New rules for the use of Lake Shikotsu include canoeing, SUPs and playing in the water
The Lake Shikotsu Management Council, a general incorporated association made up of people involved in tourism around Lake Shikotsu, has formulated new local rules for the use of the lake’s entire waterfront, and began putting them into effect in April. Named ‘Lake Shikotsu Rules,’ the new rules comprise 13 items, including limits regarding launching areas for non-powered vessels such as canoes and SUPs, and ensuring that life jackets are worn when using such vessels. The rules are published on the council’s website and will also be made available on the websites of individual commercial operators.
https://lake-shikotsu.jp/archives/749.html (Japanese, English, Traditional Chinese)
The council first formulated local rules in 2019 with the aim of protecting the environment and promoting safe use of the lake. However, as the Morappu, Bifue, and Poropinai areas, where roadside parking and unauthorized camping sometimes occur, were not included in the rules, the council has been working with the Ministry of the Environment since last autumn to develop new, more specific rules for the entire lake area.
The new rules recommend the wearing of life jackets when using the waterfront or playing in the water. They also include rules such as not entering or approaching sightseeing boat routes and refraining from fly-fishing in crowded areas.
The local rules also explain the characteristics of Lake Shikotsu, including the fact that the water suddenly becomes deep a few meters from the shore; the limited number of places where people can enjoy playing in the water; the fact that the water temperature is low even in summer, depriving people of body heat; and that the lake is subject to waves and rough water depending on the weather conditions. The canoeing accident that occurred on March 29, killing a couple from Chitose was also taken into consideration.
The local rules themselves are not enforceable by law but, in future, signs with QR codes linked to the council’s website will be established, asking tourists to observe the rules.
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