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Mountain Climbing, Fall Foliage and Onsen Can Be Enjoyed in Japan's Largest National Park -Daisetsuzan National Park-

October 1st, 2014

Neighborhood of Daisetsuzan National Park

Daisetsuzan National Park (大雪山国立公園) is the largest national park of 226,763.56 ha in Japan. 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". A right notation is "Daisetsuzan", but local people often call "Taisetsuzan".

Mt. Kurodake
Daisetsuzan National Park

For a vast area, Daisetsuzan National Park roughly divide into 4 areas, Omote Daisetu Area (表大雪エリア * Front Daisetsu Area), North Daisetsu Area (北大雪エリア), East Daisetsu Area (東大雪エリア * Back Daisestu Area), Tokachirenpo Area (十勝連峰エリア). Daisetsuzan is called Kamuimintara in Ainu language and means "The garden that gods have a good time (神々の遊ぶ庭)". Tourists can enjoy a just magnificent scene.

Movie of Daisetuzan Mountain Range

Omote Daisetsu Area (Front Daisetsu Area)

Omote Daisetsu Area is located in the northern part of Daisetsuzan region and is a place that most tourists visit in the Daisetsuzan origin. Kamikawa town (上川), Higashikawa town (東川) and Biei town (美瑛) are called the Omote Daisetsu Area roughly. Mt. Asahidake (旭岳), Mt. Kurodake (黒岳), Mt. Akadake (赤岳), Mt. Midoridake (緑岳), Suriaidaira (裾合平), Ohachidaira (御鉢平), Nakadake Onsen (中岳温泉), Mt. Tomuraushi (トムラウシ山), Mt. Chubetsudake (忠別岳) are famous.

Mt. Asahidake
Daisetsuzan National Park

Ropeways are installed in the Mt. Asahidake with 2,291 m in height and the Mt. Kurodake with 1,984 m in height, and the tourists can bath hot springs at luxurious accommodations such as Asahidake Onsen (旭岳温泉), Tenninkyo Onsen (天人峡温泉), Sounkyo Onsen (層雲峡温泉), and mountain climbing beginners and the tourists can enjoy those. There are various mountain climbing courses including a tour course and a traverse route from Mt. Asahidake to Mt. Kurodake. It is known for fall foliage, too.

Traverse Route from Mt. Asahidake to Mt. Kurodake

Sounkyo

Sounkyo (層雲峡) in Kamikawa town located in the southeastern part of Asahikawa city is a hot-spring resort as a famous fall foliage place. The whole area of Sounkyo is clothed in autumn leaves, and in particular a scenery from Mt. Kurodake is beautiful. A ropeway and a lift are installed from the hot-spring resort of Sounkyo Onsen to Mt. Kurodake. It is extremely appealing that tourists can reach to the fifth station on the Mt. Kurodake without climbing a mountain on foot. The tourists can look over a very splendid scenery from a high place. The fall foliage is the best season to see in mid September. The tourists will enjoy the splendid scenery of Mts. Daisetuzan called "The garden that gods have a good time". By the way, the Mt. Kurodake changes to a ski resort in a winter, and Sounkyo Ice Waterfall Festival (層雲峡氷瀑まつり) is held in the winter, too. Admission free, but you want to ride a ropeway, must pay a fare. In addition, you can climb a mountain free. A parking lot is free of charge. Article is here

Sounkyo with Fall Foliage
Kamikawa, Sounkyo

Atmosphere of Sounkyo with Fall Foliage Can Be Watched on Youtube

Moive of Sounkyo with Fall Foliage

Mt. Asahidake

Mt. Asahidake is an active volcano in Higashikawa town located in the southeastern part of Asahikawa city and is the representative mountain and the highest mountain with 2,291 m in height of the Daisetsuzan Mountain Ranges. About 300,000 people visit Mt. Asahidake. There are 2 trailhead for the mountaintop of Mt. Asahidake and the Susoaidaira, but it is the Asahidaira that tourists want to take in the sights without climbing mountains. Admission free, but you want to ride a ropeway, must pay a fare. In addition, you can climb a mountain free. There are a free parking lot and a toll parking, and the free parking is filling immediately during fall foliage season. Article is here

Active Steam
Mt. Asahidake with Fall Foliage in Higashikawa

Atmosphere of Mt. Asahidake Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Mt. Asahidake

Obako

Obako (大函) is a scenic spot in Sounkyo, Kamikawa. 30,000 years ago, columnar jointing was born by an explosive eruption of Ohachidaira. Ishikari River (石狩川) eroded rocks, and the Oobako change to the current shape. The dark brown sheer columnar jointing looks like a picture. There is a famous scenic spot called Kobako (小函), too. But it is currently prohibited to enter Kobako in danger of collapse. Except a parking lot, there is not a facility at all. A restroom seems to be broken. Article is here

