Daisetsu Asahidake Gensui Park Boardwalk
The Daisetsu Asahidake Gensui Park sits just inside the Daisetsuzan National Park in Higashikawa Town, in northern central Hokkaido, just down the hill from Asahidake Onsen. The walk starts from a large carpark replete with clean public toilets and a large spring water filling area.
The Daisetsu Asahidake Gensui Park is a well-known spot locally, where containers can be filled with spring water for a 100yen donation. The only sign to the park is in Japanese (大雪旭岳原水公園100m), so it’s my guess that many non-Japanese speaking visitors probably blissfully speed on by. This is a shame, as the park is a nice spot for a short walk and fill up of water bottles before making the final climb up to the Asahidake Onsen area. Particularly if you’re on a bicycle (see the route here), this should be very high on your rest-break list.
The entire 600m walk is on a beautifully maintained boardwalk – wheelchairs will have no issues. Park the car or bicycle in the parking area, and head across the pedestrian crossing to the boardwalk, and follow it to the end. Turn around and return the way you came.
The park is not directly accessible by public transport, so we’d recommend renting one of the bicycles (or e-bikes) at the Higashikawa Information Center and accessing the park by bike. See the bike route here. If you’d prefer to take public transport, you’ll have an extra 2km-return of walking to do, but it is possible to take the Asahidake Ideyugo Bus from the Higashikawa Information Center (ひがしかわ道草館, here) to the Kokuritsukoen-iriguchi Bus Stop (国立公園入口, here). The timetable for the Ideyugo Bus is at the very bottom of this Asahidake Ropeway page. As of September 2019, buses from the Higashikawa Information Center, bound for Asahidake Ropeway, left the information center at 8:06am, 10:36am, 2:06pm, and 6:36pm. The trip to the Kokuritukoen-iriguchi Bus Stop takes about 20 minutes. For the return, as of September 2019, buses left the Kokuritsukoen-iriguchi Bus Stop bound for the Higashikawa Information Center at 9:50am, 12:20pm, 3:50pm, and 6:20pm.
There is plenty of parking at the Daisetsu Asahidake Gensui Park carpark here.
If heading back to Higashikawa Town, Hanakagura (森のゆ ホテル花神楽, location, 650yen) is on the western side of Chubetsu River – they have a good selection of baths, including good outdoor baths. Of course, about 20 minutes drive up the mountain will get you to the Asahidake Onsen area, with a number of good onsen to choose from. Our pick of the bunch is Yukoman Onsen (湯元 湧駒荘, location, 800yen), with their massive, cathedral-like high-ceiling wooden onsen complex.
If you’d like to hike this route and/or explore other areas of central Hokkaido with a local certified guide, then contact Jun Ishiguro. He’s a JMGA (Japan Mountain Guides Association) mountain guide on the board of directors of the Hokkaido Mountain Guides Association (HMGA). As a senior figure in the Hokkaido guiding scene, and with extensive experience, he can tailor trips to your needs. See a full list of English-speaking Hokkaido Mountain Guides Association (HMGA) guides on the HMGA website here.
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Done this route up Mt. Daisetsu Asahidake Gensui Park? Thinking of doing it? Please post any feedback or queries here. Thanks!