This city, the second largest in Hokkaido, is roughly at the center of the Kamikawa Basin. Under the system of tondenhei (soldier farmers), it prospered as the center of Hokkaido’s development. In 1901, the seventh division of the Army moved into Asahikawa, making the city a military base. Kaikosha, the officers’ club, was erected in 1902. It is a white wooden structure built in an elegant Western style, and since its restoration it has been used as Nakahara Teijiro Memorial Sculpture Museum.
Asahikawa is also known as “the river capital.” Here, the Chubetsu and Biei rivers join the Ishikari River. There are many bridges: Chikabumi Bridge, Asahi Bridge, Asahikawa Bridge. Some are lit up at night. Asahikawa is the second largest city in Hokkaido, is the gateway to Daisetsuzan National Park. The central mall, which stretches northward from JR Asahikawa Station, was Japan’s first vehicle-free promenade.
Kamuikotan Gorge stretches along the Ishikari River, between the Kamikawa Basin and the Ishikari Plain, 12 km from the center of the city. The gorge is famous worldwide for its diabasic stratum, formed 100 million years ago. It is said to have been a dwelling place of the Ainu before Hokkaido’s Meiji-era development. There are vestiges of pit dwellings and odd rocks that figure in Ainu legend. Nearby is a stone circle, ruins from the Stone Age.
The best day trip from Asahikawa during May is pink moss in Takinoue town, Port Monbetsu for fresh seafood lunch, and tulip park in Yubetsu (formaly known as Kami-Yubetsu) town – just short of the Okhotsk
The Mountains of Taisetsuzan (Daisetsu-Zan) National Park
This Taisetsuzan (Daisetu-Zan) Mountains chain of 2,000 m-high mountains offers stunning scenery. The Ainu have called it “Kamui-mintara” (playground of the gods) for its beauty. Mt. Asahidake (2,290 m), is the highest peak in Hokkaido. There is ropeway access from Asahidake Hot Springs to Sugatami Station at 1,600 m. From the station, a path leads to Sugatami Pond. The pond is surrounded by a primeval forest of Sakhalin spruce and Erman’s birch. Nearby is a marshland, the habitat of skunk cabbages. A smoldering volcano can be seen from the pond.
Mt. Kurodake (elev. 1,984m), near Sounkyo Gorge, also has ropeway access halfway to the top and a chairlift to a point seven-tenths of the way to the summit (1,700 m). Full equipment is needed to reach the top. At the seven-tenths point, you can see the words of Keigetsu Omachi: “If you wish to know the height of a mountain, climb Mt. Fuji. If you wish to know the scale of a mountain, climb the Taisetsuzan Mountains.” More Details: Mountains of Taisetsuzan (Daisetsu-Zan) National Park
By Train: 1hr 35min by limited express from JR Sapporo Station to JR Asahikawa Station
By Bus: 2hrs 25min by Chuo JR Dohoku or Kitami bus from Sapporo Station Bus Terminal to Asahikawa Bus Terminal
Related Contact Info for Asahikawa City (Asahikawa-shi)
Asahikawa City Government Office 9-6 Jodori, Asahikawa City (Asahikawa-shi), Hokkaido 070-8525, Japan Tel: 0166-26-1111