Precipice Rocks
Sunkyo, Obako

Atmosphere of Obako Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Obako

Ryusei Falls and Ginga Falls

Ryusei Falls (流星の滝) and Ginga Falls (銀河の滝) in Sounkyo, Kamikawa are famous waterfalls that rivers are dropping from columnar jointing of sheer cliffs into Ishikari River. It is said that those are the most beautiful falls in this area. Ryusei Falls with 90 m in high are called male falls because water flows straight violently, and Ryusei means shooting star in English language. Ginga falls with 120 m in high are called female falls because water flows delicately, and Ginga means milky way in English language. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge. Article is here

View from Sobakudai
Sounkyo, Ryusei Falls and Ginga Falls

Atmosphere of Ryusei Falls and Ginga Falls Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Ryusei Falls and Ginga Falls

Daisetsu Kogen Onsen Hiking Tour with Fall Foliage

Kamikawa town is located in the southeastern part of Asahikawa city, and there is Daisetsu Kogen Onsen (大雪高原温泉) in the southern part of Kamikawa town. There is Brown Bear Information Center (ヒグマ情報センター) in the opposite side of the Daisetsu Kogen Onsen's building and this is an entrance of Daisetsu Kogen Onsen Hiking Tour (大雪高原温泉沼巡り登山コース). After having received a lecture about brown bears here, tourists can go a trip. This neighborhood is said to be a hometown of the brown bears, and many brown bears inhabit. The tourists must be careful of the brown bears, and it is important to know their information. Article is here

View at Ezo-Numa Pond
Daisetsu Kogen Onsen Hiking Tour with Fall Foliage in Kamikawa

Atmosphere of Daisetsu Kogen Onsen Hiking Tour with Fall Foliage Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Daisetsu Kogen Onsen Hiking Tour with Fall Foliage

Ginsendai with Fall Foliage

Ginsendai (銀泉台) in Kamikawa town located in the southeastern part of Asahikawa city is a trailhead for Mt. Akadake near Sounkyo Onsen in the southern part of Kamikawa town. If tourists take a narrow gravel road for about 14 km in length from Japan National Route 273 to Ginsendai, the tourists reach to the Ginsendai. But visitors must pay scrupulous attention to driving because large sightseeing buses run, too. Actually, I encountered a car with a trouble (A mobile phone is out of coverage area). In addition, traffic regulations enforce during high seasons of fall foliage, and the tourists must use shuttle buses from lake-side (レイクサイド) to the Ginsendai. There are a forest patrol office, a parking lot, a restroom and a watering place in the trailhead of the Ginsendai. Wild flowers are in full bloom in July, and the fall foliage is the best season to see in mid September. The tourists increase at those seasons. Article is here

Road Can be Seen
Ginsendai with Fall Foliage in Kamikawa

Atmosphere of Ginsendai with Fall Foliage Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Ginsendai with Fall Foliage

Lake Taisetsu

Lake Taisetsu (大雪湖) is a man-made lake in Kamikawa town located in the southeastern part of Asahikawa city. Taisetsu Dam was built in 1975 and the Lake Taisetsu was borned. There is the lake just near Sounkyo. Taisetsu Dam is the only dam in the main stream of Ishikari River and is located in the most upstream of the Ishikari River. It is a multipurpose rock-fill dam with 86.5 m in height and 440 m in length. Candy Trouts and Dolly Varden Trouts (オショロコマ) inhabit in the lake, and many fishing visitors come. In addition, dam cards are distributed in the Taisetsu Dam Management Branch (大雪ダム管理支所), too. Article is here

I Look at Daisetsu Mountain Range
Lake Taisetsu in Kamikawa

Atmosphere of Lake Taisetsu Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Lake Taisetsu

Ukishima Marsh

Ukishima Marsh (浮島湿原) is a high moor at 870 m above sea level between Kamikawa and Takinoue in the northern part of Daisetsuzan National Park (大雪山国立公園) and is near Ukishima IC (浮島IC). 22 ha of marsh is interspersed with about 70 ponds varied in scale. Nature is very rich, so beware of bears. In addition, pesky mosquitos and horseflies attack visitors, so you would better bring a mosquito repellent. The visitors can enter the Ukishima Marsh from late June to October. Restrooms are provided beside a parking lot. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge. Article is here

Higashinonuma Pond
Ukishima Marsh in Kamikawa

Atmosphere of MUkishima Marsh Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Ukishima Marsh

