DAISETSUZAN TOURS VIDEO Vol.01
Hokkaido is the northernmost prefecture in Japan; spanning 83,450 km2, and it greatly differs from Honshu, Japan's main island.
The climate is relatively comfortable in the summer, and snow usually lasts for about 5 to 6 months (October to April), depending on the area. In 1972, Asia's first Winter Olympic Games was held in Sapporo.
Its forests occupy about 70% of the area, featuring mixed forests of conifers and broad-leaved trees displaying diverse scenery each season. With its subarctic climate, you can see pretty rare alpine plants even in the lowlands.
Hokkaido’s nature is also characterized by the presence of many volcanoes. The unique mountain landscapes and wild hot springs created by volcanic activity are among the attractions of Hokkaido.
Hokkaido is the best place in Japan to enjoy various types of nature tours. Many uniquely evolved wild animals such as brown bears, Hokkaido red squirrels, and Japanese pikas inhabit the prefecture, which is separated by the Blakiston Line on the Tsugaru strait, a faunal boundary line between Hokkaido and the rest of Japan.
Bird watching tours are also very popular here as many rare wild birds such as the red-crowned cranes, black woodpeckers, and white-tailed eagles can be found.
Hokkaido’s abundance can be witnessed in its seafood and agricultural products as well. Delectable dishes exclusive to the area made from flavorsome ingredients will be one of your great pleasures during the trip.
Many efforts have been made to preserve the culture of Japan's indigenous Ainu community. Their language, oral literature, traditional rituals, and patterns are exceptionally interesting, and we highly recommend experiencing the rich inherited culture by visiting exhibits and discovering them in modern times.
Hokkaido has a longer mountain climbing history compared to other places in Japan.
The Daisetsu Mountain Range is said to have been climbed by Japan's indigenous Ainu people for hunting purposes and the Kurodake Ishimuro Refuge near the summit of Mt. Kurodake has a more than 100-year history. Daisetsuzan National Park is the longest-established national park in Hokkaido, designated so in 1934 because of its "extensive primitive mountain environment."
It was also designated as a national special natural monument in 1977 and is home to a lot of alpine plants and wildlife such as the brown bear, the Yezo sika deer, and the rare Japanese Pika.
In this magnificent northernmost mountainous area in Japan, the former Army's winter trainings were once conducted and trainings for winter mountain climbing before overseas expeditions are being carried out now.
Daisetsuzan National Park has been loved by the people of Hokkaido with the development of the timber industry after World War II. The beautiful natural landscape populated by waterfalls, canyons, and hot springs is popular with local people as one of Hokkaido's leading tourist destinations.
The Daisetsuzan National Park is Japan's largest national park with abundant primitiveness, centered on mountains that include active volcanoes.
It is located in Central Hokkaido, which consists of magnificent mountains such as the Daisetsu Mountain Range (whose main mountain, Mt. Asahidake, is the highest mountain in Hokkaido at 2,291 meters), and both the Tokachi and Ishikari Mountain Ranges. It also includes areas that form the source of the Ishikari and Tokachi rivers, both of which are representative rivers of Hokkaido. While the altitude of these mountainous areas is about 2,000 meters, the environment matches that of Honshu’s 3,000-meter-high mountains, due to its high latitude. For this reason, this area is home to rare species of animals and plants, including over 250 species of alpine plants (including variations that are indigenous to Daisetsuzan), the Japanese pika and the usubakicho (Eversmann’s Parnassian)?creatures that presumably have existed since the last ice age?and the Miyabe Char that is only found in Lake Shikaribetsu.
Subarctic coniferous forests, mainly consisting of Yezo spruces and Todo firs, are spread out at the foot of the mountains, and large snowy valleys and snowfields remain around the tops of the mountains even in midsummer. Various alpine plants form splendid flower fields everywhere.
Mt. Asahidake, known for marking the turn of the seasons, displays the first leaves of autumn, bringing the season to fruition in Japan, with large numbers of tourists visiting to enjoy the beautiful autumn colors that adorn the park from mid to late September.
The seventh station of Mt. Kurodake, another beautiful mountain in the Daisetsu Mountain Range, can be conveniently visited by taking a cable car and pair lift from the Sounkyo hot spring area.
Japan's indigenous Ainu people who live in the Daisetsuzan National Park area are called Kamikawa Ainu. They have made “kotan” (hamlets) in watershed areas of the Ishikari River and have flourished by trading off the river's blessings.
The Kamikawa Ainu think that the river is a creature that goes upstream to the mountains and is also a treasured resource of abundant food brought by “kamuy” (spirit-deities). The Kamikawa Ainu have worshipped, been awed by, and coexisted with the Daisetsu Mountain Range, which is located in the upper reaches of the Ishikari River. It is considered the closest place to the land of the deities. Traditional Ainu rituals are still held to pray for the safety of those who enter the mountains, and you might feel the culture of the Ainu who coexist with nature and appreciate the blessings of nature here in this national park. The legend of the Kamikawa Ainu, who have lived with gods and passed down their unique culture, has been certified as a Japanese heritage.
In this area, there are many popular tourist spots such as "Sounkyo Onsen”?where there are lines of hotels with hot spring facilities in the middle of mother nature, ”Daisetsu Mori-no Garden”?a beautiful garden in a hilly wood overlooking the Daisetsu Mountain Range, and “Taisetsu Kamikawa Nukumo”?an indoor facility for families to have fun without worrying about the weather.
Furthermore, sake (Japanese rice wine) from ”Kamikawa Taisetsu Shuzo”, a brewery founded in 2018 with the aim of seeking plentiful nature and clear water, is gaining popularity. The Kamikawa town has declared itself “a town where you can eat the most delicious ramen noodles in Japan” because they make noodles and soup using the spring water from Daisetsuzan.
There are many must-visit places in the Central Hokkaido area.
In the Asahikawa area, there are several popular spots such as the Ueno Farm, which has a reputation for beautiful gardens; in the Furano and Biei area, you can enjoy postcard-perfect picturesque landscapes such as the Farm Tomita, famous for its lavender fields and the patchwork road across the vast fields and hills, consisting of numerous square crop fields in different colors. In the Rumoi area, you can enjoy the natural scenery on a driving route called the Ororon Line along the Sea of Japan and bask in the beautiful sunset as well as consume fresh seafood such as the local specialty sweet shrimp and other appetizing cuisines.
As the name suggests, the location of the area makes it convenient for visiting all areas of Hokkaido.
Daisetsuzan Tours is a company promoting ideal local tourist destinations catering to the concept of a northern mountain resort.
We provide activities such as mountain climbing and trekking, centering on the Daisetsuzan National Park, where you can immerse yourself in the rich nature and bewitching culture of Hokkaido. Our aim is to organize and offer a versatile and high-quality overnight stay that invites guests to enjoy the great nature, historic hot spring village, and beautiful highlands and gardens.