- September 28th, 2015
[Daisetsu Kogen Onsen Hiking Tour in Daisetsuzan Mountain Range] Most Beautiful Fall Foliage in Japan Can Be Seen in Brown Bear's Home
Daisetsu-Kogen Swamp Group
Daisetsu-Kogen Swamp Group (大雪高原沼群) is in the southern part of Kamikawa town located in the southeastern direction of Asahikawa city, and is well-known as one of great places to see fall foliage in Japan, and about 30 large and small swamps are dotted with a highland at 1,200-1,500 above sea level. Around the trailhaed for Daisetsu-Kogen Swamp Group is called "Taisestu Kogen Onsen", and Taisetsu-Kogen-so (大雪高原山荘), Brown Bear Information Center (ヒグマ情報センター), Forest Patrol Kogen Office (森林パトロール高原事務所), a public restroom and a parking lot are built there. Admission free. The parking lot is free of charge. The fall foliage is the best season to see in mid September. Visitors increase at those seasons. Traffic regulations enforce during high seasons of the fall foliage, and the visitors must use shuttle buses from Taisetsu Lakesite (大雪レイクサイト) around Lake Taisetsu (大雪湖) to the Taisestu Kogen Onsen. The bus fare of each way is JPY 500. It takes about 30 minutes. In addition, my-car control assistance fund is JPY 200. I think that it is a kind of a paking lot fee in the Taisetsu Lakesite. Town Road Taisetu Kogen Onsen Line to the Taisetu Kogen Onsen is closed to traffic from mid October to mid June.
Daisetsu Kogen Onsen Numa-Meguri Hiking Trail Guide
The Taisetu Kogen Onsen has a trailhead fot Mt. Midoridake, too. It takes about 3 hours from here to the mountaintop at 2,020 m above sea level on foot.
Lake Taisetsu (大雪湖) is a man-made lake in Kamikawa town located in the southeastern direction of Asahikawa city. Taisetsu Dam (大雪ダム) was built near a junction of Daisetsu National Route (National Route 39) and Kamikawa National Route (National Route 273) in 1975, so the Lake Taisetsu was borned. Candy Trouts and Dolly Varden Trouts inhabit the intricately shaped lake, and a lot of anglers come. But beware of brown bears bacause the lake is in the Daisetsuzan Mountain Range called "a home of the brown bears". Places to see the lake are the Taisetsu Dam, Taisetsu Lakesite (大雪レイクサイト) and a parking lot park. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge. Article is here
Taisetsu Kogen Onsen
Taisetsu Kogen Onsen (大雪高原温泉) is a hot spring place in Kamikawa town in the southeastern direction of Asahikawa city. Taisetsu-Kogen-so (大雪高原山荘) is built at 1260 m above sea level in a mountain of Omote Daisetsu Area, Daisetuzan National Park. The distance is around 25 km far away from Sounkyo Onsen (層雲峡温泉). There are Brown Bear Information Center (ヒグマ情報センター) and Forest Patrol Kogen Base (森林パトロール高原事務所) around here, and Daisetsu Kogen Onsen Hiking Tour (大雪高原温泉沼めぐりコース) that is famous for beautiful fall foliage is built, too. Ginsendai (銀泉台) that is famous for beautiful fall foliage and Lake Taisetsu (大雪湖) are relatively near here, too. Article is here
The visitors must drive for about 10 km on a gravel road "Town Road Daisetsu Kogen Onsen Line" with one traffic lane to arrive at the Taisetsu-Kogen-so. Drive safe. Please beware of brown bears because here is a home of brown bears. A hunter told me that the visitors seem to be careful about quite a few accidents to deer suddenly rushing out in front of cars, too. A mobile phone is out of coverage area, so it is hard to ask for help.
The Daisetsu-Kogen Swamp Group is about 25 km away from Sounkyo Onsen Resort, and restaurants, cafes and convenience stores are not built here. But visitors can take a day trip onsen and have a lunch at the Taisetsu-Kogen-so. In addition, Lake Taisetsu (大雪湖) and Ginsendai (銀泉台) are near here, too.
