Around Daisetsuzan 6 Day Hiking Tour

A still pond is surrounded by greenery. Two hiker walk on a trail along the ponds edge.

Explore volcanic craters, tranquil lakes and the wild wetlands of the Daisetsuzan National Park on this multi-day guided hiking adventure in Central Hokkaido.

On this itinerary we discover the best of the vast Daisetsuzan National Park. We traverse the two prime peaks of Mt. Asahidake and Mt. Kurodake in its northern region and we explore as far south as Lake Shikaribetsu. This tour is perfect for hiking enthusiasts who also enjoy discovering cultural connections with the landscapes they hike through.

Designated as Japan’s National Park in 1934, Daisetsuzan holds a special place in the hearts of the people of Hokkaido. The park covers over 2,300 square kilometres (570,000 acres), which is bigger than the size of Tokyo and is home to a dramatic mountain range, giving Daisetsuzan the nickname “the Roof of Hokkaido”.

Keigetsu Omachi, a writer during the Meiji and Taisho periods (late 1800s, early 1900s), traversed these peaks long before the trails had been established. He famously said “To understand the height of a mountain, climb Mt Fuji. To understand the vastness of a mountain, climb the Daisetsuzan mountains.” This well sums up the dramatic scale of this mountain range.

Tour Highlights

Climb the two prime peaks of Mt. Asahidake and Mt. Kurodake

Mt. Asahidake is the tallest mountain in Hokkaido and Mt. Kurodake is the northernmost entry point to Daisetsuzan. Both are considered absolute must-hikes for those wishing to explore the park!

Explore alpine ponds at Daisetsu Kogen

Daisetsu Kogen is a lush corner of the national park, home to a number of alpine ponds - and even more Brown Bears, who make the area their home due to the abundance of tasty plants.

Gaze down on Lake Shikaribetsu from Mt. Hakuunzan

The rocky summit is also home to Northern Pika, who occasionally pop out from their rocky home to take in the views.

Marvel at active volcanic craters on Mt. Sandan

Mt. Sandan is a minor peak offering incredible views of Mt. Tokachi's smoking fumaroles. You can also peer across the martian-like landscape to another volcanic crater, the Ansei Crater.

Relax & rejuvenate each evening in natural hot springs

As we pass through this volcanic landscape, there is plenty of opportunity to soak in rejuvenating natural hot springs - perfect for those tired legs.

Itinerary

Day 1

The group assembles in Asahikawa City & Hike Mt. Kurodake

Your group will meet between 9:00 am and 9:30 am in central Asahikawa. Once everyone is together, we’ll waste no time and hit the road to go to our first hike– Mt. Kurodake! We’ll stop to buy a picnic lunch to enjoy later on the trail.

We’ll take the Kurodake Ropeway followed by a chairlift to the 7th Station, located at 1520m . From there, we’ll pick up the trail. Along the way, we’ll be able to enjoy a number of alpine plants, as well as unusually-shaped rock formations, remnants of Mt. Kurodake’s volcanic past. At the 1984m summit, we can enjoy vast views into the heart of Daisetsuzan National Park.

After we summit the mountain, we’ll descend back via the chairlift and stop by the Sounkyo Visitor Centre to refresh and learn a little more about the tour ahead. Afterwards, we’ll take the ropeway back down the mountain to Sounkyo Onsen, where our accommodation is located. We’ll enjoy a delicious dinner this evening and can refresh our muscles in the hotel’s natural hot springs!

Hike 3.3 km with 490 m climbing
Stay Hotel at Sounkyo Onsen
Day 2

Hike to Daisetsu Kogen alpine ponds

Today we will have an early start and drive over to Kogen Onsen which is 1 hour away from Sounkyo Onsen. 

Daisetsu Kogen serves as a trailhead for the popular Kogen Numa (alpine ponds) hiking trail. This area is far from civilization and home to a great number of native Brown Bears, ( higuma in Japanese) which are occasionally spotted by hikers in early summer. After arriving we have a briefing at the Higuma Information Centre about bear activity and the latest sightings before we hit the trail.

