How to Enjoy Shikaribetsuko Kotan Ice Village

A "phantom village" that appears only in winter. Let's experience the overwhelming nature of Shikaribetsuko and many activities that appear on the extremely cold lake.

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When is Shikaribetsuko Kotan?

Shikaribetsuko Kotan will be held on the following dates.

Festival Date Time
January 28, 2023 to March 12, 2023

What is Shikaribetsuko Kotan?

Shikaribetsu is the name of the nearby lake.. but what is Kotan? Kotan is not a Japanese word — rather it is an Ainu word.

The Ainu were a native group of people inhabiting Northern Japan and Hokkaido long before the Yamato people (the people we currently think of as Japanese people) arrived and conquered and subjugated them.

Although they were drive from the homelands, some of their langauge yet persists — the word ‘kotan’ means village. Shikaribetsu Kotan is a beautiful ice village as you will see throughout the rest of this article.

Fun Things to do

①Ice Bar

Since the first Shikaribetsu Kotan over 30 years ago, the Ice Bar has been one of the main attractions. Everything from the building to the interior to the furniture is made of snow and ice, and the shape of the ice bar changes every year so you can experience a completely different layout each time you visit.

Visitable hours Beverage sales hours
*You must present your season pass when entering
*Last order: 17:30

At the ice bar, you can made a glass out of a block of ice and drink out of it — no need for a drink on the rocks!

②Open-air bath on ice/Footbath on ice

Lake Shikaribetsu Kotan has the world’s only open air hot spring.

Bathing Times Gender-based Times
*Present season pass when entering
Male only: 17:00~18:30
Female only: 18:30~20:00

③Snowmobile/snow rafting

Snowmobiles run on a dedicated 1km course built on the lake. Ride your snowmobile while enjoying the exhilarating feeling and the majestic scenery that changes as you go.

You can get pulled around on a snow raft by a snowmobile driver. If you want to go slowly, just let the driver know and he will slow down to allow you to enjoy the scenery.

Adult 3,000 yen、Children 2,000 yen
9:30 a.m. - around sunset, depending on the weather
10 years old or older, no intoxicated participants, no pregnant women
Snow Rafting
Adults 2,000 yen、Children 1,000 yen
9:30 a.m. - around sunset, depending on the weather
4 years or older, no pregnant women


Enjoy stargazing in the true wilderness darkness of the night, unbridled by the light pollution of the city.

Things to Know Before Going

①Weather Conditions During the Event

Winter in Hokkaido is extremely cold, and the average temperature is below freezing. A thick coat, down jacket, hat, muffler, and gloves are a must. Please also wear warm underwear to protect yourself from the cold.

②Event Area Map

Please see the following map for each venue of Lake Shikaribetsu Kotan.

③Official Website

You can visit the official website here.

How to get there

If you use public transportation, please use the route bus from JR Obihiro/Shintoku. Since there are only a few buses, we recommend checking the time before going. (https://www.takubus.com/)

If you don’t use public transport, you will have to rent a car and drive there yourself.

Thanks for Reading!

Come and enjoy the world’s only outdoor hot spring! Thanks always to loyal readers like yourself — you make what we do possible! Various other unique Hokkaido events will be held in the surrounding area. See below if you want to add any destinatios to your trip!

Over 50,000
Event Attendees
Kato District, Hokkaido
Author of this article
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