This past weekend Steph and I traveled down south to beautiful Lake Toya for our summer HAJET (Hokkaido Association of JETs) camping meeting. Lake Toya is an amazingly clear volcanic caldera lake with four small islands in the middle, and surrounded by a still-active volcano and numerous hot springs. The 2008 G8 Summit was held there last year as well.
Paired with the gorgeous weather it made for an amazing weekend trip out of Sapporo.
A whole new take on Band Camp:
One of the cool things about the Lake Toya area are all of the sculptures and instillations surrounding its perimeter. Just a few:
The open campgrounds made it feel like we had set up tent on a soft, green park-lawn, surrounded by mountains, rice paddies, farms and fields, and, of course, Lake Toya itself:
HAJET events are always a good time to catch up with old friends and fellow JETs from around Hokkaido. In addition, we had sumo champions...
...good times around the campfire...
...and, of course, sparklers and fireworks:
Now I finally have that dirty, tired, sunburnt demeanor of summer that we all know and love! With all of the hiking, swimming, onsening, and camping to be had, we're already planning our next excursion down to Toya, hopefully sometime within Hokkaido's short, short summer.