Kamikawa: Adventures within the Heart of Hokkaido


Kamikawa is a big municipality in the midst of Hokkaido, with town of Asahikawa at its centre.

Whereas it’s simply missed for extra distant areas on Hokkaido, Kamikawa has loads to supply to the outside fanatic who’d prefer to discover mountains, rivers and get to know the native Ainu tradition.

It’s additionally residence to the Daisetsuzan Nationwide Park, the most important Nationwide Park in Japan, which is residence to many bears and it’s surrounding Hotsprings are inviting to hikers and skiers alike.

Right here is an outline:

Daisetsuzan National Park.
Daisetsuzan Nationwide Park.

Sapporo

Our journey to Kamikawa begins in Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido which is definitely reached from overseas. Japan is thought for its quick and environment friendly trains, so it’s the logical option to proceed to Asahikawa.

It’s a brief and pleasurable journey, and from Asahikawa we proceed through Bus to the great Fratello Di Mikuni Restaurant, which sits atop a hill and has great views in direction of Daisetsuzan. This Restaurant not solely delights with the magnificent views you could have in direction of the mountains, but in addition the scrumptious meals the Cooks conjure up in your plate! We had probably the most wonderful six course meal which is able to make your mouth water. 🤤

Different dishes at the Fratello Di Mikuni Restaurant.
Totally different dishes on the Fratello Di Mikuni Restaurant.

Images Museum of Koetsu Ichinei

After our scrumptious dinner we take a stroll by the close by Daisetsu Mori-no Backyard, which was pleasant with its autumn vibes. I may have spend much more time right here, it was so fairly, although we went on to the inspiring images Museum of Koetsu Ichinei who can be the creator of the “Mountains in Hokkaido” e-book.

Ichinei-San has spent his lifetime photographing within the Daisetsuzan Nationwide Park, and the gathering of his pictures will make you need to go instantly and go to this Nationwide Park in all of the seasons.

Sounkyo Customer Centre

After this inspiring go to, wherein Ichinei-San has informed us about his love for the mountains, we made a go to to the Sounkyo Customer Centre down the street, the place we discovered extra in regards to the Nationwide Park which we are going to go to the subsequent day.

Nature photos at the Photography Museum of Koetsu Ichinei.
Nature images on the Images Museum of Koetsu Ichinei.
Ichinei San, the photographer of the nature photos at the Photography Museum of Koetsu Ichinei.
Ichinei San, the photographer of the character images on the Images Museum of Koetsu Ichinei.

Lodge Taisetsu – Kaiseki dinner

Lodge Taisetsu is our residence for the night time, on the doorstep of the Nationwide Park and never distant from the Mt. Kurodake Ropeway.

The native deer welcome us and after shifting our belongings into our conventional and spacious rooms we head to the Onsen, which is positioned on the high flooring and overlooks the mountains. Sitting within the steaming scorching spring water whereas it’s a bit chilly exterior and overlooking the character is an incredible expertise, and so stress-free – you must attempt it! 

No go to to a Onsen Lodge just like the Taisetsu is full with out an incredible Kaiseki dinner – a ten course meal which incorporates scrumptious Sashimi, a second dish with a seasonal theme, Takiawase, Shiizakana, seasonal pickled greens and naturally a scrumptious dessert!

After this tasty expertise we loved an Ainu Tradition efficiency together with the gorgeous sounding mouth-harp. A few of my pals went now to the Onsen, which regularly is open until midnight – an ideal option to finish a lovely day.

Delicious ten course Kaiseki dinner at the Taisetsu hotel in Hokkaido, Japan.
Scrumptious ten course Kaiseki dinner on the Taisetsu resort in Hokkaido, Japan.

A Go to to Daisetsuzan Nationwide Park

Daisetsuzan (大雪山) stands as Hokkaido’s most intensive nationwide park, safeguarding an unlimited expanse of practically untouched wilderness surpassing the scale of sure smaller Japanese prefectures.

This sanctuary is a haven for climbing fanatics, nature lovers, in addition to an abode for deer and brown bears. It proudly holds the excellence of being the primary location in Japan to embrace the colourful hues of autumn leafs and the pristine great thing about snowfall every year.

One of the simplest ways to discover this haven is on foot, which is what we did the subsequent morning. Earlier than you’re allowed into the Nationwide Park it’s important to sit by a 5 minute training session in regards to the bears within the Nationwide Park and how you can behave should you ought to encounter one. It’s informative and made in a enjoyable method, and after this we hit the path.

