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Lakes near Japan’s Tsugara Strait

March 9th, 2009 Category: Lakes, Volcanoes

Japan - March 4th, 2009

Japan - March 4th, 2009

The Tsugara Strait connects the Sea of Japan (left) with the Pacific Ocean (right) as it passes between the Japanese islands of Honshu (bottom) and Hokkaido (top).

The strait is about 20km wide and 140 meters deep on its western edge, and 20km wide and 200 meters deep on its eastern edge.

There is snowfall present over both islands, although Honshu appears to have less than Hokkaido. Several dark blue lakes stand out amidst the white snow.

On Hokkaido Island, Lake Shikotsu (right) and Lake Tōya (left), in the Shikotsu-Toya National Park, are visible near the eastern shore. Lake Tōya is a volcanic caldera lake, nearly circular with 10 kilometers diameter in east-west direction and 9km in north-south direction.

The stratovolcano of Mount Usu lies on the southern rim of the caldera, and the snow-covered island in the middle of the lake is called Nakano-shima.

Lake Tōya is said to be the northernmost lake in Japan that never ices, and the second most transparent lake in Japan.

To the south, on Honshu Island, Lake Towada is visible towards the center. It the largest caldera lake on Honshu, and with a surface area of 62.2 km², it is Japan’s 12th largest lake. Towada’s bright blue color is due to its depth.

In the whiter, snowier area east of Lake Towada is Mount Iwaki.

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