Taisetsuzan (Daisetu-Zan) National Park Sightseeing Guide Taisetsuzan (Daisetu-Zan) National Park Sightseeing Guide is managed by the “Taisetsuzan National Park sightseeing association”, and the “Asahikawa Taisetsu Sightseeing” to provide a wide range of tourist information on cultural, event, sightseeing, dining, and night spots for the 2 cities and 8 towns in and around the Taisetsuzan National Park. These cities and towns are: Asahikawa City (Asahikawa-shi), Aibetsu-shi, Kamimawa-cho, Kamifurano-cho, Biei-cho, Higashikawa-cho, Aibetsu-cho, Pippu-Cho, and Higashikagura-cho. Contact – Asahikawa-shi Commerce, Industry and Tourism Department Sightseeing Division, Address: 6 Jo Dori 10 Chome, 3rd floor, Asahikawa No. 3 Government Building (Dai-san Cho sha), Asahikawa City (Asahikawa-shi), Hokkaido 070-0036 Japan [Between Tokiwa-dori 3-chome and Honcho 1-chome] Tel: 0166 25 7168 Fax: 0166 26 8585
Asahikawa International Center (AIC)/ Asahikawa International Affairs Division The “Feeeal Asahikawa” complex, located in the downtown area of the city, houses the Asahikawa International Center. The center serves as a base for promoting multiculturalism in the community and advancing internationalization across the region as well as being home to many foreign residents and large numbers of overseas tourists. Address: 7F, Feeeal Asahikawa, 1-jo 8-chome, Asahikawa City (Asahikawa-shi), Hokkaido 070-0031 Japan Tel: 0166-25-7491 Fax: 0166-23-4924
Asahikawa Tourist Association 1 Tokiwadori, Asahikawa, Hokkaido Prefecture 070-0043, Japan Tel: 0166-23-0090 Fax: 0166-23-1161
Asahikawa Parks Association 3 Hanasakicho, Asahikawa, Hokkaido Prefecture 070-0901, Japan Tel: 0166-52-1934 Fax: 0166-55-0550
Asahikawa Development Corporation 10-7 Jodori, Asahikawa, Hokkaido Prefecture 070-0037, Japan Tel: 0166-22-7198 Fax: 0166-22-4822
Asahikawa Industrial Art Center 3-1-6 Midorigaoka Higashi 1 Jo, Asahikawa, Hokkaido Prefecture 078-8801, Japan Tel: 0166-66-1770 Fax: 0166-66-1776
Asahiyama Zoo Higashi Asahikawacho Kuranuma, Asahikawa, Hokkaido 078-8205, Japan Tel: 81-166-36-1104 Fax: 81-166-36-1406
Asahikawa Industrial Technology Center 2-1-18 Kogyodanchi 3 Jo, Asahikawa, Hokkaido Prefecture 078-8273, Japan Tel: 0166-36-3111 Fax: 0166-36-4461
Asahikawa Agricultural Center Kamuicho Ubun, Asahikawa, Hokkaido Prefecture 070-8033, Japan Tel: 0166-61-0211 Fax: 0166-63-2454
Asahikawa City Hospital 1-1-65 Kinseicho, Asahikawa, Hokkaido Prefecture 070-0029, Japan Tel: 0166-24-3181 Fax: 0166-24-1125
Asahikawa Museum of Sculpture, Teijiro Nakahara Memorial and Station Gallery 7-11-31 Shunko 5 Jo, Asahikawa, Hokkaido Prefecture 070-0875, Japan Tel: 0166-69-5858 Fax: 0166-69-5859
Inoue Yasushi Memorial 5-7 Shunko 5 Jo, Asahikawa, Hokkaido Prefecture 070-0875, Japan Tel: 0166-51-1188 Fax: 0166-52-1740
Asahikawa Science Center Miyamaedori Higashi, Asahikawa-shi, Hokkaido 078-8329 Japan Tel: 0166-31-3186 Fax: 0166-31-3310
Asahikawa City Museum/ Asahikawa Taisetsu Crystal Hall 7 Kagura 3 Jo, Asahikawa, Hokkaido Prefecture 070-8003, Japan Tel: 0166-69-2004 (Museum), 0166-69-2000 (Crystal Hall) Fax: 0166-69-2001 (Museum & Crystal Hall)
Asahikawa Civic Culture Hall 9 Showadori, 7 chome, 7 jo dori, Asahikawa city, Hokkaido 070-0037, Japan Tel: 0166-25-7331 Fax: 0166-22-3526
Taisetsuzan (Daisetsu-Zan) Mt. Asahikawa Ropeway (Asahidake Cable Car) A ropeway which connects the 1600 m to 1100 m above sea level. Panoramic views of Mt. asahidake, nature. Address: 1418 Yukomanbetsu, Higashikawa-cho, Kamikawa-gun, Hokkaido Prefecture 071-1472 Japan Tel: 0166-68-9111
More Contact Info: Daisetsuzan (Taisetsuzan) National Park related Institutions and Visitor Centers