Kamikawa: Adventures within the Middle of Hokkaido

Kamikawa is a big municipality in the midst of Hokkaido, with town of Asahikawa at its centre.

Whereas it’s simply missed for extra distant areas on Hokkaido, Kamikawa has loads to supply to the out of doors fanatic who’d wish to discover mountains, rivers and get to know the native Ainu tradition.

It’s additionally house to the Daisetsuzan Nationwide Park, the biggest Nationwide Park in Japan, which is house to many bears and it’s surrounding Hotsprings are inviting to hikers and skiers alike.

Right here is an summary:

Daisetsuzan National Park.
Daisetsuzan Nationwide Park.


Our journey to Kamikawa begins in Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido which is definitely reached from overseas. Japan is thought for its quick and environment friendly trains, so it’s the logical option to proceed to Asahikawa.

It’s a brief and pleasant journey, and from Asahikawa we proceed through Bus to the great Fratello Di Mikuni Restaurant, which sits atop a hill and has great views in direction of Daisetsuzan. This Restaurant not solely delights with the magnificent views you’ve gotten in direction of the mountains, but in addition the scrumptious meals the Cooks conjure up in your plate! We had essentially the most superb six course meal which can make your mouth water. 🤤

Different dishes at the Fratello Di Mikuni Restaurant.
Totally different dishes on the Fratello Di Mikuni Restaurant.

Pictures Museum of Koetsu Ichinei

After our scrumptious dinner we take a stroll via the close by Daisetsu Mori-no Backyard, which was pleasant with its autumn vibes. I might have spend much more time right here, it was so fairly, although we went on to the inspiring pictures Museum of Koetsu Ichinei who can also be the writer of the “Mountains in Hokkaido” ebook.

Ichinei-San has spent his lifetime photographing within the Daisetsuzan Nationwide Park, and the gathering of his pictures will make you need to go straight away and go to this Nationwide Park in all of the seasons.

Sounkyo Customer Centre

After this inspiring go to, through which Ichinei-San has advised us about his love for the mountains, we made a go to to the Sounkyo Customer Centre down the highway, the place we realized extra in regards to the Nationwide Park which we’ll go to the subsequent day.

Nature photos at the Photography Museum of Koetsu Ichinei.
Nature images on the Pictures Museum of Koetsu Ichinei.
Ichinei San, the photographer of the nature photos at the Photography Museum of Koetsu Ichinei.
Ichinei San, the photographer of the character images on the Pictures Museum of Koetsu Ichinei.

Lodge Taisetsu – Kaiseki dinner

Lodge Taisetsu is our house for the night time, on the doorstep of the Nationwide Park and never far-off from the Mt. Kurodake Ropeway.

The native deer welcome us and after transferring our belongings into our conventional and spacious rooms we head to the Onsen, which is positioned on the high flooring and overlooks the mountains. Sitting within the steaming sizzling spring water whereas it’s a bit chilly exterior and overlooking the character is an incredible expertise, and so enjoyable – it’s best to attempt it! 

No go to to a Onsen Lodge just like the Taisetsu is full with out an incredible Kaiseki dinner – a ten course meal which incorporates scrumptious Sashimi, a second dish with a seasonal theme, Takiawase, Shiizakana, seasonal pickled greens and naturally a scrumptious dessert!

After this tasty expertise we loved an Ainu Tradition efficiency together with the attractive sounding mouth-harp. A few of my mates went now to the Onsen, which regularly is open until midnight – an ideal method to finish a stupendous day.

Delicious ten course Kaiseki dinner at the Taisetsu hotel in Hokkaido, Japan.
Scrumptious ten course Kaiseki dinner on the Taisetsu resort in Hokkaido, Japan.

A Go to to Daisetsuzan Nationwide Park

Daisetsuzan (大雪山) stands as Hokkaido’s most intensive nationwide park, safeguarding an unlimited expanse of practically untouched wilderness surpassing the dimensions of sure smaller Japanese prefectures.

This sanctuary is a haven for climbing fans, nature lovers, in addition to an abode for deer and brown bears. It proudly holds the excellence of being the primary location in Japan to embrace the colourful hues of autumn leafs and the pristine fantastic thing about snowfall every year.

One of the best ways to discover this haven is on foot, which is what we did the subsequent morning. Earlier than you’re allowed into the Nationwide Park you need to sit via a 5 minute schooling session in regards to the bears within the Nationwide Park and easy methods to behave in the event you ought to encounter one. It’s informative and made in a enjoyable approach, and after this we hit the path.