Sounkyo Onsen

Sounkyo Onsen is a hot-spring resort in Kamikawa town located in the southeastern part of Asahikawa city. Hot springs were discovered in 1900. There are large buildings such as hot spring facilities, restraunts, souvenir shops in the hot-spring resort, and it is one of the largest hot-spring resort in Hokkaido. There is a trailhead to Mt. Kurodake, a lot of mountain climber come, and many bathers visit here, too. There is Kurodake Ropeway, and tourists can climb to highland at 1520 m above sea level by the ropeway. There are sightseeing spots that sheer cliffs called Oobako are beautiful and Ryusei Falls and Ginga Falls near the hot-spring resort. Many tourists come to see fall foliage in an autumn, and Hyobaku (Ice Waterfall) Festival is held in a winter. The visitors can take a day trip bath at Kurodake-no-Yu (黒岳の湯), Choyotei Resort Hotel (朝陽亭リゾートホテル), Choyotei (朝陽亭), Hotel Taisestu (ホテル大雪), Yumoto Ginsenkaku (湯元銀泉閣), Sounkaku Grand Hotel (層雲閣グランドホテル), Mount View Hotel (マウントビューホテル), Sounkyo Kanko Hotel (層雲峡観光ホテル) and Hotel Kumoi (ホテル雲井). Article is here

Kurodake-no-Yu
kamikawa Kurodake-no-Yu, Sounkyo

Atmosphere of Kurodake-no-Yu Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Kurodake-no-Yu

Taisetsu Kogen Onsen

Taisetsu-Kogenso (大雪高原山荘) is a hot-spring ryokan in Kamikawa town in the southeastern part of Asahikawa city and is near Sounkyo Onsen. There is a building at 1260 m above sea level, and they opened a business only for 123 days. A trail path of Daisetsu Kogen Onsen Hiking Tour is built near the Taisetsu-Kogenso, and it is known for seeing beautiful fall foliage. There are only 2 facilities, Brown Bear Information Center and Forest Patrol Kogen Base, around the Taisetsu-Kogenso. In addition, visitors must drive for approximately 10 km on a gravel road with one traffic lane to arrive at the Taisetsu-Kogenso. Please be careful about brown bears because here is a home of the brown bears. The visitors seem to be careful about quite a few accidents to deer suddenly rushing out in front of cars. Article is here

Nice View
Taisetsu Kogen Onsen in Kamikawa Taisetsu-Kogenso

Atmosphere of Taisetsu Kogen Onsen Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Taisetsu Kogen Onsen

Aizankei Onsen

Aizankei Club (愛山渓倶楽部) is a hot-spring ryokan in Kamikawa town located in the eastern part of Asahikawa city. There is a building at 1,000 m above sea level. There is the Aizankei hut that mountain climbers stay near the Aizankei Club. Here is a trailhead of Numanotaira (沼の平) and Kumoigahara Marshland (雲井ケ原湿原). The movie "Kaza-hana (風花)" that Mr. Somai Shinji (相米慎二) supervises it, and Ms. Kyoko Koizumi (小泉今日子) and Mr. Tadanobu Asano (浅野忠信) acted as a star is known as a photographed place. By the way, the width of a road is narrow. Because there is only 1 car width nearly 10 km, attention is necessary for passing each other. In addtion, this onsen is closed in a winter. Article is here

Indoor Bath
Aizankei Onsen, Aizankei Club

Atmosphere of Aizankei Club Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Aizankei Club

Asahidake Onsen

Asahidake Onsen (旭岳温泉) is a hot-spring resort in Higashikawa town located in the southeastern part of Asahikawa city and is located in the Daisetsuzan National Park (大雪山国立公園). Hot springs were discovered in 1914. There is a trailhead to Daisetsuzan Mountains (大雪山連峰), and there are 9 accommodations. Visitors can take a day trip bath at Asahidakemanseikaku Hotel Bearmonte (ホテルベアモンテ), Grand Hotel Daisetsu (グランドホテル大雪), Yumoto Yukomanso (湯元 湧駒荘), Lodge Nutapukaushipe (ロッジ・ヌタプカウシペ) and Daisetsuzan Shirakabaso Youth Hostel (大雪山白樺荘 ユースホステル). There are Asahidake Visitor Center (旭岳ビジターセンター), a skiing resort and a ropeway, and tourists can climb at 1,600m above sea level by the ropeway. The walks are built, too, and the visitors can see Sugatami Pond (姿見の池) and alpine plants and make a round trip for about 60 minutes. Many people come to see fall foliage in an autumn. Article is here

Asahidake Ropeway
Asahidake Onsen Asahidake Ropeway

Tenninkyo Onsen

Tenninkyo Onsen is a hot-spring resort in Higashikawa town located in the southeastern part of Asahikawa city. There are 2 hot-spring hotels, Tenninkaku (天人閣) and Shikishimaso (敷島荘). There is the Tenninkyo Onsen in Daisetsuzan National Park and it is surrounded by columnar joints like Sounkyo, tourists can enjoy fall foliage in a autumn. There is a trailhead to the Daisetsuzan Mountain Range, and Hagoromo Falls (羽衣の滝) and Shikishima Falls (敷島の滝) are famous. The tourists can see oddly-shaped rocks such as Amatsuiwa Rocks (あまつ岩), Mikaeriiwa Rocks (見返り岩) and Namidaiwa Rocks (涙岩) too. However, a trail path was closed by a landslide. The tourists can not see the Hagoromo Falls and the Shikishima Falls now. Article is here

