Asahidake Onsen

Autumn Color Report 2018
Daisetsuzan Report - September 19, 2018

Asahidake Onsen (x) is a small hot spring resort at the foot of Hokkaido's highest mountain, Mount Asahidake (2290 meters), and one of the most pleasant bases for exploring Daisetsuzan National Park.

The small village consists of only about a dozen buildings, wooden lodges, a beautiful youth hostel and two or three large hotels. Shopping and dining opportunities are limited to the hotels and the ropeway station. For weather forecasts, maps and other tourist information, head to the visitor center.

The Asahidake Ropeway lifts visitors from Asahidake Onsen to within a two hour hike of Mount Asahidake's summit. Even though the ropeway's upper station is "only" 1600 meters above sea level, it stands in a treeless alpine tundra landscape with alpine flowers in summer.

Mount Asahidake

There are many hiking opportunities in the Asahidake area from late June through September. For beginners, there is an attractive, 30-60 minute circular trail around the ropeway's upper station, which passes some ponds and sulfurous vents, indicating that the whole Daisetsuzan mountain range is of volcanic origin. Furthermore, there are several easy walking trails around the village.

Somewhat more difficult is the ascent to the summit of Asahidake which takes about two hours. The classic 1-2 day tour for advanced hikers continues from the summit of Asahidake to the summit of Kurodake, from where one can descend to Sounkyo Onsen. Other multi-day trekking tours through the national park can also be started from Asahidake Onsen.

Asahidake is the first place in Japan to see autumn colors and snow each year. The autumn color season attracts a lot of visitors in mid September, while skiing is possible on the mountain from December into early May.

Hiking Trail around Asahidake Onsen

Access

By bus

Asahidake Onsen can be reached by bus from Asahikawa Station (1430 yen one way) and Asahikawa Airport (1000 yen one way):

Asahikawa Station 07:40 10:10 12:40 16:10
Asahikawa Airport 08:15 10:45 13:15 16:45
Asahidake Onsen 09:06 11:36 14:06 17:36

Asahidake Onsen 09:30 12:00 14:30 18:00
Asahikawa Airport 10:20 12:50 15:20 18:50
Asahikawa Station 10:56 13:26 15:56 19:26

By car

Asahidake Onsen can be reached by car in about one hour from Asahikawa, Asahikawa Airport or Biei.

How to get to and around Daisetsuzan National Park

Hours & Fees

Asahidake Ropeway

Hours

Varies gradually between 6:00-18:00 during summer and 9:00-16:00 during winter; departures every 15-20 minutes

Closed

Mid November to early December

Admission

2900 yen round trip (June to mid October)
1800 yen round trip (mid October through May)