Education session before hiking at Daisetsuzan National Park in Hokkaido, Japan.
Training session earlier than climbing at Daisetsuzan Nationwide Park in Hokkaido, Japan.

The great thing about Daisetsuzan Nationwide Park must be skilled – from climbing previous steaming Fumaroles to tiny streams through which you see Oshorokoma trout swim, it’s one thing which it’s best to see for your self.

Add in the great thing about the onsetting autumn colours, the attractive lakes which you move in your hike and the far-reaching views throughout the Nationwide Park and past, and I imagine you might be already trying out flights to Hokkaido – you possibly can scroll to the underside of the article for that, to see the most effective offers for that, in addition to Accommodations and restaurant suggestions!

Fumaroles to tiny streams at the Daisetsuzan National Park in Hokkaido, Japan.
Fumaroles to tiny streams on the Daisetsuzan Nationwide Park in Hokkaido, Japan.
Hiking in the Daisetsuzan National Park in Hokkaido, Japan.
Mountaineering within the Daisetsuzan Nationwide Park in Hokkaido, Japan.
Start of the Kogen-Onsen Numa Mengari Hiking Trail.
Begin of the Kogen-Onsen Numa Mengari Mountaineering Path.

Asahikawa Design Middle

After our hike we had a implausible lunch at an area restaurant, earlier than driving with the Bus again to Asahikawa and a go to to the Asahikawa Design Middle.

Asahikawa is a UN Design Capital, identical to Helsinki and a handful of different cities throughout the globe, and within the Asahikawa Design Middle you possibly can study extra in regards to the wooden and furnishings business of the island.

Going via the attention-grabbing exhibition we had been led to the wood-working space of the Design Centre, the place we might select from quite a lot of gadgets which we might now craft ourselves! This was quite a lot of enjoyable and it was tough to decide on what to make – in the long run I picked a stupendous piece of wooden which might develop into a small tray for my associate.

At the Asahikawa Design Centre.
On the Asahikawa Design Centre.

In Asahikawa we stayed within the Artwork Lodge. There’s many implausible Accommodations on this city of just about 340.000 inhabitants, although the breakfast room on the high flooring of the Artwork Lodge, with attractive views over town and in direction of the mountains, makes it a stable alternative.

As for Eating places, in a metropolis of this dimension you will discover something that fits your tastes – from conventional Japanese delicacies over Ramen to extra Western delicacies. This night in Asahikawa we went to eat on the Oysteria Canyon Base on the principle avenue, which gives very tasty Italian meals! There have been additionally implausible Vegan choices, and the deserts had been so scrumptious that we had seconds. 😋

Biking to Higashikawa

The subsequent morning the solar was excessive up within the sky and beckoned us to affix it on a biking journey. We rode out to the Daisetsuzan Gensui Park, which is a stupendous Park not too far-off from the Asahidake Ropeway.

It’s a beautiful place with a stunning stream which you’ll be able to hike alongside as much as the supply. There’s additionally a car parking zone the place locals come to select up the water from faucets, as it’s imagined to have therapeutic qualities. It’s undoubtedly very tasty and all of us stuffed up our water bottles!

The source at the Daisetsuzan Gensui Park.
The supply on the Daisetsuzan Gensui Park.

It was now time for a really good cycle journey to Higashikawa, alongside the shore of the Chubetsu Lake and throughout the dam. We rode on regular streets this primary half, however site visitors was little and the biking was simple and enjoyable, with nice views.

On the dam we loved the views again in direction of the mountains, particularly Asahidake which was the closest and seemed majestic within the heat autumn day.

The subsequent half was arguably essentially the most pleasant: On a cycle highway with the Chubetsu river on our left and golden rice paddies on our proper. It was completely implausible and one thing to undoubtedly do while you go to!

Cycling to Higashikawa!
Biking to Higashikawa!

To high issues off we even visited an area rice farmer, and heard how his rice has gained a number of competitions in Japan!

Hokkaido’s rice could be very extremely regarded throughout Japan, even when rice cultivation has solely began right here within the final century when new applied sciences turned accessible to develop rice this far north in such quick summers.

Farmer of the golden rice.
Farmer of the golden rice.

We continued into this lovely city which is properly know throughout the island because the “City of Pictures” – there are numerous gifted photographers residing right here, and within the city middle you possibly can see lots of of previous, lovely movie cameras.

