Hidaka Mountain’s most peaks are hard to climb, however the pleasant mountain of Apoi-dake (810m) is relativity easy to climb. This area is listed as a Unesco Global Geopark in 2015.
Location 6km southeast of Samani
Climbing Season Late May to November
Tourist Information Mt Apoi Geopark Visitor Center (see below)
From Apo-idake trailhead (アポイ岳登山口) it is two hours hike to Uma-no-se (馬の背) half-way up point with stunning views and wildflower gardens. After that you will reach the leafy summit within the hour. The best alpine flower season is from late May to late June.
From the summit of Apoi-dake, the mountain ridge path extends north of Yoshida-dake (吉田岳: 50min hike) and Pinneshiri (ピンネシリ: 2hrs hike). You can traverse these mountains from north to south (takes eight hours) if you stay at the Apoi Sanso, it offers a shuttle service to the Pinneshiri trailhead in the morning (contact ahead).
The trailhead is a 10-minute walk from the closest bus stop at the Apoi Sanso (アポイ山荘), JR Bus runs from Samani Station (8min). Note that morning buses (by 8am) skip here.
01 VISITOR CENTER
Mt Apoi Geopark Visitor Center
アポイ岳ジオパークビジターセンター / 9am-5pm Apr-Nov / FREE / Wi-Fi / www.apoi-geopark.jp/english
About 400m walk down from the Apoi Sanso, this friendly visitor center provides the local topography and geology, with information on alpine plants and brown bears.
02 SCENIC COAST
日高耶馬渓 / Yamanaka
A 7km stretch of spectacular cliff along the coast between Fuyushima (冬島) and Horoman (幌満) in the east of town. You can follow the 1km-long scenic old coastal route on foot or by car from Yamanaka (山中) bus stop.
Samani Mountain Path
様似山道 / Samani Sando / May-Nov
Constructed in 1799 by the Edo shogunate, the 4km-long Samani mountain path along the town’s east cliff coast connects Horoman and Fuyushima. This historic path begins near Horoman (幌満) bus stop, a 20-minute by bus from Samani Station. Cross the Horoman bridge and go down the left side stairs in front of the tunnel (pass under the bridge) then walk along the river, you will find the trailhead. Note that the riverbed and small streams may become flooded on a rainy day.
The mountain is a habitant of brown bears, you should tie a bell to avoid the risk. At the midpoint on the path, there is an old site of Harada-juku Inn surrounded by the forest. Fuyushima (冬島) bus stop is 1km west of the end point of the path close to the fishing port.
It takes roughly four hours. The tourist office has a useful handy map.
APOI-DAKE & AROUND MAP
A few JR buses on the Hidaka Thoroughbred Road from Samani Station runs to Hiroo (1hr 50min) in Tokachi Region via Apoi-sanso (except morning buses by 8am) and Erimo-misaki (1hr).
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