Japan
Kamikawa-gun

Here you’ll find travel reports about Kamikawa-gun. Discover travel destinations in Japan of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

7 travelers at this place:

  • Day28

    Sounkyo Canyon

    September 19, 2017 in Japan

    Daisetsuzan National Park is Japan's largest national park. There are 2 main portals to the park. Today I'm going to the northern entry, which is via Sounkyo canyon.

    The weather is still on the iffy side in the hour and a quarter it takes to reach Sounkyo Onsen town. I had hoped to take the Kurodake ropeway and do a small hike. Think again, the ropeway's closed due to inclement weather. The poor lady at the local Tourist Information is run off her feet trying to help multiple tourists. I don't wait to talk to her but instead walk through the town. It's dead, once again not being in season. The town's setting in the canyon is quite scenic (first two photos).

    I decide to drive further into the park. Route 273 (Kamikawa National Highway) splits from route 39 (Taisetsu National Highway) just before Taisetsu Dam (3rd photo) and continues around Taisetsu Lake (4th and 5th photos taken on the way).

    Once I turn around, the weather takes a turn for the worst past Sounkyo canyon and I drive once again in (at times heavy) rain. So outdoor activities are off the agenda back in Asahikawa. I have a quiet night and enjoy a pepper steak in the food court (last photo).
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  • Day29

    Mt Asahidake

    September 20, 2017 in Japan

    It's good to have ambitions, right? Well my ambition for the day is to drive for just over an hour back into the Daisetsuzan National Park, take the Asahidake ropeway to 1600 metres, hike up to the summit of Mt Asahidake in around 4 hours, ropeway down then drive for 5-6 hours to Wakkanai in the north west of Hokkaido.

    If it all pans out it will be a L-O-N-G day. I've been checking the Asahidake summit weather for 3 days and it's been consistently predicted to be clear for this morning. So I'm up at 5:30 and in the car by 7. I reach the Asahidake ropeway a bit after 8, manage to score FREE PARKING (I thought that was a myth in Japan) and buy a ticket for the ropeway.

    As soon as we all cram into the ropeway carriage (me and the tiny retirees of Japan) and it starts upwards, it's obvious we have a real problem (the photos are obvious spoilers). What weather forecasts can't predict is FOG, and there's a lot of it around.

    At Sugitami Station (the ropeway end point) we are at 1600 metres. All photos were taken here or a little higher. There is an observation deck and a short trail of around 1km. I walk towards the summit trail and start upwards. I see a couple of men who must be at least 70 walking some distance behind me. Although the trail isn't that difficult (and for once I'm wearing the hiking boots) there is no view, just a foggy void.

    As a solo hiker, I'm concerned about not being able to see the trail on the way back. So I make the decision after 30 minutes or so to head back down. The 2 men behind me continue upwards. I pass some hiking groups with the same intention (photo of 1 group). Why are they doing this. The conditions aren't particularly pleasant AND THERE'S NOTHING TO SEE.

    I take some photos around the ropeway trails, occasionally the wind clears some fog and opens up some of the landscape. A photo of a couple of steam vents is below but the video I've taken captures their hissing.

    So I'm back down the ropeway around 10:30 and start my drive north. Not particularly eventful, but closer to Wakkanai I get to drive on a FREEWAY (that's right, free parking and a freeway on the same day 😲). My car GPS has a little glitch for a while, leading me off the freeway onto a parallel service road. I employ executive override and we're back on track.

    It's after 5 by the time I reach Hotel Saharin, my home for 3 days. Long day even without the summit hike.
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  • Day28

    Daisetsuzan National Park: part II

    September 29, 2017 in Japan

    We started the day early, decided to climb Asahi-dake, Hokkaido’s tallest peak! Well, that was before we were surprised by a snow storm on our way to the top. We do not know how far we were from the top when I decided to return and keep my 2 hands attached to my arms...
    After a much needed dip in the onsen, we went by car to discover the area of Biei with its ever changing landscapes and amazing perspectives, just enjoy the pics!Read more

  • Day27

    Daisetsuzan National Park

    September 28, 2017 in Japan

    The biggest national park in Japan, nicknamed as the rooftop of Hokkaido. Currently covered in a patchwork of coloured trees, ooo yeah autumn foliage in Japan always begins right here!! We explored the Sounkyo area a bit by bicycle and later by car. Actually no words needed for these breathtaking vistas... just look at the pics!!

  • Day26

    Road trip Yoichi to Sounkyo

    September 27, 2017 in Japan

    Road trip in Japan... Yes we can!!!
    The lady from the travel agency was well prepared with signs in both languages to guide us through the car renting process step by step :-) She is on top of her job, no joke: can’t enter the address in Japanese in the navigation system?... No problem, enter the phone number and the system guides you to the location!!
    Pilot Kunnie drove us all the way to the Nikka whisky distillery: beautiful place, an inspiring love story between a Japanese and a Scottish which started during the first world war... and a tasting session of course!
    We did not taste too many as we had a long way to get to Sounkyo where we enjoyed our first onsen bath!
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  • Day6

    Snow and Onsen

    May 14, 2016 in Japan

    I always try to incoporate some national parks into my travels to get away from the busy and crowded cities and just enjoy a little bit of hiking. Hence i boarded the Okhotsk Express train to Kamikawa and then a local bus to Sounkyo, a lovely little Onsen town in a beautiful gorge. I had to get a ticket for the local bus at the trainstation and somehow the friendly man behind the counter already knew i was going there. I gues it's the main attracton of the area. ;-) Today's goal was to climb Mt. Kurodake, a 1980 meter high mountaintop. A cablecar and chairlift would bring me up to 1500 meters from where i would climb the remaining 400 meters to the top on a well marked trail. At least that was the plan. Since it was the end of the skiing season and the summer season hadn't officialy started, the chairlift was out of commission due to maintenance. This meant i would have to climb 200 meters extra. I was in a good spirit and decided to give it a go anyway. Yeah right. From the end of the ropeway there was quite a thick layer of snow still remaining and it was really slushy due to the high temperatures of the last couple of days. It took me over an hour to just get to the top station of the chairlift and from that point the climb got even steeper and the snow deeper. I tried to climb it but after a couple of minutes getting stuck up onto my knees in the slushy snow i exclameted some words i can't really repeat here and decided to get back down and enjoy the onsen i so rightfully earned. ;-)
    Obviously the walk down was a lot easier and within half an hour (after taking of my socks and shoes to let them dry a little bit) i was back down in the town of Sounkyo. I found a nice and small onsen and enjoyed the hot springwater. It's hard to describe the soothing feeling if you have been walking around all day and then to let your body relax like that. :-)
    Since the climb took a lot less time than planned i had time to visit Mt. Moiwa in. It has a great view of the city of Sapporo. I stayed there from dawn til darkness and had a delicious crayfish soup while enjoying the view at night. Back in the hotel it was straight to bed and i fell asleep almost instantly.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Kamikawa-gun, 上川郡

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