Lake Shikotsu (Chitose City) was created by ancient volcanic activity, with this crater lake being the second deepest in Japan. The average depth of the lake is 265 meters and the water is renowned for its transparency. As Lake Shikotsu is not so far from Sapporo, it is a good destination for a one-day trip for people living in Sapporo. It takes only about an hour by car. The name Shikotsu is derived from the Ainu (aboriginal people of Hokkaido) language for "a big crater". There is a free visitor center where people can learn about the lake's environment, animals and plants.