Akan-ko (Akan Lake) is a large, volcanic caldera lake located in eastern Hokkaido. Akan-ko, situated in the center of Akan National Park, is surrounded by primeval forests, clear mountain lakes and smoking volcanoes. Akan-ko is the sole home to Marimo, a spherical-shaped algae loved by the Japanese that grows only in Akan-ko. Akan-ko Kohan, located on the southern shore of Akan-ko, is the largest outpost of civilization in this otherwise wilderness area. Here you will find many hotels and ryokans, all with natural, mineral water baths. Akan-ko Kohan also has one of the largest populations of Ainu, the indigenous inhabitants of Hokkaido, and some would argue, the only people who can claim to be natives of Japan. Here, at Akan-ko Kohan, there are a number of Ainu souvenir shops and a small theater with demonstrations of traditional Ainu dance and music.