All about our hometown of Higashikawa, Hokkaido

This is our visitor’s guide to Higashikawa, with everything you need to know including the weather and seasons, how to get here, what to do, where to stay, what to eat and all latest info on cultural events and of course the famous Higashikawa International Photography Festival.

Higashikawa is the gateway to Hokkaido’s Daisetsuzan National Park and an outdoor lover’s paradise. You’ll find magnificent scenery, limitless outdoor opportunities, vibrant arts & culture, buzzing cafes and a dining scene you wouldn’t expect to find in a small town. Come and discover the best of rural Hokkaido!

Small Town with a Thriving Community

Located in the heart of Hokkaido, Higashikawa is more than just the gateway to Japan’s largest national park. It is our beloved home and where the base of our operations at Adventure Hokkaido take place. With a population of over 8,000, the residents of Higashikawa enjoy a relaxed country lifestyle with spectacular views of the surrounding mountain range. The town is serviced by two supermarkets, two convenience stores, three post offices, and six schools. There is also a municipal Japanese language school which hosts 200 to 300 students from overseas at a time. For a rural town, we have a thriving community with a touch of international flavour.

Blessed with nature at our doorstep as approximately a third of Higashikawa is designated as a part of Daisetsuzan National Park. The park is home to Hokkaido’s highest peak, Mt. Asahidake (2,291m), aptly nicknamed as the Roof of Hokkaido.

Pure Mountain Spring Water on Tap

The first thing you’ll notice about Higashikawa is the myriad of rice fields that stretch out as far as the eye can see. With good access to water to the flat plains, this allows Higashikawa to produce premium quality rice, such as Yumepirika and Nanatsuboshi. However, our secret to growing top-grade rice is the abundance of natural mineral water produced by the snowmelt from the Daisetsuzan mountains. The snowmelt is filtered through the layers of mountain soil and streams out just north of Lake Chubetsu at 4,600 litres per minute. That’s more than enough water to supply every household in Higashikawa! This precious resource is not only used to support rice production, but our local businesses such as restaurants, cafes and even tofu makers benefit from it. The pure, clean water gives our locally produced products an exceptional flavour. Come and visit Higashikawa and taste the gifts of the Daisetsuzan mountains.

Innovation Through Culture and Photography

Proudly known as the Town of Photography since 1985, Higashikawa has taken an active role in encouraging harmony between people and nature through the art of photography. By taking a community-development orientated approach, the town administration was able to come up with a way to bring people together and highlight the importance of the preservation of natural landscape. Every year the town hosts national and international photography contests, and art festivals in the summertime, where hundreds of amateur and professional photographers come and gather in Higashikawa. However, photography isn’t the only unique feature of Higashikawa as the town is also infamous for it’s Japanese woodworking, crafts and pottery. Our wood craftsmanship in the furniture industry in particular, has played a significant role in fostering the design culture in the region centred in Asahikawa. In this area you can satisfy your cravings not only for fantastic culinary experiences, but also for the vibrant design and photography culture.

Jump on a bike and join us on our guided Higashikawa Discovery cycling tour to get an intimate look at the local life and culture of our charming town.

Accomodation

Experience all that Higashikawa has to offer and stay overnight in our charming town. There are lodgings available in the areas of Asahidake Onsen, Tenninkyo Onsen, Kitoushi Forest and Central Town.
Search for and book Higashikawa accommodation here.

See our tours which start in Higashikawa & Asahikawa

You can join the following Hokkaido Adventure tours from our hometown of Higashikawa.

Some of our favourite Higashikawa Photos

Where is Higashikawa, Hokkaido?

Location of Higashikawa on Google Maps.
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