Lake Kuttari sauna "avanto", Finland Embassy visits

After heating up in a sauna, Numata from the Embassy of Finland chills off in an avanto amidst the expansive outdoors

At Lake Kuttari in the town of Shintoku located in the Eastern Hokkaido Tokachi region, holes have been cut in the frozen lake to replicate the “avanto” practice of bathing in cold river water after enjoying a sauna, in place of a cold-water bath. A staff member from the Embassy of Finland, the birthplace of the avanto custom, visited on February 7. The staff member bathed in the Lake Kuttari avanto and expressed awe at, “the sensation of free openness that feels like you are becoming one with nature.”

Avanto is a traditional Finland style of enjoying saunas. The Lake Kuttari avanto was started in January of this year as a project offering new exciting winter tourist option potential by TOKACHISAUNA INC., which aims to contribute to regional promotion through saunas.

On this day, Senior Advisor Numata Koichi from the Business Finland division of the Embassy of Finland visited the lake. After warming himself in the sauna booth set up at the lakeside, he submerged himself up to his shoulders in the 0.8 degree Celsius lake water and relaxed.

In addition to the avanto, TOKACHISAUNA INC. also cut out a five-meter-diameter circle in the lake ice to create a rotating “Ice Carousel”. After soaking up the fresh outdoor air atop the rotating ice, Numata commented, “Tokachi and Finland have many similarities, like white birch trees and moor hot springs. I want to develop even closer relations and boost tourism for both of our countries.”

The avanto is available up to mid-March. Reservations are required. The price is 19,500 per person (including an insurance fee, etc.). Yuyado Kuttari Onsen Lake Inn


Kuttari Onsen Lake Inn