The Best Soft Serve Ice Cream and Grand Scenery at Lake Toya

Review of The Windsor Hotel TOYA | Shimizu, Toyakocho, Abuta-gun, Toyako, Hokkaido, JPN, 049-5722
  • Trip101 Review
Hibino Fuukei
Hibino Fuukei 
| 3 min read

Lake Toya lies in the western part of Hokkaido, about two hours drive from New Chitose Airport. The third largest crater lake in Japan, Lake Toya and the nearby town and onsen are famous tourism spots. I’ll show you where to get the best view of the lake and where to find the best soft serve ice cream!

Hotel at the Mountain's Peak

the best soft serve ice cream and grand scenery at lake toya | hotel at the mountain's peak

The Windsor Hotel Toya Resort & Spa sits on top of Mt. Poromoi at an elevation of 625m. In Japan, it’s famous for hosting a G8 Summit, and many people recognize aerial photographs of it. Proving to be a truly unique Hokkaido hotel, it also received good ratings in the Michelin Guide Hokkaido 2012 Special Edition in the restaurant and hotel categories.

The picture above was taken walking uphill towards the resort. The building on the left is the hotel, and the silver-colored, round building on the right is a wedding chapel. They say that the wedding chapel was built to look like a treble clef if viewed from above!

It’s most famous for the hotel and spa, but there are plenty of other activities available such as golf and winter sports (gondola available).

Gaze at Lake Toya from the Hotel

the best soft serve ice cream and grand scenery at lake toya | gaze at lake toya from the hotel

The views of Lake Toya from the Hotel are among the best.

The lake can be seen from the glass of the hotel lobby and from the walking course. The mountain in the middle of the lake is called To-nishike-nupuri. This name actually comes from Ainu, the language of the ancient Japan-native Ainu civilization.

The weather changes quickly, and the morning view is often obstructed by clouds or fog, so I recommend looking at the scenery in the afternoon. Even if you choose not to stay the night you can walk along the promenade and enjoy tea or a meal. You can enjoy a totally different view from the top compared to the view down by the lake! The mountain air is nice and crisp as well.

Take Your Own G8 Summit Commemorative Picture

the best soft serve ice cream and grand scenery at lake toya | take  your own g8 summit commemorative picture

Near the hotel, guests can find the terrace used for the commemorative photo of world leaders after the G8 Summit. It’s the wooden platform visible to the right in the picture above. The names of the leaders and the countries they represent can be seen on the deck, written on the places where they stood for the picture. Maybe you can join the summit by taking a picture with them.

In the picture above, you can also see the clouds I was talking about before. It was even an issue when they were taking the commemorative picture for the summit. However, they got lucky with a small break in the clouds and were able to take a sunny picture.


The Windsor Hotel Toya Resort & Spa Address: Shimizu, Toyako, Abuta District, Hokkaido Prefecture 049-5613, Japan TEL: +81 142-73-1111

Try Soft Serve Ice Cream Made with Freshly Squeezed Milk

the best soft serve ice cream and grand scenery at lake toya | try soft serve ice cream made with freshly squeezed milk

Lake Hill Farm is a ranch and restaurant located at the base of Mt. Poromoi, next to the road that leads up to the Windsor Hotel Toya Resort & Spa.

The farm’s gelato and soft serve are super popular, made from fresh milk from their own dairy cows! In fact, you can eat gelato and soft serve made with milk squeezed the very same day. Their shop is located on the huge ranch, and due to its popularity you might need to line up to get your ice cream.

The picture I took is the plain milk flavor of their soft serve ice cream. Just milk! The gelato flavors change seasonally. When I went I was able to try the apple flavor. It had a light flavor, and you can really taste the apple juice. They don’t use any preservatives, so you can really taste the pure flavor of the ingredients. If you’ve got room left in your stomach, you can try a different flavor or some of their fresh squeezed juice.

If the weather outside is nice you can enjoy the scenery while you eat. The various plants and flowers of the ranch’s garden contrast beautifully against the blue sky.

Get Up Close and Personal with the Cows

get up close and personal with the cows

You interact with the ranch’s cows, which are kept in the open. It’s a rare chance to get up close and personal with cows in such a big, natural environment, and many families choose to bring their kids here. Of course, adults can enjoy it too!


Lake Hill Farm Address: 130 Hanawa, Toyako, Abuta District, Hokkaido Prefecture 049-5724, Japan TEL: +81 142-83-3372

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