About 45km east of Asahikawa, the tiny highland village (at 1050m) of Asahidake Onsen (旭岳温泉) is the base for Hokkaido’s highest peak of Asahi-dake. Most visitors climb up to the scenic mountainside by cable car and enjoy dramatic views or ski down the slopes.
Tourist Information Asahi-dake Visitor Center (旭岳ビジターセンター): 9am-5pm / Closed 31 Dec-5 Jan / www.welcome-higashikawa.jp
01 CABLE CAR & HIKING
旭岳ロープウェイ / Around 6am-6pm late Jun-Sep, 8am-5pm around Jun & Oct, 9am-4pm or 5pm early Nov & mid Dec-May / Closed 11 Nov-10 Dec / Return 1 Jun-20 Oct ¥3200 (one-way ¥2000), 21 Oct-31 May ¥2200 (one-way ¥1300) / asahidake.hokkaido.jp
Climbing 500m above Asahidake Onsen, this 2360m-long cable car offers breaking views over the surrounding mountains, forest and wetlands.
An hour, 1.7km loop hiking trail heads from its top station to Sugatami-no-ike (姿見の池) crater pond beside a smoking volcano. Alpine plants bloom in summer. Skiing is available from December to early May, check the snow condition and weather before you go.
旭岳 / Official Mountaineering Season 1 Jun-20 Oct
From Sugatami-no-ike (at 1600m), you can climbing Hokkaido’s highest peak of Asahi-dake (2291m) in about two hours. There are panoramic views of the park.
If you wish to more hikes from the peak, allow five hours to reach the top of Kuro-dake (1984m), or a four hours detour hike down to Sugatami-no-ike via Nakadake Onsen (中岳温泉) natural open-air springs (free) and the pleasant Susoai-daira (裾合平) plateau.
03 VISITOR CENTER
Asahi-dake Visitor Center
旭岳ビジターセンター / Tel 0166-97-2153 / Asahidake Onsen / 9am-5pm / Closed 31 Dec-5 Jan / FREE / Wi-Fi / www.welcome-higashikawa.jp
Near Asahi-dake Ropeway Sanroku Station, the new visitor center exhibits local fauna and flora, weather forecast and trail conditions. It has an information desk for local eco tours. Snowshoes, snow boots and cross-country ski rental is available. There are several naturel trails around the visitor center.
Asahikawa Denkikido bus 66 (called ideyu-go: いで湯号) runs between JR Asahikawa Station and Asahi-dake’s ropeway station (4 daily / 1hr 40min), via Asahikawa Airport (1hr) and the Higashikawa Michikusakan (ひがしかわ道草館: 45min).
In Asahidake Onsen, buses stop at Asahidake Onsen-iriguchi (旭岳温泉入口: in front of the Yukoman-so) and Asahi-dake Camp-jo (旭岳キャンプ場: in front of the Shirakaba-so and the La Vista Daisetsuzan).