During an earthquake in 1943, Showa Shinsan rose suddenly from a farmer's wheat field. Kept secret during the Pacific War as a potentially unlucky sign, it continued growing to its present height of 1,319 feet by 1945. It's on private land, but a cable-car ride (¥1,450) up the eastern flank of Mt. Usu provides great views of the mountain, Lake Toya, and Funka Bay. Avoid the Bear Farm near the base—a depressing tourist attraction.