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Onnetto marks your entry into the third of the four lake districts on this route. Nearby is Lake Akan, which is most famous for its Ainu settlement - perhaps the best place to really get a feel for Ainu culture. Most people know that the Ainu were the original inhabitants of Japan, but were gradually pushed up to Hokkaido by the Wa people who became modern Japanese. These days, the Ainu live mainly by hunting and fishing and using their traditional wood-carving skills to carve items for tourists and, occasionally, ornate signs for a coffee shop like this one. Inside was wall-to-wall wood furniture and carvings that one could sit and enjoy to the accompaniment of modern jazz on the sound system.

A half-hour ride along a dirt trail near the lake leads you to this nice, natural and, most importantly, FREE open-air hot springs bath (rotenburo). One wishes they hadn't felt the need to post an obtrusive sign SAYING that it's a free open-air bath and to come on in... My friends and I from the YH went in buck-naked, the standard way; some ladies who arrived later were more shy and donned bathing suits before entering.