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Getting Here and Around
Usu-san is one of several peaks on Lake Toya's crater, a huge volcanic rim that dominates the landscape. Route 230 from Sapporo drops over the northern edge, and Route 453 from Lake Shikotsu and Noboribetsu and roads from the coast come in from the south. Volcanic activity is centered around the small town of Toyako Onsen, and a few kilometers around the lake at Showa Shin-san. A road rings the water, dotted with campsites and hot springs, and pleasure boats go out to three small islands where deer beg for snacks.
Direct buses from Sapporo to Toyako Onsen via Nakayama Toge Pass take 2½ hours (¥2,700). Jotetsu Bus runs between Sapporo and Toyako Onsen; reservations are necessary. Donan Bus makes the Sapporo to Toyako Onsen trip daily. Toyako Onsen is on the JR Sapporo–Hakodate Line. Disembark from the train at JR Toya Station for a 15-minute bus ride to the lake. There is a ¥100 shuttle bus four times a day round the lake, nonstop takes more than an hour. Sightseeing boats leave the pier for the 20-minute crossing to the islands. Bike rentals near the bus station cost ¥900 for two hours and ¥1,200 for three, the latter just enough time to cycle the circumference of the lake.
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