Hiking at Mt Asahi Daisetsuzan National Park, Hokkaido
Watch the Very First Autumn Leaves at Mt Asahi, the Hokkaido’s Highest Peak!
Go to Hokkaido this summer/autumn for the most amazing experience! Mount Asahidake, the highest mountain in Hokkaido, is open for public hikers during late spring to autumn when it’s not snowing. It’s one of the most amazing place in Japan to enjoy the magnificent view of mountain and the great primitive nature. Doesn’t matter if you love to hike or not, you can easily fall in love with Mount Asahidake, here is why and my great experience there.
Mt.Asahidake (旭岳) (2290 meters) is Hokkaido’s highest mountain. It’s located in a center of Hokkaido, Higashikawa town and it’s a part of Hokkaido’s biggest mountain range “Daisetsu-zan”.
It’s in the northern part of the Daisetsuzan National Park which is the biggest mountain national park in Japan. Nearest Airport is Asahikawa.
Various trails are available. If you have plenty time or you are confident with hiking, the good way to start is from the base of the mountain next to the ropeway station. It takes around 4.5 hours to the summit.
But most of visitors take a different option, the ropeway!
You can reach up to 1,600 m high by ropeway and continue your hike to the summit within 2 hours. So it’ll save quite a lot time and the view from the ropeway is another spectacular thing.
As Asahidake is a an active stratovolcano, you can see the rise of steam vents from the surface of the mountain most of the time which creates the view of it much more special and wild. This is one of the rare places in the world where you can feel the geologically active of nature very very close.
There are several view points and beautiful ponds along the loop trail before the summit. The water is so clear and one of the pond is called “Sugatami no ike” which literally means “the pond of full-length mirror” because the pond reflects the shape of the mountain.
The trail to the summit is quite rocky and sandy so be well equipped. Also note that the mountain is much colder than the base and it’s below 10℃ even in summer time. It’s a great place even if you don’t love hiking as you can just walk around the summit and enjoy the views. The loop trail is also available for visitors who does not climb.
Recommended season is August when greens are grown thick or mid-September to mid-October when the autumn foliage starts. The mountains in Hokkaido is where you can enjoy autumn colours before anywhere else in Japan.
I went there in early September which was still late summer in Kanto region but I could enjoy the beginning of autumn foliage in the mountain already.
The nearest Airport is Asashikawa Airport
45 mins drive to Mount Asahidake by car or take direct bus service from the airport.
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