Journeys through Japanese legends


Daisetsuzan National Park boasts multiple peaks over 2,000 meters, including the highest peak in Hokkaido, Asahidake (2,291 meters). In the past, the Ainu (the indigenous people of northern Japan) called Daisetsuzan, with its ruggedly beautiful alpine mountain range and vast nature, Kamuimintara (meaning “the garden where the gods play”, and they worshiped it. Many of the mountains at Daisetsuzan have names that come from the Ainu language. In autumn, the area is covered with autumn leaves that seem to burn, making the place look otherworldly.
* Ainu:

The “giant backbone” of the North

The mountains of Daisetsuzan, rising patchwork-wise like a Japanese screen in the vast northern distance. They are also referred to as the “backbone of Hokkaido” because they rise almost exactly across the middle of Hokkaido. Asahidake, the highest peak, is referred to as “Nutapukamuushupe” in the Ainu language. There are various theories about the meaning, but the generally accepted one is “the high mountain around which the river flows.” Asahidake can be traveled up by ropeway from Asahidake Onsen to the fifth station.

A land of many waterfalls

Sounkyo Gorge in Daisetsuzan is one of the best scenic spots in Hokkaido with its dynamic cliff walls, which stretch for 24 kilometers. Its name is derived from “so-unpetsu,” which is Ainu for “the river with waterfalls.” True to its Ainu appellation, the gorge features large and small waterfalls, including Ryusei Falls (Shooting Start Falls) and Ginga Falls (Milky Way Falls), which spray water here and there. As you explore the autumn sights deep into Sounkyo Gorge, you will be able to see from up close Momiji Falls (Autumn Leaves Falls), an impressive fall with great water flow.

Enjoy the authentic taste of Jingisukan (Mongolian) BBQ

Jingisukan, the soul food of people in Hokkaido. The combination of mutton and Hokkaido onion macerated in the special sauce of each restaurant is a match made in heaven.

The "Blue Pond" shining among the autumn leaves

The Blue Pond (Aoiike) offers a fantastic sight with Japanese larch trees rising straight out from the blue water surface. In autumn, the beauty of the fiery leaves against the cool blue water is hard to describe.


Location/Access Central part of Hokkaido
About 50 minutes by bus from Asahikawa Airport (Higashikawa-cho, Kamikawa-gun, Asahidake)
About 150 minutes by bus from Asahikawa Airport (Kamikawa-cho, Kamikawa-gun, Sounkyo)
Inquiries Higashikawa Tourism Association
Tel: 0166-82-3761

Sounkyo Tourism Association
Tel: 01658-2-1811

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