Japan
Asahikawa City

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6 travelers at this place

  • Day497

    Asahikawa

    September 15, 2018 in Japan ⋅ 🌙 19 °C

    After picking up our rental car, we drove a few hours through the beautiful farmland of Hokkaido to the city of Asahikawa. Driving here is pleasant and easy as there aren’t many people and the speeds are slow (50km max, though most drivers ignore this limit which seems far too low for the excellent road conditions). Our rental car was tricked out with lots of driver feedback – including telling us “Overspeed detected. Please drive safely”, “Sudden deceleration detected. Please drive safely”, and incessant beeping if we happened to cross the center or shoulder lines.
    While we missed the peak summer flower season, we still found some beautiful fields of flowers nearby Biei and Furano. We were also a bit early for the leaves changing, but still enjoyed a soggy and scenic hike up to Mount Asahidake where the volcanic and alpine landscape was stunning. Luckily, we could catch a gondola back down so were able to save our knees hurting or our shoes getting too muddy. Stumbled across a cute café for lunch, where they baked their own bread and used local, fresh ingredients.
    This area is famous for skiing and onsens (hot springs), and would be (even more) stunning in winter.
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  • Day669

    Finally found a squatter toilet!

    July 11, 2019 in Japan ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

    Aha! I knew there had to be one somewhere! A true, proper squat toilet. Were we in a National Park far from the visitor's centres and city centres? Yes, but still....I've seen the top-of-the-line Toto Washlet toilets on the side of random rural-as-heck roads. I was beginning to think Japan had removed all of the traditional squat style. It was like seeing a unicorn.

    But, believe it or not, we did more than find toilets.

    We tooled around Sapporo, which was a city with sidewalks and sunny skies. Nothing particularly interesting about the city itself other than it hosted the Winter Olympics some time ago and is the site of the famous Japanese Sapporo beer brewery.

    The sites on Hokkaido island are more natural in their wonder. We sought out the infamous lavender fields in the Fukano area northeast of Sapporo with our sweet teeny tiny Toyota Vitz--fits approximately 2 normal size humans and their purses or satchel. Ta-da!

    We suspect that this year was not a stellar year for whatever weather the lavender fields needed because they were, um, underwhelming. We kept looking at the guide books and then up to the actual fields trying to make the images reconcile. They did not. The fields in Washington State that I got to see were much more impressive than what we saw and granted what I saw in Washington looked like the Furano guide book pictures so we think the flowers/plants weren't doing so hot. We were there in peak season...supposedly.

    We quickly abandoned our "lavender" tour since there wasn't much to tour and we headed to Daisetsuzan National Park. This park is one of Japan's most revered national treasures with active volcanos, high alpine meadows and snow covered peaks. Even more exciting was that the Hokkaido brown bear (same species as a North American brown bear--grizzly) lives in the Park! So, you're telling me we can walk to the caldera of an active volcano and maybe see bears?!!? SOLD! Jonathan I think was less excited given his enjoyment of sweating and while Hokkaido is higher elevation and cooler than the other Japanese archipelago islands, it still wasn't dry and cool.

    We hiked into the park, which was conveniently and nicely free, enjoying the otherworldly vistas created by the toxic eruptions from the volcano. The trail was well marked up to the sulphur field. Then, it seemed to end and we realized we were dead in the caldera with plumes of hot steam, stinking strongly of sulphur, all around us. The ground was strangely and freakily squishy. The smell was suffocating when the wind would push the air toward us. Then, new plumes would pop up and you'd be gagging on the rotten eggs regardless of the wind. Jonathan quickly decided he was done with it all. There was no way he was going to abide both sweating AND shit smells no matter the mountain views. With my partner tapping out and being unsure if the trail continued, we called it quits and made our way back. We were the only people in the caldera and the dense clouds cleared as we were in there avoiding the stench providing some amazing views.
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  • Day15

    Asahikawa Museum

    September 18, 2016 in Japan ⋅ 🌙 13 °C

    Rented bicycles and visited Asahikawa Museum. There were some photos from old times showing lives in this place that gets v cold. Lives of children were very different then. The museum had lots of interesting information about Ainu people (indigenous people) and their culture.Read more

  • Day15

    Asahikawa

    September 18, 2016 in Japan ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

    Asahikawa feels like the Wild West of Sapporo. There are unusual looking people including an old woman with dyed pink hair with matching pink outfit.

    Found a small Nepalese restaurant near the hotel and had dinner there last night. It's much cooler here than Toyako, Sapporo or Otaru. Was 13 degrees last night.

    Going to hire bicycles and cycle along one of the rivers that run through the city. It's Sunday today and the middle day of a long weekend.

    This hotel room is very small. Took some getting used to but now my expectations are calibrated 👍
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Asahikawa-shi, Asahikawa City, あさひかわし

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