About 45km northeast of Asahikawa along Ishikari-gawa, the town of Kamikawa (上川) is a stopover en route to Sounkyo Onsen, as well as Monbetsu in Okhotsk Region. Kamikawa is also known for its tasty ramen.
01 KAMIKAWA RAMEN
あかし / 587 Chuo-cho / 11am-9pm / Closed none scheduled
Opposite the train and bus stations, Akashi is a cozy shokudo that serves rich flavor ramen from shoyu to shio (salt), as well as tsukemen (つけ麺: dipping ramen noodles) and chanko-ramen (ちゃんこラーメン: sumo wrestler’s hot pot with noodles).
02 KAMIKAWA RAMEN
きよし食堂 / 574 Chuo-cho / 11am-2pm & 5pm-10.30pm / Closed Mon
The friendly husband-and-wife team serves tasty ramen in a small shokudo like a tavern. Try the miton-buta ramen (noodles with grilled local pork).
03 KAMIKAWA RAMEN
あさひ食堂 / 135 Minami-machi / 11am-8pm
Kamikawa’s popular noodle shop has a wide variety of ramen topped with local vegetables and menma (bamboo shoots). Miso ramen is the most popular here. They also serves creative ramen and buta-don (豚丼: grilled local pork on rice). Asahi Shokudo is a 5-minute walk east of JR Kamikawa Station.
旭軒 / 1057 Minami-machi / 8am-7.30pm / Closed none scheduled
This family-run confection sells homely cakes, dorayaki (steamed bun of sweet bean paste), Japanese snacks and fruit candies.
The closest station to Sounkyo is Kamikawa on the JR Sekihoku Line, about an hour from Asahikawa by local train (8 daily).
There are limited express trains to Kamikawa from Sapporo (2 daily / 2hrs 20min), Asahikawa (4 daily / 40min) and Abashiri (4 daily / 3hrs).
Dohoku Bus operates 11 times daily between JR Kamikawa Station and Sounkyo (11 daily / 30min).