The small villages around Yotei-zan (1898m) boast rural landscapes, fresh vegetables and clear water. From Niseko, you can follow the circumferential road (approximately 60km) by bike or car in a day.
The pretty rural village of Makkari (真狩) offers a photogenic view of Yotei-zan from the center and its surrounding, located just southern foot of the mountain. This village is best explored on two wheels, hire a bike from the Michi-no-eki Makkari Flower Center (道の駅真狩フラワーセンター: 10am-3pm Jul-Oct). We recommend go around Hikari (光) agricultural area, about 3km east of the roadside station.
Tel 0136-45-2717 / 174-3 Midorioka / 10.30am-9pm / Closed Mon / ¥600
Just 2km west of the village center, this hillside onsen boasts an excellent mountain view from open-air baths. There are five Yuri-en Cottages (ゆり園コテージ: Closed Mon) adjoining the onsen.
03 HIKING & CAMPING
Yotei-zan Natural Park
羊蹄山自然公園 / Tel 0136-55-2955
At the southern trailhead for the summit of Yotei-zan, you can pitch a tent or a 1.5-hour hike to neighbouring Minami-Kobu-yama (南コブ山: 650m) with a scenic view. The Exhibition Hall of the Forest (8.45am-5.30pm late Apr-late Oct; Closed Mon except Aug) offers a rental tent and sleeping bag.
It is a 20-minute walk up from Yotei Shizen Koen-iriguchi (羊蹄自然公園入口) bus stop. The climbing season starts around mid June. Allow three to five hours climb to reach the summit, plus 1.5 hours for circling the crater at the peak.
Michi-no-eki Makkari Flower Center is located in front of the Kominkan (公民館) bus stop on the Donan Bus route between Kutchan and Rusutsu Resort via Niseko Hon-dori.