About 45km northeast of Asahikawa along Ishikari-gawa, the town of Kamikawa (上川町) is a stopover en route to Sounkyo Onsen, as well as Monbetsu in Okhotsk Region. Kamikawa is also known for its tasty ramen.
Pointes of interests in Kamikawa
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).
Daisetsu Highland Asahigaoka
(大雪高原旭ヶ丘) Photogenically poised on a scenic highland, Asahigaoka boasts panorama of hillside grassy meadow and Daisetsuzan’s great ridges in the background. There are upmarket villas (from ¥21,600 per person), a small garden (late Apr-mid Oct; ¥800) and a finest restaurant.
The highland is about 10km southeast of the town center. You need a car or take a taxi from JR Kamikawa Station to get there.
(上川公園) About a 10-minute walk north of JR Kamikawa Station, this hillside park offers a view of the town.
Kamikawa Town Historical Museum
(上川町郷土資料館 · ふるさと大雪館) About a 10-minute walk west of JR Kamikawa Station cross over the bridge, this museum is in an old factory building, displaying historic tools, artefacts and archaeological finds dating back to the Meiji period. The museum is open on weekdays.