Kamikawa: Adventures within the Middle of Hokkaido

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

Whereas it’s simply ignored for extra distant areas on Hokkaido, Kamikawa has lots to supply to the outside fanatic who’d prefer to discover mountains, rivers and get to know the native Ainu tradition.

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

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 pleasing 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 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 is able to make your mouth water. 🤤

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

Images Museum of Koetsu Ichinei

After our scrumptious dinner we take a stroll by means of the close by Daisetsu Mori-no Backyard, which was pleasant with its autumn vibes. I may 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 be the creator of the “Mountains in Hokkaido” guide.

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, by which Ichinei-San has informed us about his love for the mountains, we made a go to to the Sounkyo Customer Centre down the highway, the place we discovered extra in regards to the Nationwide Park which we are going to go to the subsequent day.

Nature photos at the Photography Museum of Koetsu Ichinei.
Nature images on the Images 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 Images Museum of Koetsu Ichinei.

Resort Taisetsu – Kaiseki dinner

Resort Taisetsu is our residence 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 shifting our belongings into our conventional and spacious rooms we head to the Onsen, which is situated on the prime flooring and overlooks the mountains. Sitting within the steaming scorching spring water whereas it’s a bit chilly outdoors and overlooking the character is a tremendous expertise, and so stress-free – it is best to strive it! 

No go to to a Onsen Resort just like the Taisetsu is full with out a tremendous 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 gorgeous sounding mouth-harp. A few of my pals went now to the Onsen, which regularly is open until midnight – an ideal technique to finish an exquisite day.

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

A Go to to Daisetsuzan Nationwide Park

Daisetsuzan (大雪山) stands as Hokkaido’s most intensive nationwide park, safeguarding an enormous expanse of almost untouched wilderness surpassing the scale 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 great thing about snowfall every year.

The easiest way to discover this haven is on foot, which is what we did the subsequent morning. Earlier than you’re allowed into the Nationwide Park it’s important to sit by means of a 5 minute training session in regards to the bears within the Nationwide Park and the way to behave when you ought to encounter one. It’s informative and made in a enjoyable manner, 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 fantastic thing about Daisetsuzan Nationwide Park needs to be skilled – from climbing previous steaming Fumaroles to tiny streams by which you see Oshorokoma trout swim, it’s one thing which it is best to see for your self.

Add in the great thing about the onsetting autumn colours, the beautiful lakes which you go in your hike and the far-reaching views throughout the Nationwide Park and past, and I imagine you’re 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 Resorts 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.
Climbing within the Daisetsuzan Nationwide Park in Hokkaido, Japan.
Start of the Kogen-Onsen Numa Mengari Hiking Trail.
Begin of the Kogen-Onsen Numa Mengari Climbing Path.

Asahikawa Design Middle

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

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

Going by means of the fascinating exhibition we had been led to the wood-working space of the Design Centre, the place we may select from a wide range of objects which we may now craft ourselves! This was a whole lot of enjoyable and it was troublesome to decide on what to make – in the long run I picked an exquisite piece of wooden which might turn into a small tray for my associate.

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

In Asahikawa we stayed within the Artwork Resort. There’s many incredible Resorts on this city of just about 340.000 inhabitants, although the breakfast room on the prime flooring of the Artwork Resort, with beautiful views over the town and in direction of the mountains, makes it a strong alternative.

As for Eating places, in a metropolis of this dimension yow 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 primary road, which presents very tasty Italian meals! There have been additionally incredible Vegan choices, and the deserts had been so scrumptious that we had seconds. 😋

Biking to Higashikawa

The following 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 an exquisite 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 choose up the water from faucets, as it’s purported to have therapeutic qualities. It’s undoubtedly very tasty and all of us crammed 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 visitors was little and the biking was straightforward 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 appeared majestic within the heat autumn day.

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

Cycling to Higashikawa!
Biking to Higashikawa!

To prime 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 may be very extremely regarded throughout Japan, even when rice cultivation has solely began right here within the final century when new applied sciences grew to become obtainable to develop rice this far north in such brief summers.

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

We continued into this stunning city which is effectively know throughout the island because the “City of Images” – there are a lot of gifted photographers dwelling right here, and within the city heart you possibly can see a whole lot of outdated, stunning movie cameras.

Exterior we loved additionally a captivating exhibition a few film, there’s a Montbell Retailer on the primary highway if you wish to purchase some high-quality outside equipment, and the Tofu Comfortable Serve store subsequent to it’s extremely beneficial – the ice cream is scrumptious! 

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

Meals pageant Asahikawa

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

It’s an over one kilometer lengthy assortment of a whole lot of meals stalls on the primary road, the place you possibly can eat native and worldwide treats. It’s an absolute feast – and it’s additionally inexpensive!

If you’re in September in Asahikawa ensure to plan your go to round this Pageant, because it lets you style a lot scrumptious meals that you’ve a great cause to go on an extended hike or bicycle trip 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

If 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 apply their traditions. Fortunately these days that is not the case, and through our go to to the Kawamura Kaneto Ainu Memorial Museum we discovered lots 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 an exquisite sound and is definitely fairly arduous to play, even when it seems straightforward.

With the ability to ask the mother and her son about their tradition and be taught from then was an inspiring expertise, and when 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: Easy methods 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 lets you use Google Maps, Translate and all the pieces else for as little as 3$/ GB. I like to recommend their 5 GB Package deal when you keep lower than two weeks, after which merely top-up your account as wanted. Use the Code HENDRI0415 to get 3$!

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 private home airport through Journey.com.

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

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

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

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

There are a lot of extra Resorts on the town, so if none of those suit your wants flick through Reserving.com to seek out the precise Resort 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 record 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 fascinated with them!

If you wish to splurge on Dinner and need a conventional Japanese expertise then it’s important to go to HATAGO. Have a Japanese pal enable you make a reservation because it’s very talked-about, after which ensure to strive the Sashimi which had been godly.

Lastly, Change Taste is a Café which presents essentially the most tastiest treats, from Parfaits to cheese cake and extra. This place is completely beautiful and excellent for {couples} who need 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 together with his digital camera and pen.


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