- May 13th, 2014
[Hoheikyo in Sapporo] Fresh Green and Fall Foliage Make Beautiful Valley
Hoheikyo (豊平峡) is located in the southwestern part of Sapporo city, and is farther than Jozankei Onsen (定山渓温泉) from downtown. Although it is in Sapporo city, it is located in Shikotsu Toya National Park (支笏洞爺国立公園), and nature is very rich. The Hoheikyo has Hoheikyo Dam and Lake Jozan (定山湖), and is well-known as a good place to see fall foliage. There are Hoheikyo Onsen (豊平峡温泉), Nature Village and an auto camping ground near the Lake Jozan (定山湖). Furthermore, Onsen Shokudo's Indian curry (Onsen食堂のインドカレー) in Hoheikyo Onsen is popular.
By the way, Resort Liner (リゾートライナー) and Yuttari Liner (直通バス湯ったりライナー), a nonstop bus, run between New Chitose Airport and Jozankei Onsen, and Kappa Liner (かっぱライナー号), a nonstop bus, runs between the central part of Sapporo and Jozankei Onsen, so those would be very convenient. In addition, a shuttle bus service is available from July to late September between the Jozankei Onsen and the Hoheikyo.
Yawaragi-no-Sato Hoheikyo Onsen (やわらぎの里 豊平峡温泉) is a popular hot spring facility for day trip bath in the southwestern part of Sapporo city, and won the first place in TripAdvisor "Day Trip Hot Spring Facility Category in 2013" in Japan. Hoheikyo is farther than Jozankei Onsen (定山渓温泉) from downtown. There are Hoheikyo Dam (豊平峡ダム) saving water for Lake Jozan (定山湖), Shizen-no-Mura (自然の村 * nature village) with cottages and an auto camping ground near the Hoheikyo Onsen. Furthermore, Indian Curry of Onsen Shokudo (Onsen食堂のインドカレー) at a building of the Hoheikyo Onsen is famous, too, and a lot of people visit here only to eat the Indian Curry. In addition, a photography was prohibited at a bathhouse. Read More
Jozankei Onsen (定山渓温泉) is a famous hot-spring resort in Sapporo city suburbs, and one of the 3 major hot spring resorts in Hokkaido together with Noboribetsu Onsen (登別温泉) and Yunokawa Onsen (湯の川温泉). Jozankei is called a back room of Sapporo (札幌の奥座敷), and 2.4 million people per year visit the Jozankei Onsen that is near the center of Sapporo for about 60 minutes. Oversea visitors increased in hot spring boom recently, too. Read More
Indian Curry of Onsen Shokudo
Onsen Shokudo (ONSEN食堂) is at a building of Hoheikyo Onsen (豊平峡温泉) located in Jozankei (定山渓), Sapporo city. It is a strange combination of hot springs and Indian curry for some reason. But the Indian curry is very popular. Visitors will be always lines on weekends because I suppose that an Indian cooks. Read More
Sapporo (札幌) that about 1,960,000 people live is the largest city in Hokkaido. Although there are various theories, its origin of the name is "Dry Big River (乾いた大きな川)" in Ainu language. A population of the Sapporo is the 4th largest city after Yokohama, Osaka and Nagoya in japan, and the population accounts for 36 % of Hokkaido's population! So the Sapporo has been flourished as the center of the Hokkaido. The area of the Sapporo is 1,121.26 km2, and is about as big as Hong Kong, and is the 7th largest city in the Hokkaido. The Sapporo is also famous as a tourist city, and about 15 million people come. As for a climate, it is hot that temperature rises to nearly 25 degrees in a summer, but it is easy to live without moisture. I always feel a little cool. It is cold that temperature falls to nearly -10 degrees in a winter, and amount of snowfall sometimes has more than 1 m. Read More
Fall Foliage of Hokkaido
It is said that the Fall Foliage of the Hokkaido turns into red color at the earliest in Japan. The best time to see the fall foliage comes in Daisetsu-zan at high altitude, and it comes gradually in low areas. It comes in Mt. Asahidake (旭岳) and in Mt. Kurodake (黒岳) in mid September, and autumn leaves fall in early November. As for the highlight of the Fall Foliage of the Hokkaido, tourists are bowled over by vast nature with the fall foliage, or are bowled over by small space that goes well with the fall foliage. Except famous beauty spots for the fall foliage, there are less famous beauty spots for the fall foliage such usual mountains and rivers or gorges here and there. Read More
The Hoheikyo Dam (豊平峡ダム) was built in 1972, and is one of rare dams that only 2 dams were built in the method of construction called Arch-type Concrete Dam in Hokkaido. Its height is 102.5 m. Speaking of rare things, there is one more thing. As well as Kurobe Dam in Toyama, electric buses are operated by consideration to environment. Therefore general cars can not reach to the dam. In order to go to the dam, tourists must change electric buses at a parking lot, or the tourists must go to the dam on foot. In the case of walking, vititors walk thorugh Hiyamizu Tunnel (冷水トンネル) and Hoheikyo Tunnel (豊平峡トンネル), it takes about 20 minutes to reach to the dam. The visitors can look at Kudan Falls (九段の滝) and Senjoiwa Rocks (千丈岩) between the tunnel and the tunnel. Admission free. The parking lot is free of charge.
Dam Museum (ダムミュージアム) is on the site, and the tourists can visit here on the weekdays, and there is a resting station on a hill, too. The tourists can view the whole dam at an observation deck if the tourists go up walks. But beware of bears because bears may appear frequently. In addition, the dam did not have water at all and I visited here in the the worst timing. A staff told me that the best viewed season was in June. But I heard that fall foloage was the best season to look around in an autumn. Which is correct ? By the way, dam cards are distributed at Hoheikyo Dam Management Branch (豊平峡ダム管理支所) and the Dam Museum.
Hoheikyo is famous for the beautiful fall foliage, too. The best time to see is from early October to mid October, so I visited here in mid October. The fall foliage was just full bloom, so a lot of tourists came. There were an electric bus stop and a restroom beside a parking lot, and those were crowded with a lot of tourists depending on time zone. It takes about 5 minutes by the electric bus. It took about 20 minutes to go the Hoheikyo Dam on foot.
In the case of walk, enjoying beautiful Senjoiwa Rocks with the fall foliage and Kudan Falls with the fall foliage each in their own way is good point. In the case of the electric bus, the tourists can not take a photo freely, therefore some tourists walk.
I think that good viewing points for the fall foliage at the dam site are views on the dam, views from Hoheikyo Observation Deck (豊平峡展望台) beside the Rest House Dammieru (レストハウス「だむみえーる) and views from the Hoheikyo Dam Reference Library. In addition, a path with the fall foliage from a lift car stop to the rest house is good, too.
Atmosphere of Hoheikyo Dam Can Be Watched on Youtube
|Admission fee||Free of charge|
|Parking lot||Free parking is provided (250 cars)|
|Regular closing day||Hoheikyo dam reference library: Saturday, Sunday, and National holiday, Hoheikyo dam management branch: Weekdays|
|Electric bus fare||Round‐trip ticket, Adult: JPY 620, Elementary school student: JPY 300.
One‐way ticket, Adult: JPY 310, Elementary school student: JPY 150.
|Electric bus season||From May to late November|
|Electric bus operational hour||08:45-16:00|
|Home page||Home page is here|
|Mapcode||708 573 418*08|
List of Accommodations
Refer to following websites for the accommodations near the Hoheikyo. You can get information regarding online reviews and photos.
A page of Sapporo is here
A page of Shikotsu-Toya National Park is here
Shikotsu-Toya 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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