Day Trip to Sounkyo, Hokkaido

Date: Trip taken in February 2023

Background: Sounkyo is a hot spring resort town that is located as part of the Daisetsuzan National Park. It is known for its mountain and waterfall scenery. During the winter, from late January to late March, the town has the Sounkyo Ice Waterfall Festival, which is an illuminated festival with snow domes and ice sculptures. 

Logistics: One thing to be mindful of when planning to visit Sounkyo is that the transportation is quite limited and ends early. We took a direct bus from Asahikawa Station to Sounkyo, which was about 2 hours one way. On the way back, we took the bus to JR Kamikawa Station and then the train back to Asahikawa Station, which took 2 hours. 

Sounkyo Ice Waterfall Festival

The IceFall Festival was the main attraction that we wanted to see in Sounkyo. It was fun to see the different ice sculptures and the illuminations at the sight. Here are some of my favorite ones from the site.

Lights at Ice Fall Festival

Daisetsuzan Sōunkyō Kurodake Ropeway

We went up the Ropeway where there is an observation deck with the mountain views below. There is also a walking trail from the station through the forest to another viewpoint. During the summertime, it is a popular spot for hikes into Daisetsuzan National Park.

Heading down the ropeway with mountain in background

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