JAPAN PHOTOS by Philbert Ono

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Image search results - "crater"
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The Nishiyama Crater Trail (Nishiyama Kako Sansakuro) is accessible by car or bus from Toyako Onsen Spa or Toya Station. Get off at the Nishiyama Kako Kitaguchi which is in front of this former fire dept. station. 旧西胆振消防組合本部
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The fire dept. building was damaged by the eruption, so it is no longer used by the fire dept. However, you can enter it and see some display panels.
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Inside former fire station.
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Next to the former fire station is this small pond, called Nishiyama Kako-numa, created by the eruption and blocking the road. 西山火口沼(西新山沼)
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Road blocked by the pond. The Nishiyama Craters are part of Mt. Usu. They are on the west side of Usuzan and were formed by the March 2000 eruption.
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The former fire station in the distance. The building still looks quite new.
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The north entrance to the Nishiyama Crater Trail (Nishiyama Kako Sansakuro Kitaguchi). Open from April 20 to Nov. 10 during 7 am - 6 pm. Free admission, but donations accepted.
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The trail starts with a bumpy asphalt road.
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The wrecked road.
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The walking trail becomes a nice wooden boardwalk on rough terrain.
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Apparently there weren't any cars on the road when this happened since everyone had been evacuated before the eruption occurred.
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Flowers from the asphalt cracks.
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The trail continues to more dramatic landscapes.
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Sign explaining the deformed road.
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Broken telephone pole.
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No. 1 Nishiyama Crater Lookout deck for the most conspicuous crater, still emitting steam.
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No. 1 Nishiyama Crater Lookout deck
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One of the largest and most active Nishiyama crater. There are about 30 craters in the area, and this one emits the most steam.
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An adjacent crater contains water and emits some steam.
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Nishiyama Crater Trail
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It takes about 40 min. to walk the crater trail one way. So allow at least 90 min. for a round-trip.
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View of the No. 2 Nishiyama Crater Lookout deck
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View from the No. 2 Nishiyama Crater Lookout deck
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View from the No. 2 Nishiyama Crater Lookout deck
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View from the No. 2 Nishiyama Crater Lookout deck
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View from the No. 2 Nishiyama Crater Lookout deck. On the right is the crater of the initial eruption occurring in March 2000.
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Close-up of Nishiyama's first crater formed during the March 2000 eruption.
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Another crater which is dry.
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Crater bottom.
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The trail passes by a wrecked confection factory.
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The trail goes to the Minami-guchi (South entrance) of the crater trail.
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Wrecked confection factory. A dramatic reminder of what volcanoes can do.
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Going further along the crater trail.
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Another wrecked house.
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Wrecked car
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More dramatic terrain. There's no threat of further eruptions in this area, so don't worry about getting caught in a shower of hot lava and volcanic ash while walking around here.
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Heading back. Remember that the trail is not open during the winter months. For more info call 0142-75-4400.
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Lake Toya is a caldera lake, or crater lake. The mountain blew its top forming a huge crater. Later, volcanos erupted at the center to form smaller mountains which are now islands in the water-filled crater.
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The Nakajima islands in the center of Lake Toya. There are four islands. Most them have a conical shape.
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On this side of the lake, the waters are quite still.
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Nakajima islands as seen from Toyako Onsen.
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Photos of my visit to the Nakajima islands here.
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Lake Toya sign and the Nakajima islands.
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Lakefront promenade
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The lakefront promenade goes for a good distance, passing in front of numerous hotels.
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Swan boat and a real swan.
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Swan boats. You can pedal pretty far out in these things, but not to the Nakajima islands.
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On the shore of Lake Toya is binoculars through which you can see the Summit venue, the Windsor Hotel.
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Lake Toya and cherry blossoms blooming in early May.
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Nakajima islands, Lake Toya
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Swan boats again.
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Nakajima islands, Lake Toya
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Cherry blossoms and the Nakajima islands, Lake Toya. Early May 2008.
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Cherry blossoms (almost in full bloom) and the Nakajima islands, Lake Toya. More photos of cherry blossoms and Lake Toya here in eastern Toyako.
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A short bus ride from Toyako Onsen is the Nishiyama crater trail. Highly recommended. A series of craters can be seen up close. More photos here.
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This lookout point is for viewing the Ginnuma Crater.
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Path to Ginnuma Crater
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Mt. Usu's Ginnuma Crater, one of the largest. It was created during the 1977 eruption. 銀沼大火口
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The hiking trail goes along the rim of Ginnuma Crater. Most people don't go that far. 銀沼大火口
   
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