On the next morning, first snow (in Japan) was reported on Kurodake during the morning Hokkaido TV news where 5cm snow had accumulated in the mountain hut at over 1900m on 19th Sept.
In Asahidake, the situation was also disappointing – not only was it foggy/misty from the live webcam, the ropeway operation was suspended due to strong wind. Even the hotel concierge felt sorry for us and others. Well, that is mountain weather.
After checking out, we drove to Sounkyo onsen (over 100km away) where we’d stay for the next 2 nights. Our original plan was to visit Ginsendai – but then this wish was knocked down again as the temporary shuttle bus to Ginsendai had stopped running on that day due to snow. Ahhh 🙁
On the way returning to Sounkyo for lunch, we dropped by Obako and the dual waterfalls briefly. Koyo usually reaches peak in early Oct at the bottom of the valley so we did not expect anything, though one of two trees up on the cliffs already showed some fiery colour.
After lunch, our wish to take the Kurodake ropeway was denied as the operation was suspended as well for the day. Thus, I drove along R273 to drop by Mikuni-toge (3 countries’ gap) and downhill to Nukabira-ko (糠平湖) for the first time.
The man-made lake was serene. We stayed there for about 40 min and headed back to Sounkyo onsen hotel for checkin and dinner.