Set on the upper stream of Ishikari-gawa in the northeastern part of Daisetsuzan National Park, Sounkyo (層雲峡) is Northern Hokkaido’s largest hot springs resort and the main base of Kuro-dake. The village sits along the deep gorge with columnar joints and a jumping-off point for Tokachi and Okhotsk regions.
3min walk from Sounkyo bus terminal
This cable car makes the rise up to Kuro-dake 5th station (at 1300m) in seven minutes. From the 5th station, chairlift rises the 7th station (at 1520m). From where, you can hike up to the panoramic summit of Kuro-dake (1984m) in about 1.5 hours (Jun-Oct). Skiing is available in winter.
1min walk from Sounkyo bus terminal
Sounkyo’s only public onsen is the best place to soak after climbing Kuro-dake. It is located near the bus terminal. Closed Wed Nov-Apr.
流星の滝 · 銀河の滝
37min walk from Sounkyo bus terminal
About 2.8km east of Sounkyo Onsen along Route 39 are spectacular 120m-high Ryusei-no-taki (Shooting Star Falls) and Ginga-no-taki (Milky Way Falls). From the car park it is a steep 20-minute climb to the Sobakudai overlooking both falls.
There are plenty of hotels in Sounkyo Onsen. Major hotels have their own restaurants and common baths. In the autumn weekend, booking ahead is essential.
8min walk from Sounkyo bus stop
Above the village of Sounkyo, this sprawling hotel has standard Japanese-style rooms and spacious modern rooms. The most luxurious rooms have their own private onsen baths. The communal onsen offers panoramic views of both gorge and mountains. Meals are buffet or seasonal kaiseki (haute cuisine).
Sounkyo Kankou Hotel
6min walk from Sounkyo bus stop
Located at the gateway of Sounkyo, this Japanese-style resort hotel boasts one of Hokkaido’s largest mixed-gendered open-air baths (price includes bathing suit and towel rental) overlooking the gorge.
The closest station to Sounkyo is Kamikawa (上川) on the JR Sekihoku Line, about an hour from Asahikawa by local train. There are limited express trains to Kamikawa from Sapporo (2hr 20min) and Asahikawa (40min).
Dohoku Bus operates several times daily between JR Kamikawa Station and Sounkyo (30min), with some going directly to Asahikawa Station stop 8 (2hr). There are also intercity buses from Kushiro, Kitami and Obihiro.
From July to October, a daily bus run from Sounkyo to the artificial lake of Taisetsu-ko (大雪湖: 33min, stops for 10 minutes for Takimidai (滝見台: 10min) at Ginga-no-taki & Ryusei-no-taki. After that, you can get off at Obako-iriguchi (大函入口) and catch the return bus. There is no special sight around Taisetsu-ko bus stop.
From July to September, there are two buses daily between the Sounkyo Hostel and Ginsendai (銀泉台) via Sounkyo terminal (1hr).
Sounkyo Visitor Center
Best visited before you climb to Kuro-dake and its surrounding mountains, this center tells you about local topography, geography, fauna and flora with English information. It is oposite the ropeway station.
Sounkyo bus terminal
層雲峡 | 소운쿄
Address：Sounkyo, Kamikawa-cho, Hokkaido
Distance：22km from Kamikawa