This was a spectacular day of high-level hiking around a volcanic rim in the biggest national park in Hokkaido, mostly around the 2000m level, assisted by a cable car and chairlift from the valley at Sounkyo. The colourful rocks and alpine plant life were remarkable. We were reminded that the weather.
- The most memorable aspects were the dramatic views of the caldera emerging from the mist, and the colourful volcanic rocks.
- The luxuriant plant life at about 1800m – 6000 feet – was pretty impressive too. These were different from anything I’d seen before.
- The worst bits were the tricky descent in the snow, and the cold paddle through the mountain stream.
- The funniest bit was eating pot noodles at the top of a mountain in Japan.
- A word of warning to others is to watch out for snow and ice even in early July, and take an ice axe as a precaution (could probably be hired for the day in Sounkyo). There was just the one scary bit, on a sloping area of hard-packed snow.
Contributed by Andrew Llanwarne< Back to Japan page for links to other stories
|Location||Daisetsuzan National Park, Sounkyo|
|Date walked||July 2003|
|Walk type||High hills and mountain hikes|
|Difficulty||Requires mountaineering skills and lots of stamina|
|Distance||12km / 7.5 miles|
|Height climbed||1050m / 3300 ft|
|Time taken||8 hrs 0 mins|
|Map used||"Attack" 1:25,000 Daisetsuzan map|
|Walk source info||Leaflet for Sounkyo Gorge Ropeway Route marked on map Lonely Planet Guide to Japan National Park Centre in Sounkyo|
|Getting there||Train Sapporro - Asahikawa Train Asahidake - Kamikawa Bus Kamikawa - Sounkyo|
|Places to stay||Hotels, guest houses, and youth hostel in Sounkyo|