Lake Shibireko

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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.

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Follow the path from the last car park to Suimeiso.
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The lake is surrounded by beautiful pathways.

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.

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I couldn’t resist taking this picture as it perfectly demonstrates the lake’s calming effect.

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.

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You might try renting a rowboat for 1,000 yen per hour.

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