunities around the lake, allowing you to fully appreciate ...

Travel time:

Distance, km: 52.86

Read More

Otaru is a city that caters to all tastes. History buffs will appreciate the old port quarter, canal area, and heritage buildings, including the remarkable Herring Mansion. Wine connoisseurs can ...

Travel time:

Distance, km: 57.29

Read More

Tucked away in the mountains of Hokkaido, Niseko is a paradise for winter sports enthusiasts. Spend your days skiing and snowboarding on pristine slopes, and when you need a break, ...

Travel time:

Distance, km: 62.61

Read More