Posted on Nov 16, 2023

Posted on Nov 16, 2023

0 0








Highest point



Best season icon (Hokkaido Wilds)

Best season





Sandan-yama 三段山 (1748m) is a minor peak on the northern side of the Tokachi Range 十勝連峰 in the Daisetsuzan National Park 大雪山国立公園. It's only minor in relation to the surrounding mountains, however, and is arguably the best way to experience the sheer panorama beauty of the amphitheatre that is the northern side of the Tokachi Range. The summit affords an up-close-and-personal view of the steaming face of Tokachi-dake 十勝岳 (2077m), the jagged Kamifurano-dake 上富良野岳 (1893m), and the fascinating orange-stained Sanpozan Valley. Both Sandan-yama trailheads offer some of Hokkaido's best onsen nearby, with easy access to and from Furano City.

We visited this route on Oct 15, 2023


Route Map

Need to know details


Sandan-yama is located on the northern side of the Tokachi Range in the Daisetsuzan National Park, in central Hokkaido. It sits as ‘advance-guard’ to the higher peaks on the range. There are two trailheads for Sandan-yama. On this page, we describe hiking from the Hakuginso Lodge trailhead here (1017m). Alternatively, hikers can start from the Tokachidake Onsen trailhead here (1267m).

General notes

Sandan-yama is well known among the backcountry skiing community in Hokkaido, as being some of the most accessible alpine powder skiing in Hokkaido (see the details here). It’s also a fine hiking objective in the non-winter months, as it affords fantastic views of the northern side of the Tokachi Range, and further north along the Daisetsuzan National Park towards Asahi-dake.

Access to Sandan-yama is exemplary, with two high-altitude trailheads to choose from. The trail described here starts and finishes at the excellent Hakuginso Lodge and onsen 白銀荘, and is arguably the more gradual of the two trails, in terms of steepness. If you don’t mind a steeper and rockier trail that saves about 20 minutes, the trail from Tokachidake Onsen is also worthwhile.

Route Timing
Up | 3hrs
Down | 2hrs

Fit, fast hikers on a time-budget will likely be able to finish off Sandan-yama in around 3-4 hours. If taking one’s time, allow five hours.


From the large Hakuginso Lodge parking lot, head south across the campground lawn and climb the stairs up the bank to the trail heading directly south. Note that there’s also a trail heading east, but this goes towards Tokachi-dake. For the first 1km (140m vertical climbing), you’ll follow a well-formed trail through tall sasa bamboo. This was once a nationally owned and operated ski area, which has long been defunct.

Once at the top of the old ski field, the trail steepens somewhat as it enters tall haimatsu pine. Just as you start wondering if you’ll ever get any views on this hike, the trail breaks through the pine for a brief section teetering on the edge of the large gully separating Sanda-yama and Maetokachi-dake. Here, you’ll have excellent views north towards Asahi-dake, and your first glimpses of the steaming western face of the very active and volcanic Maetokachidake.

The trail then returns to the tall haimatsu pine until very close to the summit. From the summit proper, you’ll have first-row seats to the grand views of the imposing, rocky northern face of the Tokachi Range – Tokachi-dake 十勝岳 (2077m), Kamihorokamettoku-yama 上ホロカメットク山 (1920m), Kamifurano-dake 上富良野岳 (1893m), Sanpo-zan 三峰山 (1866m), and Furano-dake 富良野岳 (1912m) will all be in view.

Return the way you came.


Public transport:

A public bus runs three times per day from Kamifurano JR Station to Hakuginso Lodge. See the timetable (in Japanese) here. In summer 2023, there were buses leaving Kamifurano Station at 7:05am (6:50am on weekends), 8:52am, 12:49pm, and 4:31pm. Time from the station to Hakuginso was about 30 minutes. Buses returned from Hakuginso to the station at 7:54am (weekends only), 10:01am, 1:51pm, and 5:50pm, with the return trip also taking 30 minutes. Kamifurano JR Station is accessible by JR train from Sapporo JR Station (2.5hrs, 6,430yen, see details on Google Maps here).

By car: 

Hakuginso Lodge is a 40-minute drive from central Furano City. There is ample parking in the Hakuginso Lodge parking lot. It’s possible to sleep overnight in the parking lot, but this costs 500yen per night (pay at the front desk in the lodge).


Hakuginso Lodge (full details here)

Hakuginso Lodge (吹上温泉保養センター白銀荘, 1,020m) is a beautiful lodge perfectly situated for access to a number of excellent ski touring and hiking routes in the Tokachi region of the Daisetsu National Park. As a base for backcountry ski touring, it is second to none. Accessible by car, and already at just over 1,000m in altitude, the lodge has some of the driest powder snow in Hokkaido on its doorstep. The onsen at the lodge and just down the road are also second to none. All this for a paltry 3,100yen (3,250yen in the winter) a night.

Physical maps
GSI Topo Map: Shiroganeonsen (白金温泉) – map no. NK-54-7-8-1

NOTE: The GSI 1/25000 topo map(s) above can be purchased for 350yen each from Kinokuniya bookstore next to Sapporo Station or online (in Japanese).

route safety

Conditions at the peak will be much colder and windier than at the trailhead, so make sure to carry the appropriate gear. In particular note that in Hokkaido, anything over 1500m in altitude can be a serious hiking environment, not unlike much higher peaks elsewhere in the world.

