Mount Usu
Overview
 
is an active stratovolcano
Stratovolcano
A stratovolcano, also known as a composite volcano, is a tall, conical volcano built up by many layers of hardened lava, tephra, pumice, and volcanic ash. Unlike shield volcanoes, stratovolcanoes are characterized by a steep profile and periodic, explosive eruptions...

 in the Shikotsu-Toya National Park
Shikotsu-Toya National Park
is a national park in the central part of the island of Hokkaidō, Japan. Named after the volcanic caldera lakes of Lake Shikotsu and Lake Tōya, it has a total area of 993.02 square kilometers...

, Hokkaidō
Hokkaido
, formerly known as Ezo, Yezo, Yeso, or Yesso, is Japan's second largest island; it is also the largest and northernmost of Japan's 47 prefectural-level subdivisions. The Tsugaru Strait separates Hokkaido from Honshu, although the two islands are connected by the underwater railway Seikan Tunnel...

, Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

. It has erupted four times since 1900: in 1910, 1944–45 (which created Showashinzan
Showashinzan
is a volcanic lava dome in the Shikotsu-Toya National Park, Hokkaidō, Japan, next to Mount Usu. The mountain was created between 1944 and 1945. Initially, a series of strong earthquakes shook the area, and wheat fields were rapidly uplifted. Lava broke through the surface and the current peak...

), August 7, 1977, and on March 31, 2000. To the north lies Lake Toya
Lake Toya
is a volcanic caldera lake in Shikotsu-Toya National Park, Abuta District, Hokkaidō, Japan. The stratovolcano of Mount Usu lies on the southern rim of the caldera. The lake is nearly circular, being 10 kilometers in diameter from east-west and 9 kilometers from North-South. The lakes biggest town,...

. Mount Usu formed on the southern rim of the caldera
Caldera
A caldera is a cauldron-like volcanic feature usually formed by the collapse of land following a volcanic eruption, such as the one at Yellowstone National Park in the US. They are sometimes confused with volcanic craters...

 containing the lake.

Mount Usu and Showashinzan are major tourist attractions in the Shikotsu-Toya National Park
Shikotsu-Toya National Park
is a national park in the central part of the island of Hokkaidō, Japan. Named after the volcanic caldera lakes of Lake Shikotsu and Lake Tōya, it has a total area of 993.02 square kilometers...

. A ropeway on Mount Usu takes visitors to viewing platforms overlooking Showashinzan.
Encyclopedia
is an active stratovolcano
Stratovolcano
A stratovolcano, also known as a composite volcano, is a tall, conical volcano built up by many layers of hardened lava, tephra, pumice, and volcanic ash. Unlike shield volcanoes, stratovolcanoes are characterized by a steep profile and periodic, explosive eruptions...

 in the Shikotsu-Toya National Park
Shikotsu-Toya National Park
is a national park in the central part of the island of Hokkaidō, Japan. Named after the volcanic caldera lakes of Lake Shikotsu and Lake Tōya, it has a total area of 993.02 square kilometers...

, Hokkaidō
Hokkaido
, formerly known as Ezo, Yezo, Yeso, or Yesso, is Japan's second largest island; it is also the largest and northernmost of Japan's 47 prefectural-level subdivisions. The Tsugaru Strait separates Hokkaido from Honshu, although the two islands are connected by the underwater railway Seikan Tunnel...

, Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

. It has erupted four times since 1900: in 1910, 1944–45 (which created Showashinzan
Showashinzan
is a volcanic lava dome in the Shikotsu-Toya National Park, Hokkaidō, Japan, next to Mount Usu. The mountain was created between 1944 and 1945. Initially, a series of strong earthquakes shook the area, and wheat fields were rapidly uplifted. Lava broke through the surface and the current peak...

), August 7, 1977, and on March 31, 2000. To the north lies Lake Toya
Lake Toya
is a volcanic caldera lake in Shikotsu-Toya National Park, Abuta District, Hokkaidō, Japan. The stratovolcano of Mount Usu lies on the southern rim of the caldera. The lake is nearly circular, being 10 kilometers in diameter from east-west and 9 kilometers from North-South. The lakes biggest town,...

. Mount Usu formed on the southern rim of the caldera
Caldera
A caldera is a cauldron-like volcanic feature usually formed by the collapse of land following a volcanic eruption, such as the one at Yellowstone National Park in the US. They are sometimes confused with volcanic craters...

 containing the lake.

Mount Usu and Showashinzan are major tourist attractions in the Shikotsu-Toya National Park
Shikotsu-Toya National Park
is a national park in the central part of the island of Hokkaidō, Japan. Named after the volcanic caldera lakes of Lake Shikotsu and Lake Tōya, it has a total area of 993.02 square kilometers...

. A ropeway on Mount Usu takes visitors to viewing platforms overlooking Showashinzan. The 1977 eruption is mentioned in passing in Alan Booth
Alan Booth
Alan Booth was a well-known English travel writer, who wrote two insightful books on his journeys by foot through the Japanese countryside. The better-known of the two, The Roads to Sata is about his travels from the northernmost cape in Hokkaidō to the southern tip of Kyūshū in Cape Sata...

's classic travelogue, The Roads to Sata
The Roads to Sata
The Roads to Sata, written in 1985 by Alan Booth , tells the story of his journey, on foot, from Cape Soya in Hokkaidō, the northernmost point of Japan, to Sata, the southernmost point of Japan. Booth's journey lasted 128 days and covered 2,000 miles...

. The 2008 G8 Summit
34th G8 summit
The 34th G8 summit took place in on the northern island of Hokkaidō, Japan from July 7–9, 2008. The locations of previous summits to have been hosted by Japan include: Tokyo ; and Nago, Okinawa . The G8 Summit has evolved beyond being a gathering of world political leaders...

was held near Mount Usu at Lake Toya.
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