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Kawayu Onsen is a small hot-spring resort in the centre of the Akan National Park in the east of Hokkaido. Located near Iozan (Sulfur Mountain), between Lake Mashu and Lake Kussharo, Kawayu's close proximity to the famous lakes makes it a popular base for visitors to the national park. Kawayu Onsen is a relaxing place to base yourself while exploring the beautiful scenery of this large National Park. The scenery is classic Hokkaido; volcanic peaks, caldera lakes, dense forests and tucked away hot-springs. The area offers plenty of walking and hiking opportunities, providing stunning panoramic views across the National Park.
Kawayu's onsen water is known to be especially acidic with a pH of 1.4. Visitors to Kawayu, who do not plan on staying overnight at a ryokan with hot spring baths can also enjoy the hot springs during the day for typically 500 to 1500 yen.
Kawayu's Eco Museum Center offers general information on Akan National Park and Kawayu Onsen. Nearby, a pleasant walking path takes visitors though a mossy forested area. This path continues onto Iozan (Sulfur Mountain), 2.5 kilometers away.
Besides its convenient location and hot spring waters, Kawayu offers a Sumo Museum, which is dedicated to the town's favorite son and biggest star, Taiho Koki. Taiho was a sumo wrestler who achieved the sport's highest title in 1961 at only 21 years of age. He is best known for having won more tournaments than any other competitor in sumo history.