Posted by: mystery_man on June 4th, 2010
Mystery Fish of Lake Ashi
By- Brent Swancer
Lake Ashi, also known as Lake Hakone and by its Japanese name Ashinoko, is located in the Hakone area of Honshu’s Kanagawa prefecture and is famous for its hot springs and scenic views of majestic Mt. Fuji. The lake is also known for its aquatic mysteries.
For years, large, dark shapes have been occasionally observed swimming under the lake’s surface. Reports of the size of these mysterious creatures range from 3 to 4 meters (10 to 13 feet) long. The shapes are typically only glimpsed as mysterious dark shadows lurking below the surface, and there are no distinguishing details.
The mysterious aquatic enigmas are almost always reported as being slow moving, leisurely cruising below the waves often to merely sink out of sight.
One of the strange creatures was witnessed by a large group of tourists riding one of the many ferries that traverse the lake. Passengers aboard the ferry describe a huge shadow of something beneath the surface that to some appeared to be following the boat itself. Many inconclusive photographs were taken, but although they aren’t proof of anything, they certainly do appear to show something in the water.
Although it is typically thought that the sightings are specifically of some sort of giant fish, there are others who have hypothesized that the creatures of Lake Ashi are something more akin to more “traditional” lake monsters such as Loch Ness’ Nessie or Lake Champlain’s Champ.
The monster has even garnered itself the nickname “Asshi,” a loving nod to more notable lake monsters such as Nessie.
Lake Ashi was formed in the caldera of Mount Hakone after its last eruption 3,000 years ago. The nature of the lake’s formation makes it difficult to rationalize how anything as large as these mystery creatures could have found its way into the lake to begin with. The lake has never been connected with the sea and is only fed with small streams.
Theories as to what the mysterious lake denizens could be run the gamut from wayward pinnipeds, to super sized fish, to mere shadows, floating logs, or debris.
The Lake Ashi area is heavily frequented by tourists, who come to see the views of Mt. Fuji and enjoy the many hot springs that dot the vicinity. Strangely, although the lake is crisscrossed by a wide array of ferries and pleasure boats carrying large numbers of tourists, sightings of the mysterious creatures remain relatively rare.