Home > HOKKAIDO 北海道 > Teshikaga 弟子屈町 > Mt. Io 硫黄山

Mt. Io, meaning "Sulphur Mountain," is a lava dome spewing steam and sulphur gases. Tourists can walk and easily see the sulphur and steam vents.
Literally nicknamed "Sulfur Mountain," Mt. Io is a convenient, steaming tourist attraction between Lake Kussharo and Lake Mashu. The mountain's Ainu name is "Atosa-nupuri," meaning "naked mountain" since it hardly has an
Mt. Io is Kawayu Onsen's hot spring source. It was also a sulphur mine from 1877 to 1896. At the time, sulphur was widely used in cigarette matches and gunpowder.
The mining operations here and in other nearby mountain quickly developed local industry in eastern Hokkaido which had been largely undeveloped.
Since there was no machinery in those days, mining operations were done manually with a pick and shovel. Prison labor was used for the mining. The sulphur was then loaded on horseback and boats to Kushiro.
Mt. Io, Hokkaido. You can get quite close to the sulphur vents.
In 1887, a railway was built from Mt. Io to Shibecha, 41 km away. It was Hokkaido's second railway to be built after the railway between Sapporo and Otaru.
After the mining operation closed in 1896, the Hokkaido government bought the railway. Today, this railway is connected to JR Senmo Line which opened in 1931.
Sulphur mining ended altogether in Hokkaido in 1963.
Note that there are other mountains named Mt. Io (Io-zan). This one is near Kawayu Onsen hot spring in Hokkaido.
Back to the visitor's center.
12 files on 1 page(s)