Nestled in the southern part of Japan’s Kyushu island lies the stunning Ikeda Lake, a hidden gem that offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. The lake sits near the city of Kagoshima, surrounded by lush green forests and stunning mountain ranges. It is the perfect destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike.
One of the most unique features of Ikeda Lake is its emerald-green colour. The lake’s main draw is the crystal-clear, vivid green hue of the water. This is due to the high concentration of minerals in the water. The stunning colour of the water is just one of the many natural wonders that make Ikeda Lake a must-visit destination.
Japanese Lock Ness
According to local legend, Lake Ikeda is home to a giant serpent-like creature known as Issie. The creature is over 30 meters long and has been seen by locals for centuries. Some believe that Issie is a sacred creature that brings good fortune to those who see it. Others believe that it is a dangerous monster and you should avoid it at all costs. While there have been reported sightings of Issie over the years, there is no concrete evidence to prove its existence. Despite this, the legend of Issie continues to fascinate visitors to Lake Ikeda and adds to the mystery and allure of this stunning natural wonder.
Around the lake, there are other things to see, such as the “flower seas” and the Golden Torii gates.
What to do around Lake Ikeda
For those who are looking for a challenging hike, the nearby Mount Kaimon is a great option. The mountain is known as “Satsuma Fuji” due to its resemblance to Japan’s most famous mountain, Mount Fuji. The hike to the top takes about 3 hours and is quite challenging, but the views are definitely worth the effort. From the summit, you can see the stunning Ikeda Lake below and the surrounding forests and mountains.
In addition to hiking and boating, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy around Ikeda Lake. The volcanic activity creates the perfection conditions for hot springs, and there are several onsen (hot spring) resorts located nearby. After a day of hiking or boating, there’s nothing more relaxing than soaking in a hot spring and enjoying the peaceful surroundings.
If you want to learn about the local culture, then a visit to the nearby Chiran Samurai Residences is a must. The historic samurai houses date back to the Edo period and offer a glimpse into the life of Japan’s famous warriors. The houses feature stunning gardens and offer a peaceful escape from the busy city.
Another hidden gem is Seiryu-Ji, a Buddhist temple featuring a gold temple reminiscent of Kyoto’s Kinkaku-ji. It dazzles and sparkles in the sunlight.
One of the best times to visit Ikeda Lake is in the autumn when the surrounding forests turn into a beautiful display of reds, oranges, and yellows. The area is also known for its cherry blossom season in the spring when the trees around the lake burst into a stunning display of pink and white flowers.
Due to the remote nature of the lake, it is best to rent a car to get to the lake.
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Key: Sightseeing (blue), Nature (green), Food (purple), Art/Festivals/Culture/Religion (orange), General Information (black), Quora question (red)
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