Ginsendai with Fall Foliage
Ginsendai (銀泉台) at about 1,520 m above sea level is a trailhead for Mt. Akadake (赤岳) near Sounkyo Onsen (層雲峡温泉) in the southern part of Kamikawa town located in the southeastern direction of Asahikawa city, and is one of famous great places to see fall foliage in Hokkaido. Wild flowers are in full bloom in July, and the fall foliage is the best season to see in mid September. Visitors increase at those seasons. Traffic regulations enforce during high seasons of the fall foliage, and the visitors must use shuttle buses from Taisetsu Lakesite (大雪レイクサイト) to the Ginsendai. The bus fare of each way is JPY 500. It takes about 30 minutes. In addition, my-car control assistance fund is JPY 200. I think that it is a kind of a paking lot fee in the Taisetsu Lakesite. A forest patrol office, a parking lot, a public restroom and a watering place are in the trailhead of the Ginsendai. Admission free. The parking lot is free of charge. Hokkaido Road 1162 to the Ginsendai is closed to traffic from mid October to late June. Article is here
Sounkyo Onsen (層雲峡温泉) is a hot-spring resort in Kamikawa town located in the southeastern direction of Asahikawa city, and is one of the 5 major hot spring resorts in Hokkaido together with Jozankei Onsen (定山渓温泉), Yunokawa Onsen (湯の川温泉), Toyako Onsen (洞爺湖温泉) and Noboribetsu Onsen (登別温泉), and is a base for sightseeing of the Daisetsuzan National Park (大雪山国立公園) that about 2 million tourists come every year. There is a trailhead to Mt. Kurodake (黒岳), and a lot of mountain climbers as well as bathers for medical purposes come. The hot-spring resort is based on a concept of harmony with the natural environment, and almost building design is unified in western-style townscape named "Canyon Mall (キャニオンモール)". There are 15 accommodations, a hot spring facility, a footbath, restaurants, souvenir shops, convenience stores and Kurodake Ropeway (黒岳ロープウェー), and tourists can climb to highland at 1520 m above sea level by the ropeway. By the way, 7-Eleven in Sounkyo is well-known for being owned by Ms. Sara Takanashi (高梨沙羅 * famous Ski jumper)'s parents. Article is here
Daisetsuzan National Park
Daisetsuzan National Park (大雪山国立公園) in the center of Hokkaido is the largest national park in Japan, the size of 226,764 ha, and has been designed as the national park since 1934, and is the oldest national park in the Hokkaido along with Akan Mashu National Park (阿寒摩周国立公園). A mountain named Daisetsuzan does not exist, and the whole area including the mountains with over 2,000 m above sea level such as Mt. Asahidake (旭岳), the highest mountain in Hokkaido, Mt. Kurodake (黒岳), Mt. Aibestudake (愛別岳), Mt. Tomuraushi (トムラウシ山) is collectively called "Daisetsuzan", and those are called "A roof of the Hokkaido" ,too. Rare nature such as active volcanoes, Lare Columnar joints, a sea of trees and permafrost even in the Hokkaido can be seen. About 250 types of alpine plants grow naturally, and various forms of life such as brown bear, blakiston's fish owl, dolly varden and pine grosbeak inhabit here. By the way, A right notation is "Daisetsuzan", but local people often call "Taisetsuzan". Article is here
Daisetsu Kogen Onsen Hiking Tour to See Fall Foliage
The Brown Bear Information Center is an entrance of Daisetsu Kogen Onsen Hiking Tour (大雪高原温泉沼巡り). After having received a lecture about brown bears here, all hikers can go a trip. Because Kamuimintara (カムイミンタラ * Daisetsuzan Mountain Range in Ainu laguage) means "A place that bears inhabit" in Ainu language, a lot of brown bears grow here. The hikers should be careful of the brown bears, and it is important to know their information. Available entering time is from 07:00 a.m. to 13:00 p.m. In addition, the hikers must return to here within 15:00 p.m. It takes about 4 hours to go a trip on trails for about 7 km in total length. The trails somtimes are closed by appeared brown bears or natural disasters.
After hiking for about 30 minutes along the trail with 0.9 km in length, I reached to a junction of trails. I went round clockwise swamps. The muddy trail was rough, so I got tired. Having walked for sometime, a wooden path came to sight. It is easy to walk around Naga-numa Swamp (長沼) and Dohyo-numa Swamp (土俵沼), and I begun going a trip for the swamps in the nick of time.
Takimi-numa Swamp, the most popular photo spot, came into sight. Some photographers and hikers bagged a good spot. A conbination of colourful leaves and rightsized swamp was good. Reflection of the fall foliage on the water of the swamp was good, too. As its name suggests, falls seemed to be seen there, but I could not find the falls. * The Takimi means "To see falls" in Japanese.
