JP 2004 Sep Hokkaido

our 1st trip to Hokkaido for fall foliage. We went to Daisetsuzan (大雪山) in late September during peak foliage 🙂

Kurodake (黑岳)

took Sounkyo ropeway and ski lifts to 7th level @1500m and commenced hiking to summit. Took about 1.5hr to reach summit @1984m. All are required to register at 7th level before hiking.

Kurodake hiking info


Kogen onsen (高原温泉)

serious hiking required! During peak foliage season, no private car was allowed and all had to park their cars in a temporary parking area near Daisetsu-lake and change to special shuttle bus uphill to base @1300m. Before entering the park we had to listen to a briefing of the route, wild bear precautions, closing time etc. 1 round trip takes 4 to 5 hours, with only 1 or 2 makeshift toilets. There were lots of ups-and-downs and muddy paths along the way. Reaching the 1st pond took 1hr.

The most stunning ponds are Takimi-numa, Midori-numa, Ezo-numa, Kamo-numa etc. We did not finish the loop as by 1500 all are required to leave the park. By 1300 we arrived at Daigaku-numa, had a quick bite and turned back along the same route.

This is still one of most memorable foliage trip so far – the closest place to heaven !!


Kogen onsen hiking info


Asahidake (旭岳)

Asahidake is the highest peak in Hokkaido @2200m+. Took ropeway to top station @1600m where there were several hiking trails. Took the 1hr trekking course. The reflection of Asahidake in the Sugatami pond (姿見の池 ) was pristine. While fall foliage was fading up there, the forest between 1100 – 1600m was starting to turn into yellow.

Sugatami trekking course (姿見散策コース) info

4 thoughts on “JP 2004 Sep Hokkaido”

  1. hi…we are going to sapporo for just two day from 22nd september to 24th sep…is there any conduted bus tours with english guides or audio guides which we can take from sapporo to see the maximum autumn fall leaves and which are we should go …thanks

    1. Hi,
      you may search for sightseeing tours by Chuo bus in Sapporo. Have no experience on any of these tours as I always visit based on my own itin.
      cheers, DLi

  2. Hi DLi, we’re from Hong Kong as well. Thank you for your blog. On Kogen Onsen, how difficult was the hiking (e.g. like HK’s 龍脊?) and where did you park?
    Also, where did you stay for the night?
    My husband and I are both retirees, like hiking but I cannot do difficult hikes anymore due to injury..

    Many thanks!
    Boofit (on tripadvisor)

    1. Hi Boofit,

      During peak koyo season, all drivers have to park their cars in a temporary parking lot near Daisetsu dam and change temporary shuttle bus uphill to the trailhead of Kogen onsen @1300m.
      Note that it’d take 4 to 5 hours (round trip) with serious hiking uphill and downhill thru’ wild forests. Roads can be muddy if after rain. 1 makeshift toilet re our last hike in 2009.
      Kogen onsen trail

      We’ll be hiking there again for the 3rd time and will stay in Sounkyo onsen town for 2 nights.
      Wife and I have also retired. This might be our last hike in Kogen onsen. The trail is fairly difficult but very worthy during peak koyo.

      For easier hikes, consider the Sugatami course on top of the Asahidake onsen @1600m. It takes 1 hour. We’d also visit it before Sounkyo.


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