Education session before hiking at Daisetsuzan National Park in Hokkaido, Japan.
Schooling session earlier than climbing at Daisetsuzan Nationwide Park in Hokkaido, Japan.

The fantastic thing about Daisetsuzan Nationwide Park must be skilled – from climbing previous steaming Fumaroles to tiny streams wherein you see Oshorokoma trout swim, it’s one thing which you must see for your self.

Add in the great thing about the onsetting autumn colours, the beautiful lakes which you go in your hike and the far-reaching views throughout the Nationwide Park and past, and I consider you’re already testing flights to Hokkaido – you’ll be able to scroll to the underside of the article for that, to see one of the best offers for that, in addition to Motels and restaurant suggestions!

Fumaroles to tiny streams at the Daisetsuzan National Park in Hokkaido, Japan.
©Hendrik-Morkel
Fumaroles to tiny streams on the Daisetsuzan Nationwide Park in Hokkaido, Japan.
©Hendrik-Morkel
Hiking in the Daisetsuzan National Park in Hokkaido, Japan.
Mountain climbing within the Daisetsuzan Nationwide Park in Hokkaido, Japan.
Start of the Kogen-Onsen Numa Mengari Hiking Trail.
©Hendrik-Morkel
Begin of the Kogen-Onsen Numa Mengari Mountain climbing Path.

Asahikawa Design Heart

After our hike we had a implausible lunch at a neighborhood restaurant, earlier than using with the Bus again to Asahikawa and a go to to the Asahikawa Design Heart.

Asahikawa is a UN Design Capital, similar to Helsinki and a handful of different cities throughout the globe, and within the Asahikawa Design Heart you’ll be able to be taught extra in regards to the wooden and furnishings trade of the island.

Going by the fascinating exhibition we had been led to the wood-working space of the Design Centre, the place we may select from a wide range of objects which we may now craft ourselves! This was loads of enjoyable and it was tough to decide on what to make – ultimately I picked a lovely piece of wooden which might grow to be a small tray for my accomplice.

At the Asahikawa Design Centre.
On the Asahikawa Design Centre.

In Asahikawa we stayed within the Artwork Lodge. There’s many implausible Motels on this city of virtually 340.000 inhabitants, although the breakfast room on the high flooring of the Artwork Lodge, with beautiful views over town and in direction of the mountains, makes it a stable selection.

As for Eating places, in a metropolis of this dimension you’ll find something that fits your tastes – from conventional Japanese delicacies over Ramen to extra Western delicacies. This night in Asahikawa we went to eat on the Oysteria Canyon Base on the principle road, which presents very tasty Italian meals! There have been additionally implausible Vegan choices, and the deserts had been so scrumptious that we had seconds. 😋

Biking to Higashikawa

The subsequent morning the solar was excessive up within the sky and beckoned us to hitch it on a biking journey. We rode out to the Daisetsuzan Gensui Park, which is a lovely Park not too distant from the Asahidake Ropeway.

It’s a beautiful place with a beautiful stream which you’ll hike alongside as much as the supply. There’s additionally a car parking zone the place locals come to choose up the water from faucets, as it’s presupposed to have therapeutic qualities. It’s positively very tasty and all of us crammed up our water bottles!

The source at the Daisetsuzan Gensui Park.
©Hendrik-Morkel
The supply on the Daisetsuzan Gensui Park.

It was now time for a really good cycle journey to Higashikawa, alongside the shore of the Chubetsu Lake and throughout the dam. We rode on regular streets this primary half, however site visitors was little and the biking was simple and enjoyable, with nice views.

On the dam we loved the views again in direction of the mountains, particularly Asahidake which was the closest and appeared majestic within the heat autumn day.

The subsequent half was arguably probably the most pleasurable: On a cycle street with the Chubetsu river on our left and golden rice paddies on our proper. It was completely implausible and one thing to positively do while you go to!

Cycling to Higashikawa!
©Hendrik-Morkel
Biking to Higashikawa!

To high issues off we even visited a neighborhood rice farmer, and heard how his rice has received a number of competitions in Japan!

Hokkaido’s rice may be very extremely regarded throughout Japan, even when rice cultivation has solely began right here within the final century when new applied sciences grew to become obtainable to develop rice this far north in such quick summers.

Farmer of the golden rice.
©Hendrik-Morkel
Farmer of the golden rice.

We continued into this stunning city which is properly know throughout the island because the “City of Images” – there are lots of proficient photographers residing right here, and within the city heart you’ll be able to see a whole bunch of previous, stunning movie cameras.

