Lake Akan Ainu Kotan isn’t one building but a very small kotan (village) of around 120 settlers.
The land was given (or more accurately, returned) to the Ainu people in the late 21st century by the Maeda Ippoen Foundation, who own the surrounding acres. It is the largest kotan in Hokkaidō.
Amongst the buildings, there is a theater called Ikor, where ceremonial dances are usually held every day (¥1,500 for a show); a museum or two; and several local craft stores selling original Ainu art. The best time to experience Lake Akan and the local Ainu culture is in October when the Marimo Festival takes place.
How to get to Lake Akan Ainu KotanLake Akan, Kushiro
1-hour-45-minute bus from Kushiro Station or 1-hour bus from Kushiro Airport
Lake Akan Ainu Kotan isn’t the easiest place to get to and is quite inconvenient unless you plan to visit other spots in the area. If you are coming from JR Kushiro Station, you’ll need to grab a bus heading to Lake Akan. It’ll take 1 hour and 45 minutes.
If you catch the same bus from Kushiro Airport, you can shave 45 minutes off your journey. Buses are infrequent (every hour or two), so best to plan ahead. Timetable here (Japanese only).
Note: The bus schedule may change in winter.