|Schauwecker's Japan Travel Blog|
by Stefan Schauwecker, webmaster of japan-guide.com
This blog is intended to record some of my travel activities in Japan.
2008/09/26 - Sounkyo Onsen
The most popular and most developed (over-developed in the opinion of some) base for exploring Daisetsuzan National Park is Sounkyo Onsen. The hot spring resort is located in a beautiful valley with waterfalls nearby and a ropeway to Mount Kurodake, the tallest peak in the area.
Down in the valley, some trees have started to change colors, however, the peak of the koyo (autumn leaf) season is still more than a week away. Although it was a weekday, one bus after the other delivered tour groups to the waterfalls just outside Sounkyo. Sunshine was mixing with rain drops.
In order to catch the trees in full autumn colors, a ropeway ride to the 5th Station of Mount Kurodake was required. Colors are currently best around the 7th Station, which can be reached in an additional chair lift ride. The views, however, were more enjoyable from the ropeway station's observation deck, as the weather suddenly took a turn to the worse.
I was sitting on the chair lift to the 7th Station when rain and snow started to pour onto myself and other chair lift passengers who falsely hoped for more spectacular views around the 7th Station. Wet and cold, I had to add a visit to Sounkyo's public hot spring bath, Kurodake no Yu, to my trip schedule after descending into the valley.
Next week, we plan a koyo reporting trip to the Kurobe-Tateyama Alpen Route.