Going up along Japan’s third-longest river across the agricultural Ishikari Plain, Hokkaido’s second largest city of Asahikawa (旭川) lies on the Kamikawa Basin.
The city is straddles the clear rivers and laid out in a grid pattern, with its varied attractions, bustling eateries, ramen spots and craft studios. The main attractions are rather spread out, so you will need to use a bike or bus. Asahikawa is a good transport hub for Furano or as a base for Daisetsuzan National Park.


Asahiyama Zoo


40min by bus from Asahikawa Station

Japan’s northernmost zoo features wildlife of Hokkaido, cold areas and Africa. Here you can watch animals such as bears, foxes, eagles, monkeys, wolves, deers and seals. Penguin walk on the snow is held in winter.

Chikabumi, Arashiyama & Kamuikotan


4km west of Asahikawa Station

A few kilometers west of the city center along Ishikari-gawa, these scenic areas are home to Asahikawa’s Ainu culture. You can explore the Ainu museum and the legendary Kamuikotan gorge.

Kaguraoka, Kamui & Takasagodai


2km southwest of Asahikawa Station

Two adjoining neighborhoods Kaguraoka and Kamui on the south side of Asahikawa Station, Kaguraoka and Kamui contain the excellent museums and leafy parks. Takasagodai has an unusual hillside bathhouse.



9km north of Asahikawa Station

Development of Asahikawa and its surroundings (Kamikawa Region) began in Nagayama district during the Meiji period. It is Asahikawa’s main industrial area, so you can learn about the history and tradition of Asahikawa furniture and sake brewing. 

Kitasaito Garden


1min walk from Asahikawa Station

If you only have a couple of hours to kill, take a stroll through this 12-hectare pleasant riverside garden just southeast of JR Asahikawa Station along Chubetsu-gawa. The Garden Center offers free rental snowshoes, tubes and cross-country skis. There is also a Starbucks on-site.

Taisetsu Ji-Beer-kan


5min walk from Asahikawa Station

In a part of the Kuraimu complex, Taisetsu Ji-Beer-Kan has a good location in an old red brick warehouse. This company makes its craft beer with Northern Hokkaido malt and fresh water from Daisetsuzan. t has a comprehensive menu of meat-based dishes, set meals, ramen and snacks.

Kaimono Park


1min walk from Asahikawa Station

Japan’s first pedestrian street (developed in 1972) heading north from the train station, Kaimono Koen is lined with shopping malls, restaurants and cafes, as well as a hundred of bronze sculptures. Near the north end of the the street, you will find the Symbol Tower in the center of Tokiwa traffic circle.

Tokiwa Park


20min walk from Asahikawa Station

Around 20 minutes’ walk north from the train station, the city’s oldest oasis of green, established in 1916, is a great place to have a picnic or hire a rowboat on the pond. There are 10 sculptures and 19 stone monuments on the grounds. Cherry trees bloom around the pond in early May.

Hokkaido Asahikawa Museum of Art


23min walk from Asahikawa Station

Located on the west side of Tokiwa Park, Northern Hokkaido’s best art museum has a collection of paintings and wood crafts created by local artists. The museum volunteers operate a cafe and a souvenir shop.



30min walk from Asahikawa Station

Asahikawa’s iconic symbol across Ishikari-gawa, Asahi-bashi is the city’s most beautiful bridge opened in 1932. The bridge was the first link between the city center and the military base, it was hung with the Order of the Rising Sun before WWII. Best to take photos from a riverbed for sunset.

Takasago Sake Brewery


15min walk from Asahikawa Station / 10min walk from Asahikawa-yojo Station

This century-old classical brewery makes sake and they offer tastings amid sakagura (Japanese storehouse) from 1909. Japanese-speaking guided brewery tours are available, you need to make reservation on the website by three days before.

Asahikawa Science Center Sci-Pal


18min walk from Asahikawa Station

About a 15-minute walk on Minami-6jo-dori from JR Asahikawa Station, the Sci-Pal is a family-friendly science center with interactive exhibits, including planets, ice and snow. There is also a planetarium and a shop.



Asahikawa has a number of business hotels, mostly on the north from the train station, from where you can travel to nearby Daisetsuzan National Park and Furano. Rate increase during the winter festival and high-seasons.

JR Inn Asahikawa


1min walk from Asahikawa Station

The JR Inn is another good option adjacent to JR Asahikawa Station in the same building of the Aeon shopping mall. It has Western-style rooms with city views, communal baths and a lounge. Reception is on the 5th floor.

Y’s Hotel Asahikawa-Ekimae


1min walk from Asahikawa Station

Adjacent to JR Asahikawa Station east side and in the same building of the bus terminal, as its name suggests, this new business hotel is a wise choice if you use public transport. Rooms are compact but modern, there are communal baths with sauna on the top floor. Breakfast buffet is served on the 3rd floor with train views.

Dormy Inn Asahikawa ♨︎


15min walk from Asahikawa Station

About a 15-minute walk from JR Asahikawa Station, this chain hotel is located between the entertainment district and Tokiwa Park on Route 40. Rooms are comfort and there is an communal onsen with an open-air bath on the top floor. Free ramen is served from 9.30pm.


Getting There


Asahikawa Station is Northern Hokkaido’s largest transit hub and linked to four JR lines. The modern train station has souvenir shops, coin lockers, a cafe and a post office. Limited express trains run to the following destinations:

Sapporo: 1.5hrs
Abashiri: 3hrs 45min
Wakkanai: 3hrs 45min


Most buses depart from Asahikawa Station bus touch. Ticket offices are on the ground floor of the Y’s Hotel Asahikawa-Ekimae outside the northeast exit of the train station.


Northern Hokkaido’s hub airport is about 16km south of Central Asahikawa. Asahikawa Denkikido operates airport shuttle buses, timed to meet all flights, between Asahikawa Airport and JR Asahikawa Station stop 9 (1hr).

Getting Around


Buses are operated by Asahikawa Denkkido (旭川電気軌道) and Dohoku Bus (道北バス). Be sure to take a numbered ticket (seiri-ken: 整理券) in a car.

If you explore in the city by local bus, Asakuru Pass (あさくるパス) covering all Dohoku and Asahikawa Denkikido buses in Asahikawa (except buses for Asahi-dake, Sounkyo and the airport shuttle). Buy the pass at the bus touch ticket office, JR Asahikawa Station tourist information center and the city’s main hotels.

For Asahiyama Zoo (旭山動物園), take bus 41, 42 or 47 from Asahikawa Station stop 6 (40min).


Asahikawa Station’s tourist information center has rental bikes (May-Oct).


Asahikawa Tourism & Local Products Information Center
Asahikawa’s excellent tourist information center, inside the train station east side, has brochures, maps and English-speaking staff. The souvenir shop sells local sake, sweets and crafts. You can leave your luggage and rent bikes.

Asahikawa Station

旭川 | 아사히카와

Address:3-8 Miyashita-dori, Asahikawa-shi, Hokkaido

Distance:136km from Sapporo