Lake Shibireko is a small caldera lake atop Mt. Hirogatake in Ichikawamisato, Yamanashi. The lake is located inside Shibireko Prefectural Nature Park. I met Shinsuke Kitajima, the proprietor of Suimeiso (Water Cottage) some months ago, and had promised to pay him a visit.
Mr. Kitajima’s lodge and restaurant are located along the shore of Lake Shibireko. His English is okay, and I was able to confirm that he is willing and able to converse with customers in English (Tel: +81-55-272-1030).
The winding road up to the lake is quite picturesque. The way is dotted with villages and terraced farmers’ fields. I saw many cyclists climbing the road to the lake which is 850 meters above sea level, and takes less than 2 hours to climb by bike. The lake is spring fed, and thus, very clean. The lake truly is an escape for people who want some peace and quiet. I found a couple of people sitting with their morning coffee in absolute silence. The still waters of the lake have that effect on you.
The only sounds came from birds singing in the surrounding forest. Kitajima-san said that summer is the busiest season, but I imagine the fall is very beautiful as well. If you rent a car, you can easily get to the lake. I highly recommend spending a night here, if only to enjoy a morning coffee by the lake.