Midori-numa swamp is relatively large beside the Takimi-numa swamp. Here are allowed to have a lunch along with Daigaku-numa Swamp (大学沼) and Kogen-numa Swamp (高原沼), but I hardly ever saw the hikers having a lunch. Speaking of meals, you should not bring foods with strong smell because of attracting the bears.
Momiji-numa Swamp (紅葉沼), Yuno-numa Swamp (湯の沼) and Kamo-numa Swamp (鴨沼) are along the trail. Reflection of the fall foliage on the water of the swamp was beautiful, and water was very clear. As its name suggests, Hot springs gush out at the Yuno-numa Swamp. A fish like Dolly Varden living in the clear stream swam in the water. Hot springs gushed out beside the trail, too. The energy of the earth is very active here. By the way, a conbination of a stream and the fall foliage is very good, too.
Having walked for sometime, I reached to Yezo-Numa Swamp (エゾ沼). A conbination of the swamp, the fall foliage and the sky is comfortable. A couple of hikers told me "A shape of the Yezo-numa Swamp is like Hokkaido from the top" when I went up the trail to Shikibe-numa Swamp (式部沼). But I do not think that it is like the Hokkaido on google map.
Around the Shikibe-numa Swamp, a ridgeline of the Daisetuszan Mountain Range can be seen. A conbination of it, the swamp and the fall foliage is good.
Daigaku-Numa Swamp (大学沼) had the most large resting space, so a lot of the hikers had a lunch here. Probably for that reason, a forest warden bewared the brown bears. I had a lunch here, too. Sandwiches were tasty along with fresh mountain air and beautiful views.
The hikers can have a lunch around Kogen-Numa Swamp (高原沼), too. A magnificent scenery of typical Hokkaido with the fall foliage can be enjoyed here.
A tunnel of trees and a junction for Mt. Hakuundake (白雲岳) are on the way from the Kogen-numa Swamp to Kara-numa Swamp. The ridgeline of the Daisetuszan Mountain Range with the fall foliage is very good.
To walk toward the Kara-numa swamp, the spacious sky came into sight. Magnificent mountains and the fall foliage could be seen. The Kara-numa Swamp (空沼) is a meltwater pool, and the water is not usually pooled. But it was just like a dry landscape Japanese garden. But what atmosphere was just like much water was good. The Kara-numa Swamp is one of my favorite spots. I kept walking on the trail from here to the junction. Fuchinashi-numa Swamp (淵無し沼), Shichifuku-numa Swamp (七福沼), Koke-nume (コケ沼) and Akemi-numa Swamp (明美沼) were out of the trails, so I could not see those.
I left at 07:30 a.m. and went back at 11:50 a.m., and it took about 4 hours. Because there was much mud on the trails, I thought that you had better wear rain boots or trekking shoes. At the Taisetsu Kogen-so, the rain boots can be rented. A restroom and a drinking fountain are not along the trails, and the hikers should go the restroom near the Brown Bear Information Center, and should bring water before hiking. In addition, you had better bring a bear bell. I was very tired, but I got into high spirits to see superb views in the heart of mountain of Hokkaido. By all means, everyone please try and go to be moved by the most beautiful fall foliage in Japan.
Atmosphere of Daisetsu Kogen Onsen Hiking Tour to See Fall Foliage Can Be Watched on Youtube
|Admission fee||Free of charge|
|Parking lot||Free parking is provided (150 cars)|
|Regular closing day||From mid October to early June|
|Home page||Home page is here|
|Mapcode||970 727 723*72|
List of Guided Tour
Some activity companies serve guided tours. Refer to following websites for the activity companies. You can get information regarding online reviews and photos.
List of Accommodations
Refer to following websites for the accommodations around the Daisetsu-kogen Swamp Group. You can get information regarding online reviews and photos.
Taisetsu Kogen Onsen
A page of Daisetsuzan National Park is here
Daisetsuzan National Park
A page of Hokkaido Fall Foliage is here
Hokkaido Fall Foliage
By the way, Club Tourism (クラブツーリズム), a Japanese tour travel agency, provides various types of tours such as day trip tours or ordinary tours. In the case of bus tours, tourists do not drive their cars themselves, so they can savor alcohol. Choosen tourist attractions are national parks such as Rishiri and Rebun, Shiretoko, and popular tourist places such as Furano and Biei, and some activities such as hiking and fruit picking are also enjoyed depending on seasons. If you are interested in tour trips, you should visit the club tourism's website for details.
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