We traveled from Hakodate to Sapporo with a stopover in Lake Toya. Left our big bags in Hakodate and took the 4 hour train ride only with our tote bags. Lake Toya is midway between the 2 major cities. Not too far from Lake Toya is Noboribetsu and yes, the JR Line passes that too. But we only visited Toyako (“ko” means lake) and made sure we stored our overnight bags in one of Toya Station’s locker so we can enjoy strolling in the lake park.
From the train station, we took a cab to the Sendoan restaurant where we planned on having lunch and errr, a bit more food shopping. Cost of Taxi: ¥2,000 vs bus fare of ¥330. Each way. We worried the bus won’t take us to our preferred restaurant but later learned it passes the area. We took a taxi again back to the train station out of fear we’d miss our connecting train to Sapporo only to learn the bus and train schedules are so perfectly synchronized. So Japanese. We could have saved nearly ¥3,000! But all’s well. Lunch in Sendoan offered a lake view and it was also so near the jetty where lake cruises sail off. But you guys know better now. 👌
As for lunch, we were prepared to spend for a good hotate and kamameshi lunch here in Sendoan but was pleasantly surprised that meals are so reasonably-priced. They even have kiddie meals! We took our own sweet time walking by the lake here. Lake Toya claims to be the 2nd clearest lake all over Japan and its waters never freeze over during winter. All that volcanic activity accounts for that. And the Onsen resorts here owe it to the hot springs to be found around the lake. Autumn is beginning to show its colors here. Lovely.
There are nightly fireworks by the lake but we were eager to catch our connecting train to Sapporo before night sets in. You might ask, is Lake Toya worth the trip? Absolutely. You can split your journey between Hakodate and Sapporo or vice versa, with a night’s stay in one of the Onsen hotels here. Honeymooners most welcome!