Outdoors we loved additionally a captivating exhibition a few film, there’s a Montbell Retailer on the principle highway if you wish to purchase some high-quality out of doors equipment, and the Tofu Comfortable Serve store subsequent to it’s extremely really helpful – the ice cream is scrumptious! 

Photo exhibition and good food in Higashikawa!
Picture exhibition and good meals in Higashikawa!

Meals competition Asahikawa

After our experience we took the bus again to Asahikawa, the place we went and explored the Meals Pageant which was happening.

It’s an over one kilometer lengthy assortment of lots of of meals stalls on the principle avenue, the place you possibly can eat native and worldwide treats. It’s an absolute feast – and it’s additionally reasonably priced!

Once you’re in September in Asahikawa make certain to plan your go to round this Pageant, because it permits you to style a lot scrumptious meals that you’ve a great cause to go on an extended hike or bicycle experience the subsequent day!

Evening Mood in Asahikawa.
Night Temper in Asahikawa.
At the Food Festival in Asahikawa.
On the Meals Pageant in Asahikawa.

On the Kawamura Kaneto Ainu Memorial Museum

Once you go to Hokkaido you’ll hear hopefully at one level or one other in regards to the indigenous folks of the island – the Ainu.

Like many indigenous folks they’ve suffered by the hands of others, from being forbidden to talk their language and follow their traditions. Fortunately these days that is not the case, and through our go to to the Kawamura Kaneto Ainu Memorial Museum we realized loads in regards to the Ainu and their tradition, which is expounded to nature & the land.

My favorite reminiscence is studying to play the normal mouth harp, which has a stupendous sound and is definitely fairly laborious to play, even when it appears to be like simple.

Having the ability to ask the mother and her son about their tradition and study from then was an inspiring expertise, and in the event you’re eager about indigenous cultures then a go to here’s a should!

At the Kawamura Kaneto Ainu Memorial Museum.
On the Kawamura Kaneto Ainu Memorial Museum.

Practicalities: Find out how to get to Kamikawa, The place to Keep and what to Eat

First off: Get an eSim from Airalo. It really works a deal with and permits you to use Google Maps, Translate and every little thing else for as little as 3$/ GB. I like to recommend their 5 GB Package deal in the event you keep lower than two weeks, after which merely top-up your account as wanted. Use the Code HENDRI0415 to get 3$!

Flying to Japan is super-easy and you may as well fly on to Asahikawa, which has one of many most-reliable Airports in Japan. You’ll find the most effective connections from your own home airport through Journey.com.

Professional-Tip: Add in a few days in Tokyo on the way in which house – see our Tokyo Suggestions right here!

You should utilize Reserving.com to seek out the right Lodge to your keep in Asahikawa and ebook it straight away. I can extremely suggest the Lodge WBF Grande Asahikawa which has spacious rooms, a implausible Onsen and a really tasty breakfast buffet.

The AMANEK Asahikawa is the latest Lodge in Asahikawa and is correct off the Primary Road and a 2 Minutes stroll to the railway station.

The Artwork Lodge Asahikawa is the place we stayed on this journey and it has snug rooms and the breakfast buffet on the highest flooring could be very good certainly.

There are various extra Accommodations on the town, so if none of those suit your wants flick through Reserving.com to seek out the fitting Lodge for you!

Overlooking Kamikawa in Hokkaido, Japan.
Overlooking Kamikawa in Hokkaido, Japan.

There are such a lot of super-tasty Eating places in Asahikawa that I solely listing my three favorites:

Ramen Santōka is the Finest Ramen Store on the town. I completely LOVE their Ramen – they’re so tasty that my mouth is watering proper now, simply occupied with them!

If you wish to splurge on Dinner and desire a conventional Japanese expertise then you need to go to HATAGO. Have a Japanese pal assist you make a reservation because it’s very fashionable, after which make certain to attempt the Sashimi which had been godly.

Lastly, Swap Taste is a Café which gives essentially the most tastiest treats, from Parfaits to cheese cake and extra. This place is totally attractive and perfect for {couples} who desire a romantic Café!

Tasty food from my favourite places in Asahikawa!
Tasty meals from my favorite locations in Asahikawa!

  • Hendrik Morkel

    Presenter and Videographer – Born in Germany Hendrik moved to Finland over 20 years in the past, the place he hikes, skis and climbs. He likes sustainable journey and likes to go on by-fair-means adventures world wide, which he paperwork along with his digital camera and pen.

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