Learn Japanese Online - JOI Teachers blog

Learn Japanese vocabulary, Kanji and phrases with this free blog with a YouTube video for audio learning, vocabulary lists and English Translation !
Every week, a professional Japanese teacher posts a new blog .

Previous blog archives from 2006 - mid-February 2014.

↓Click icon below for categories of this blog from late February 2014 to present.

  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Japanese tourism

Posted by on in Japanese travel

Lake Akan and the Marimo Moss Balls


By ITAYA Sayuri



itaya-blog 2014-5-2











 ■To listen to this blog, please watch our Youtube video


★Kanji with hiragana









★English Translation


Lake Akan and the Marimo Moss Balls

Today I would like to introduce to you all one of the lakes the island I live on, Hokkaido; called Lake Akan and the Marimo Moss Balls found there. Lake Akan, which is located in the eastern area of Hokkaido next to Kushiro city, is the 5th biggest lake in Hokkaido. Surrounding Lake Akan you can find the active volcanoes of Mount Akan, Mount Oakan, Akan-Fuji and of course there are some hotsprings too. Lake Akan is frozen over during the winter, but the season in which you can take a sightseeing boat on it began from April 29th this year.

 Lake Akan is famous for the Marimo Moss Balls which are a protected species. Marimo Moss Balls, which are a member of the seaweed algae family, are green and spherical. They are originally thin, string-like shaped algae which live clinging onto rocks and stones at the bottom of the lake, but as they grow, the branches break off and drift in the waters and eventually gather into hairy lumps and keep growing by lengthening their own string forms, and finally become spherical in shape. And in this way they become plant life growing at the bottom of the lake. Round seaweed algae are very rare in the world, but currently, in order to protect them, we are unable to view these Marimo Moss Balls in their natural habitat.

But in souvenir shops, you can purchase man-made Marimo Moss Balls.  These are "not-round” Marimo collected from nearby lakes and which are wound into a round shape manually, and once they start to grow their own branches, they are sold on to the public.
Also if you go to Lake Akan, you can find Marimo associated souvenirs and food. Marimo flavored sweet bean jelly, Marimo custard pudding as well as Marimo soft cream ices. This Marimo soft cream ice is made from a light green cream and you can find a Marimo shaped jelly sweet inside. It was really delicious !

If you get a chance, you should come to Lake Akan too and see the Marimo Moss Balls.


★This week's vocabulary


周囲(しゅうい):surroundings; environs

活火山(かっかざん/かつかざん):active volcano

遊覧船(ゆうらんせん):sightseeing boat

(1) natural monument; (2) protected species (animal, habitat, etc.)

球状(きゅうじょう):(1) shape of a globe; globe shape; (adj-no) (2) spherical

藻(も):algae; waterweed; seaweed

ちぎれて:to be torn off; to be torn to pieces

ふわふわ:lightly (floating, drifting, etc.)

ただよい:to drift; to float

塊(かたまり):lump; mass

玉(たま):ball; sphere; globe; orb

保護(ほご):care; protection; shelter; safeguard

人工(じんこう):artificial; man-made; human work

ちなむ:to be associated (with); to be connected (with)

羊羹(ようかん):sweet bean jelly

Last modified on