Exterior we loved additionally an interesting exhibition a few film, there’s a Montbell Retailer on the principle street if you wish to purchase some high-quality outside equipment, and the Tofu Mushy Serve store subsequent to it’s extremely advisable – the ice cream is scrumptious! 

Photo exhibition and good food in Higashikawa!
©Hendrik-Morkel
Photograph exhibition and good meals in Higashikawa!

Meals competition Asahikawa

After our trip we took the bus again to Asahikawa, the place we went and explored the Meals Competition which was occurring.

It’s an over one kilometer lengthy assortment of a whole bunch of meals stalls on the principle road, the place you’ll be able to eat native and worldwide treats. It’s an absolute feast – and it’s additionally reasonably priced!

Once you’re in September in Asahikawa ensure to plan your go to round this Competition, because it means that you can style a lot scrumptious meals that you’ve an excellent motive to go on an extended hike or bicycle trip the subsequent day!

Evening Mood in Asahikawa.
Night Temper in Asahikawa.
At the Food Festival in Asahikawa.
©Hendrik-Morkel
On the Meals Competition in Asahikawa.

On the Kawamura Kaneto Ainu Memorial Museum

Once you go to Hokkaido you’ll hear hopefully at one level or one other in regards to the indigenous folks of the island – the Ainu.

Like many indigenous folks they’ve suffered by the hands of others, from being forbidden to talk their language and follow their traditions. Fortunately these days that is now not the case, and through our go to to the Kawamura Kaneto Ainu Memorial Museum we discovered loads in regards to the Ainu and their tradition, which is said to nature & the land.

My favorite reminiscence is studying to play the standard mouth harp, which has a lovely sound and is definitely fairly exhausting to play, even when it seems to be simple.

Having the ability to ask the mother and her son about their tradition and be taught from then was an inspiring expertise, and should you’re concerned about indigenous cultures then a go to here’s a should!

At the Kawamura Kaneto Ainu Memorial Museum.
©Hendrik-Morkel
On the Kawamura Kaneto Ainu Memorial Museum.

Practicalities: How you can get to Kamikawa, The place to Keep and what to Eat

First off: Get an eSim from Airalo. It really works a deal with and means that you can use Google Maps, Translate and every part else for as little as 3$/ GB. I like to recommend their 5 GB Bundle should you keep lower than two weeks, after which merely top-up your account as wanted. Use the Code HENDRI0415 to get 3$!

Flying to Japan is super-easy and you can too fly on to Asahikawa, which has one of many most-reliable Airports in Japan. You could find one of the best connections from your property airport through Journey.com.

Professional-Tip: Add in a few days in Tokyo on the way in which residence – see our Tokyo Suggestions right here!

You should use Reserving.com to search out the right Lodge on your keep in Asahikawa and e-book it instantly. I can extremely suggest the Lodge WBF Grande Asahikawa which has spacious rooms, a implausible Onsen and a really tasty breakfast buffet.

The AMANEK Asahikawa is the most recent Lodge in Asahikawa and is true off the Predominant Avenue and a 2 Minutes stroll to the railway station.

The Artwork Lodge Asahikawa is the place we stayed on this journey and it has snug rooms and the breakfast buffet on the highest flooring may be very good certainly.

There are a lot of extra Motels on the town, so if none of those suit your wants flick through Reserving.com to search out the proper Lodge for you!

Overlooking Kamikawa in Hokkaido, Japan.
Overlooking Kamikawa in Hokkaido, Japan.

There are such a lot of super-tasty Eating places in Asahikawa that I solely checklist my three favorites:

Ramen Santōka is the Finest Ramen Store on the town. I completely LOVE their Ramen – they’re so tasty that my mouth is watering proper now, simply interested by them!

If you wish to splurge on Dinner and need a conventional Japanese expertise then it’s important to go to HATAGO. Have a Japanese good friend show you how to make a reservation because it’s highly regarded, after which ensure to attempt the Sashimi which had been godly.

Lastly, Swap Taste is a Café which presents probably the most tastiest treats, from Parfaits to cheese cake and extra. This place is completely beautiful and excellent for {couples} who need a romantic Café!

Tasty food from my favourite places in Asahikawa!
Tasty meals from my favorite locations in Asahikawa!

  • Hendrik Morkel

    Presenter and Videographer – Born in Germany Hendrik moved to Finland over 20 years in the past, the place he hikes, skis and climbs. He likes sustainable journey and likes to go on by-fair-means adventures world wide, which he paperwork together with his digital camera and pen.



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