World leaders met here for the G8 Summit in 2008, but Lake Toya is best known for its geothermic events. In March of 2000, Mt. Usu exploded for the first time in 23 years, shooting a 10,500-foot-high cloud of ash and smoke over the quiet resort towns of Toyako Onsen and Sobetsu Onsen. About 16,000 people were evacuated. Amazingly, by July the towns were opened for business with the still-smoking craters in their midst. Volcanic eruptions are merely an occupational hazard
for residents hot springs towns.
Shikotsu-Tōya National Park, Japan