The owner of Kumanoie Fujito in Akan-ainukotan and a wood-carving artist. His works are exhibited at various places including the National Museum of Ethnology. He also works as a part-time lecturer on Ainu art at universities.

What is your favorite spot in the Doto area that you like to bring friends to?

Onneto in Akan-Mashu National Park. On a fine day during the spring or summer, you can look out over the beautiful lake. A nice, refreshing breeze makes the surface of the lake sparkle. In winter, ice forms on the lake surface and creates an unparalleled view of nature. You will also be amazed by the coldness!

What is a “soul food” of the Doto area?

Ramen restaurant Natsubori in Kushiro. My favorite is Shoyu (soy sauce) ramen. The extremely thin noodles and soup are so delicious that I always gobble it up, sparing little time for talking with my dining companion. The warm and friendly atmosphere created by the owner’s family and the staff is also nice.

Which is your favorite hot spring in the Doto area?

Nonaka Onsen in Ashoro, which is about 20 minutes by car from Lake Akan, is very relaxing and healing. It is a thick sulfur spring, and the soap lathers very little. You might see a red fox at the open-air bath, if you’re lucky!