Tenninkaku
Tenninkaku, Tenninkyo Onsen in Higashikawa

Atmosphere of Tenninkaku Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Tenninkaku

Sounkyo Ice Waterfall Festival

Sounkyo Ice Waterfall Festival is a snow event held in Sounkyo Onsen, Kamikawa Town located in the eastern part of Asahikawa city. It was held for the first time in 1976, and it is held from late January to late March every year. In Ishikari River riverbank of 10,000 m2, about 30 large and small ice sculptures are produced. The height of large ice sculpture is about 15 m. These seemed to reflect an image of an ice castle and the ice dragon tiger tower (龍虎塔) in Taiwan in 2015. These are produced to blow out water of the Ishikari River below the freezing point. There are resting places, a stall, a restroom, North Ice Pub (北の氷酒場) in the site. Because the venue is very cold, a warm outfit is necessary. Admission and a parking lot are free, but they raise cooperation. Article is here

Ice Castel
Kamikawa Sounkyo Ice Waterfall Festival

Sounkyo Ice Waterfall Festival Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Sounkyo Ice Waterfall Festival

North Daisetsu Area

A neighborhood of Engaru town (遠軽) and Maruseppu District (丸瀬布) are called North Daisetsu Area. There are Mountains and Onsen such as Mt. Niseikaushuppe (ニセイカウシュッペ山), Mt. Bukadake (武華岳), Mt. Muridake (武利岳) and Maruseppu Onsen (丸瀬布温泉), Setose Onsen (セトセ温泉), Shiobetsu-Tsurutsuru Onsen (塩別ツルツル温泉) and Taki-no-Yu Onsen (滝の湯温泉) in the north side across Ishikari River.

Climbing to Mt. Niseikaushuppe

Maruseppu Onsen

Maruseppu Onsen (丸瀬布溫泉) is a hot-spring resort in Maruseppu, Engaru town located in the northwestern part of Kitami city. It is the old onsen that ancient Ainu people took a bath. There are 2 hot spring facilities, Yamabiko onsen (やまびこ温泉) and Maure Villa (マウレ山荘). This area is the forest park called "Ikoi-no-Mori (いこいの森)". SL locomotive runs around a garden, and there are a park golf course, an automatic camping ground, a tennis court and Insect Habits Building (昆虫生態館). Article is here

Maure Villa
Maruseppu Onsen Maure Villa in Engaru

Atmosphere of Maure Villa Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Maure Villa

Setose Onsen

Setose Onsen Hotel (セトセ温泉ホテル) is a long-established hot-spring hotel in Engaru town located in the northwestern part of Kitami city and was founded in 1956. There is a building along a road in the heart of mountains in Engaru. Because the road is closed to traffic at the place, it is just image of a little-known onsen in the heart of the mountains. The building has an atmosphere such as the Showa period, and visitors may taste the atmosphere of the little-known onsen. Article is here

Setose Onsen Hotel
Setose Onsen in Engaru Setose Onsen Hotel

Atmosphere of Setose Onsen Hotel Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Setose Onsen Hotel

Shiobetsu Onsen

Shiobetsu Onsen Ryokan (旅館塩別つるつる温泉) is a hot-spring hotel in Rubeshibe-cho (留辺蘂), Kitami city located in the northwest part of Kitami city. Hot springs were discovered in 1950. There is Taki-no-Yu Onsen, a park golf course and the Kitami Fuji Cart Circuit (北見富士カートサーキット) near a building. The building was renewed in 2014. Article is here

Shiobetsu Tsurutsuru Onsen Ryokan
Shiobetsu Tsurutsuru Onsen Ryokan, Shiobetsu Onsen in Kitami

Atmosphere of Shiobetsu Onsen Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Shiobetsu Onsen

Taki-no-Yu Onsen

Taki-no-Yu Onsen is located in the western part of Kitami city and is next to Shiobetsu Tsurutsuru Onsen, so there are 2 hot spring facilities, Onsen Toji Kotobukien (湯治温泉寿苑) and Takinoyu Center Yumefusen (滝の湯センター夢風泉). The area around this was developed as Takinoyu Fureai-no-Sato (滝の湯ふれあいの里), so there are a footbath, a park golf course and ponds that firefly can be seen. Article is here

Kotobukien
Taki-no-Yu kotobukien Onsen in Kitami

Atmosphere of Kotobukien Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Kotobukien

The next page introduces about East Daisetsu Area and Tokachirenpo Area.

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