Returned to Hokkaido for a 10-day trip from late Sep to early October by car. This was to time for peak fall foliage in places like Sounkyo, Notoro-ko, Mt Tokachi, Teninkyo and Asahidake etc.
Daisetsuzan/Sounkyo ( 大雪山/層雲峽)
Took JR express train to Asahikawa straight from New Chitose airport. Next morning picked up rental car and arrived at Sounkyo around noon. Took Kurodake ropeway to 5th level @1500m. As peak fall foliage had descended to top of Sounkyo valley, we did not go further up to 7th level as the views from ropeway was nice enough.
2nd visit since 2004. Though we came a few days later (than in 2004) the fall colours in the numa clearly faded compared to last time. Besides, there were fewer visitors than last time, which was another indication that the peak had passed. Anyway, we hiked back to Takimi-numa and when we reached Midori-numa, the park rangers told us to return as the trails further up were flooded due to recent rain. Maybe this was a consolation peak colours had descended to the entrance gate level @1300m.
We will be back !!
Drove to Notoro-ko near Abashiri for Sangoso (coral grass). From mid to late Sep the coral grass would turn from brown to red. It is a swamp and we were there probably after peak but still had a good glimpse.