Situated between 1230m - 1460m above sea level, Kogen Numa provides opportunities to observe alpine flora and over a dozen alpine ponds of various sizes scattered along the trail. Once we return from our hike, we board our van to transfer to Nukabira Onsen, a hot spring village situated by Lake Nukabira. We will stay overnight at a historical hotel that has been renovated into a modern Japanese-style inn and is run by a friendly local family.

Hike 6.4 km with 290 m climbing
Stay Ryokan at Nukabira Onsen
Day 3

Hike Up Mt. Hakuunzan

We’ll kick the day off with a drive along Lake Shikaribetsu on a road only open during the snowless months from April to October. After approximately 30 mins, we’ll arrive at the start of the trail to Mt. Hakuunzan on the shore of Lake Shikaribetsu. 

We will take a loop walk to the top of Mt. Hakuunzan ( 1186m ) and back on the lakeshore trail, which usually takes about 3 hours to complete. 

From the summit there’s a stunning view of Lake Shikaribetsu and if we are lucky, a chance to spot the Northern Pika (rock rabbit) in their rocky dwellings.

After our hike, we’ll have lunch at a cafe on the lakeside before we drive for 2 hours to our accommodation in Furano. The Furano area is known for its flower gardens, fresh produce and scenic landscapes and the town is sandwiched between the Tokachi Volcanic Group and the Yubari Mountain Range. Tonight, we will dine out in downtown Furano.

Hike 4.6 km with 430 m climbing
Stay Hotel in Furano
Day 4

Hike up Mt. Sandan, Explore Biei

We’ll check out of our hotel after breakfast and make our way to the town of Kamifurano, north of Furano city. After picking up some food for lunch, we will summit Mt. Sandan, a small peak nestled between several volcanic craters. 

There are a couple of routes that we can take today and which we choose will vary depending on the group dynamic. Be prepared for some rocky scrambles up and downhill, but our efforts will be rewarded with a picnic lunch at the summit. As we eat, we can enjoy amazing views of the smoking summit of Mt. Tokachi and the almost Martian landscape of Ansei Crater sloping away below us.

We’ll descend Mt. Sandan the way we came and take a little break this afternoon to explore the nearby picturesque town of Biei. Biei is part of the Association of the Most Beautiful Villages in Japan and is famous for its beautiful rolling hills, formed by rivers eroding ancient volcanic deposits.

After exploring Biei, we’ll drive through the beautiful forests on the outskirts of Biei to Asahidake Onsen, situated at 1100m above sea level on the slopes of Mt. Asahidake. We stay the night here in the crisp mountain air enjoying the natural hot springs fed by Mt Asahidake.

Hike 4.7 km with 510 m climbing
Stay Hotel at Asahidake Onsen
Day 5

Hike to the summit of Mt. Asahidake

After breakfast at our accommodation, we’ll make our way to the nearby Asahidake Ropeway for our final adventure. The ropeway will take us up to Sugatami Station, 1600m above sea level on Mt. Asahidake, the highest mountain in all of Hokkaido.

After exploring an easygoing route taking us around Sugatami Pond, a small volcanic crater lake, we’ll head for the trail to the summit of Mt. Asahidake. The entirety of this trail, while not too long, is a steep uphill, making it our most challenging ascent yet. But before we know it, we will reach the summit at 2291m – a fitting conclusion to our adventure in Daisetsuzan National Park. We’ll celebrate with lunch at the summit, gazing out across the park and Hokkaido.

After descending the ropeway, we’ll hop back into our van and head to Asahikawa city, our tour coming full circle. We’ll celebrate a successful tour together with a delicious local meal tonight.

Hike 5.8 km with 620 m climbing
Stay Hotel in Asahikawa
Day 6

Farewells

Our tour finishes after breakfast at our hotel. You can walk over to the Asahikawa JR Station, from where you can take a train to Sapporo or a bus to Asahikawa Airport to head to your next destination. Itterashai!

What Guests Say

Everything beyond every expectation.


Yuka and Zac were the perfect tour guides, who worked so good together. Well-chosen accommodations, well chosen hikes with the right amount of breaks, great Japanese food and perfect explanation of everything beyond every expectation.

Dates & Prices

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Travel Style

This hiking tour is a series of day hikes; either return or loop routes. We always come back to our van at the end of the day and transfer to our accommodation. This means your overnight luggage can stay in the van and you can experience the best of the Daisetsuzan’s hiking with just a light day pack!