Asahidake 旭岳: The tallest mountain in Hokkaido

By Cubie - November 21, 2012

Asahidake snack
Asahidake is part of the Daisetsuzan Volcanic Group of the Ishikari Mountain. It is located in the northern part of the Daisetsuzan National Park. When we initially plan this Hokkaido trip, sis asked is there anywhere I specifically want to include in the itinerary. My reply was "Asahidake." :)

Asahidake is one of the bases for exploring Daisetsuzan National Park. The other popular base for would be Sounkyo Onsen, to Mount Kurodake. If you are avid and experience hiker, one can do the 1-2 day tour from Asahidake to Kurodake and descend to Sounkyo Onsen, also vice versa. Asahidake is the first place in Japan to see autumn colours and snow.

Early signs of kouyou
Of course, day trip is also possible. Thanks to the introduction of ropeway. I was initially undecided between the two - Asahidake or Sounkyo as it is rather not possible to do both in a day. I believe most of the group tour travel to Sounkyo and include stopover at the two waterfalls - "Ryuusei no Taki" (shooting star falls) and "Ginga no Taki" (silver river falls). Anyhow I decided on Asahidake, as it was the first that attracted my attention. Maybe Sounkyo the next time :)

There's only 3 scheduled bus each way, don't miss the last bus oh. We took the first bus which departs from bus stand number 4, at 9.25 am. I didn't have the exact change, and thought that 5,000 yen to pay for 2 person wasn't over the top but Mr Bus Driver did not have any change. In fact, I don't think they carry any change with them. The machine next to him was only to break 1,000 yen to coins but not able to break 5,000 yen. He told me that I could try to break 5,000 yen at the shop. I ran down and managed to get smaller notes for the 5,000 yen from the souvenir shop. I then ran back up and paid for our bus fare. Would've got into heaps of trouble elsewhere :/

There isn't much shops there, unlike Lake Toya. There's only a small shop selling snacks and a souvenir shop. We didn't linger but went straight to the ropeway.

2,800 yen per person round trip
So you can see, it is definitely not cheap to get to Asahidake. Just for transportation - bus return trip and ropeway return trip cost 5,440 yen per person. That is approximately RM 210 @_@.

But it is such a beautiful serene place :)

Once we reached the other end of the ropeway station, there was some introduction to the place, in Japanese. We didn't realise and thought it was part of a tour group, hence we just linger outside and clicking away. One of the staff came to usher us in, and realised we were foreigners. She went back in and came back to give me this map. :)

We did the Sugatami Trekking Course which is estimated to be 1.5 hours. The trail is not well paved, rather there were stones and pebbles. However rest assured, many elderly did the same trek as us. There was also a father bringing his son to for a little trek as well. They had a bell each hanging off their backpacks, I reckon it was to act as a bear bell as precaution to scare off bears.

See how beautiful is this place... and we haven't even started the trek!
From the first observatory
Quite a few people brought along some snacks or even just bread, sat down enjoyed their food at this beautiful place. I wished I brought along something to eat too!

Suribachi Pond 摺鉢池 and Kagami Pond 鏡池 are called "Meoto" a married couple 夫婦池. The bigger one is Kagami Pond. I don't know which is "husband" and which is the "wife" though.
Suribachi Pond 摺鉢池
Kagami Pond 鏡池
Walking near us was this elderly couple, the Ojiisan お爺さん would walk in front and assist the Obaasan お婆さん and gave her encouragement. At one time, I could hear him telling her, "もう少し、頑張れ!(Just a little bit more, don't give up!). So sweet :)

On off they would stop and Ojiisan would take photo for Obaasan and vice versa. So, when I was walking behind them, I offered to take a picture for them together. :)

See the fumaroles? Yup, Asahidake is one of the peaks under Daisetsuzan Volcanic Group.

Sugatami Pond 姿見の池
It is said that Sugatami Pond 姿見の池 reflects the image of Asahidake... umm.. didn't seem to though :/

The bell tower near Sugatami Pond
Completing the "circle"... walking back to the Ropeway Sugatami Station.

Back at starting point.

By that time, we were famish. So please do bring some food with you. :)

The timing was just right for us to catch the 2.10 pm bus back to Asahikawa. While we were waiting for the bus, Ojiisan same and gave mom and I some candies... maybe as a token of appreciation for taking a photo for them :)

Side note: It's definitely summer now...

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  1. hi~ do you remember seeing any taxi around ropeway area?
    one of my friend will be staying nearby the ropeway station and the local bus is rather late for departure.


    1. Hi Rin, it has been awhile and I can't exactly recall, I'm sorry. Though most came either by public bus or tour group. The place isn't big, there's only one souvenir shop at the bottom of the ropeway and one at the top.

    2. No worries. Thank you for the guide in your blog.

  2. Hi, When did u go? Did u go on 21st Nov?

    1. Hello beautequeen - no I was there on 17th Sept 2012.