Weather forecast weather forecast for Sandan-yama

Onsen nearby

The Hakuginso Lodge 白銀荘 (location, 700yen) is an onsen – a very nice one at that. There’s both gender-separated outdoor pools, and a mixed-gender pool too (bathing suits required in the mixed-gender pool). You can stay overnight for just 3,250yen (see details here). 10 minutes walk down the road from the lodge is the natural, free, mixed-gender Fukiage Onsen (location). The Ryounkaku Onsen 凌雲閣 (location, 1000yen, accessible by same bus that gets you to Hakuginso Lodge) has an incredible view, and they also offer lunch.

Extra Resources
  • See our Sandan-yama ski touring post here.

Guide Options

If you’d like to hike this route and/or explore other hikes in the central Hokkaido area together with a local certified guide, get in touch with Yasuko Kikuchi. Born and raised in Hokkaido, she’s a JMGA-certified guide now based in Sapporo. Her outdoor experience is broad and worldwide, having worked as a Canadian Ski Patrol member, and has sumitted a number of 6,000m+ peaks around the world. She speaks good English. In addition to Yasuko, also see a full list of English-speaking Hokkaido Mountain Guides Association (HMGA) guides on the HMGA website here

Support us

Like this content? Buy the team a coffee. 50% of tips go to the Hokkaido Wilds Foundation.

Show Full Route Notes Close Route Notes

Route Trip Notes

It occurred to us one day that it was quite amazing that we’d never hiked Sandan-yama outside of the snow season. Being such an accessible peak that was bound to have great views, we decided somewhat on a whim to hike it while we were in the area.

It was one of those perfect autumn days. Bright blue sky, sunshine, but there was a chill to the air. The autumn colors were at their peak. A perfect time to go for a hike.

Clearly, many others had the same idea. The Hakuginso Lodge carpark was almost completely full of cars.

It was one of the last weekends for the Hakuginso Lodge campground, but there were a few hardy souls braving the cold overnight temperatures. They were mostly packing up as we set off mid-morning.

It was interesting to see the old ski area with no snow. The sasa bamboo was much higher than head height, and the path through it was well-maintained and wide. Here and there we passed through thickets of autumn colors.

Like any good mountain trail in the Daisetsuzan National Park, however, the trail soon deteriorated. Some old stairs trying hard to hold back the hillside here, some deep gouges in the trail there….

I was just starting to wonder if we’d get any views before we had hiked the whole thing when we burst through the thickets and onto the edge of a large gully. Vast views north along the Daisetsuzan Range greeted us. Asahi-dake in the distance was caked in early season snow. The very active Maetokachi-dake spewed thick volcanic gas from its cliffside.

We carried on, now enveloped by high himatsu pine.

For the remaining hour or so to the summit, we were hiking in a tunnel of pine. It smelled divine.

The summit appeared somewhat suddenly. We were spat out of the pine tunnel and into panoramic views of the Furano Plains below to the north, and the great volcanic and rocky wall of the Tokachi Range to the south. The summit was busy with hikers enjoying the last of the good autumn hiking weather; indeed, only a few days later, Sandan-yama was caked in snow.

I was keen to get away from the summit crowds, so we snuck south around the summit rocks to a small saddle. The rock was white and orange and red. We were now standing atop the captivating Ansei Crater valley.

After a quick break, I ran ahead along the ridgeline south for about 200m, and then we both headed back to the summit proper and started our way back down to Hakuginso.

As a reminder of the seriousness of the winter terrain here, a bronze plaque was cemented to a rock just behind the summit, remembering the lives of some Hokkaido University students who died on the mountain in an avalanche.

The descent was uneventful, apart from bumping into a colleague from the university we work at. In a sense, I wasn’t surprised to see Kenlay hiking with his family – he’s out hiking the Hokkaido hills more than we are!

Comments | Queries | Reports

Done this Sandan-yama route? Thinking of doing it? Please post any feedback or queries here. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

See More Like this

Printable Sandan-yama Topomap


Download may take some time

Hokkaido Wilds Foundation

We’ve got affiliate links on to help fund the Hokkaido Wilds foundation.

The Foundation gets a small commission on sales from affiliate links, but we only link to stuff we think is worth checking out for people keen on the outdoors in Hokkaido and Japan.

The Hokkaido Wilds Foundation is a fund where 100% of funds are donated to Hokkaido volunteer groups involved in sustainable, safe, and responsible access to the Hokkaido outdoors.

Learn more here


Filter by location

About Filters

REGION: The general mountain/geographical region the route is in.

BEST MONTH(S): Time of year a route is suited to visiting. Some pop all season, some are more limited.

DIFFICULTY: How strenuous a route is, and how technical it is. Full details here.

FREERIDE/SKITOUR: Very subjective, but is a route more-of-a-walk-than-a-ski or the other way around? Some routes are all about the screaming downhill (freeride), some are more about the hunt for a peak or nice forest (ski-tour). Some are in between. 

MAIN ASPECT: Which cardinal direction the primary consequential slope is facing, that you might encounter on the route. More details here.

ROUTE TAGS: An eclectic picking of other categories that routes might belong to.

SEARCH BY LOCATION: You can find routes near your current location – just click on the crosshairs (). You may need to give permission to to know your GPS location (don’t worry, we won’t track you). Or, type in a destination, such as Niseko or Sapporo or Asahikawa etc.

Please let us know how we can make it easier to narrow down your search. Contact Rob at with your suggestions.

Sandan-yama Hiking Difficulty Rating





Vertical Gain



Time ascending















GRADES range from A (very difficult) to D (easy). Hazards include exposure to avalanche and fall risk. More details here. Rating rubric adapted from Hokkaido Yukiyama Guidebook 北海道雪山ガイド.