East of Hokkaido (IV)
Akan-ko lake, which gives its name to the National Park, was too far for walking and the bus was expensive. Instead, I took the train again to Tesshikaga town, two stations further to the south, and a bus from there to Mashu-ko lake.
According to the guidebook, this lake has the clearest water in the world. Well, maybe, but if you want to check it, as I did, let me warn you just in case: don't go in winter! The whole surface is frozen and covered with one meter (?) of snow, so you'll have to imagine the water. How didn't I think of it before?
Anyway, it's still a magnificent view, don't you think so?
"SL tourist train"
At one of the stations the local train I was riding in stopped at the same time as one of the SL tourist trains. These are real steam trains with reserved seats, they are scheduled for a few weeks between designed stations, and they cross through the loveliest landscapes at the best time of the year.
This one was the SL ***sugen-go ("wetlands").
I got off the train at Kayanuma station because I wanted to walk through the wilderness of Kushiro National Park, but as before, I didn't know that winter is the wrong season. The snow was covering everything, all the trails. At least, I could see a couple of "tancho" cranes playing joyfully by the railway, oblivious of the train (which passed once every two hours, anyway).
And just because the day was long, I visited one more station, and one more isolated neighborhood. Here, a husky-siberian dog, very popular in Hokkaido. As a matter of fact, I didn't see any other kind of dogs during this trip.
You can see here all the people that got off the train with me at Gojikkoku station.
And with this melancholic image, let's say goodbye to eastern Hokkaido and the Kushiro line.