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