This blog aims to provide some basic information on hikes in Hokkaido, as well as other places in Japan at times. Please note that the stuff written here is not meant to be a detailed guide, but rather just the ramblings of an amateur hiker and where he went last weekend.

There’s a lot of English information on the more major mountains (like the Hyakumeizan) in Japan, but not so much stuff on the smaller, or sometimes big but lesser known mountains, especially in Hokkaido. There is still abundant information in Japanese, but it’s hard to interpret for those who do not know the language quite well. I hope this blog will give people some ideas of what’s out there and provide a starting point for people wanting to find new hikes in Hokkaido.

If you have any questions, need more information, or anything else, please feel free to leave a comment!

17 thoughts on “About

  1. Hello! I found your blog while searching for hiking paths in Hokkaido, and find it really interesting! I’m planning to spend about a week there in late September 2017, and have lots of questions on the hiking possibilities at that time of the year. I was mainly wondering how safe it was, i.e. if the paths well indicated and well-maintained, or if you generally meet other people on the way.
    Also, do you know of group hikes that are organised in the region? I’m hoping to find a hiking partner by the time I arrive, but should that fail, I need a back-up plan that doesn’t involve me venturing all alone in the wild. I found one on walkjapan.com, but it’s very long, and far too expensive for me. Would you have specific things to recommend ?
    Thank you! 🙂


    1. Hi, thanks for the comment!
      September is definitely a great time to hike here, but keep in mind that the first snowfall will be around that time on the higher peaks of the Daisetsuzan. Also public transportation options will be quite limited by then, so renting a car and doing several day trips may be your best bet.
      The paths are generally well indiciated since there is very thick undergrowth especially below the tree level. Only places where routefinding might be an issue would be higher volcanic peaks (again mostly in the Daisetsuzan range) and on snowfields but that’s less of an issue by late fall. Definitely don’t count on running into people though, especially later in the season and on less popular hikes though.
      As far as organized hikes/tours I’m afraid I have no info but if you are used to hiking solo and take the usual precautions you should be alright. I almost always hike solo have never had issues *knock on wood*.
      Do let me know if you have any questions about specific hikes or areas!


  2. Great site. Thanks so much for putting it together. I wasn’t aware of any English hiking information so I can’t believe I’ve only just found this after already living in Sapporo for almost 3 months! So far, I’ve just been picking occasional hikes out of a Japanese hiking diary 北海道山楽紀行, but it’s not so helpful if you can’t read any Japanese.
    Also, can’t believe you’re calling yourself an amateur hiker, some of these hikes are pretty hardcore! I’m definitely an amateur in comparison.
    Just wondering, where are you from originally and what brought you to Hokkaido?


    1. Hi Neil,
      Thanks for the message and the kind words! I am glad that you’re finding the info useful, if you do have any questions about any specific hike on the site or another hike in Hokkaido let me know, although I’m not there anymore.

      I’m from Canada, first went to Hokkaido as an English teacher and then again to work in the Niseko area, but I’m in Tokyo now.

      Thanks again and happy hiking!

      – Peter


  3. Hi there,

    My brother, sister and I are planning on hiking the Daisetsuzan Grand Traverse in late August-early September 2018 and are having trouble finding information on the hike in english. So far, we’ve read through quite a few blogs documenting other hikers’ experiences and I’ve bought the notoriously poorly-documented Lonely Planet book ‘Hiking in Japan’ (1st edition since the 2nd was insanely expensive) for guidance. There’s still quite a few holes in our plans and I was hoping you’d be able to help answer some questions.

    1. We’re planning on hiking the traverse south to north since it seems there’s more of an issue finding water in the southern portion of the park. We’d like to be able to check in with park rangers on weather and trail conditions – is it possible to get information/speak to rangers at Asahikawa or at Tokachidake onsen? It seems like the visitors centers were only at the northern end of the park at Asahidake and Kurodake.

    2. Is it recommended that we make reservations at the (start/end) onsens in advance? Not knowing if we’re going to have to leave the route early or if due to conditions we’ll ultimately have to travel N->S, we’d prefer to avoid booking in advance.

    3. Are there any lockers for long-term storage at New Chitose Airport or any of the main train stations (Asahikawa)?

    Any help you can provide would be much appreciated!



    1. Hi Marijoy,

      Thanks for the comment.

      There’s not really much of a “Park Ranger” system that I am aware of in Japan. I am guessing you’ll be starting from Tokachi Onsen? there’s a new tourist information centre thing at Bougakudai (the trailhead for Tokachidake, so you wouldn’t be quite doing the full traverse if you start from there but most people end at Tokachidake anyway) and I am sure they’ll have some information but again it depends on when you go and I’ve not been there since it opened up so couldn’t really say. Otherwise just check the local forecast and make your best guess; with a hike that length and in that area it’s very unlikely that you will not have to deal with some rain/inclement weather so I’d just be aware of what to expect and be ready for it.

      Do you mean onsens or the accommodation? Onsens do not need to be book, accommodations yes. In terms of accommodation, use the same kind of common sense you would when you go traveling anywhere else.

      Lockers again, you’ll just have to look yourself to be sure but most large transportation hubs have lockers where you can store your things for up to 3 days. Long term I couldn’t tell you but I’ve not seen that many.

      Cheers and good luck!


  4. Hello, thanks for sharing this information!

    We are heading to Hokkaido next february for backcountry ski and I was looking for mountains to ski in the área that are not so tracked. I read about 3 of them: Ichankoppeyama, Oshamambedake and Ryokobiyama. Do you think they are good for ski? Would you recommend us some others?

    Thanks in advance!!!


    1. Hi Angel,
      If your main purpose is skiing, Ryokobiyama is likely your best bet as it’s a quick climb, however it’s a long ways to get there (by car) and any good line will involve going into the deep gullies that you’ll have to climb out of.
      There are some nice faces on the way up to Ichankoppe without having to get all the way to the summit so that might be a good option, and the area is fairly well frequented by Japanese skiers (without being overcrowded).
      Oshamambe doesn’t provide any good skiing until you get to the summit which is a long trek and there’s very little traffic out there which can be a bit scary.

      If you will be driving and are looking for good skiing I would perhaps look into the Tokachi-dake area (can be crowded though) or maybe areas around Tomamu which doesn’t see that much traffic but the snow’s not as reliable.

      No matter what you do I would definitely recommend doing a lot of research before as a lot of mountains here have very deep gullies with steep walls so climbing out of them can be quite hairy at times.

      Let me know if you have any other questions!


      1. Thanks for your answers!!! We also planned to go to Tokachi area, but I did not read anything about Tomamu. Do you know the name of any skiable mountains around?



      2. There are some nice mellow bowls on the backside of the peak of Mt. Tomamu, aside from there some other popular ones in the area are Takenokoyama/Shamanshadake, Karikachiyama, and a bit further south the Nissho Pass area. Unfortunately I haven’t seen any info in English on those (you’ll find some stuff on Nissho pass including on this blog).

        Tokachidake area should have enough to offer though although it’s not ideal in bad weather!


  5. Hello,

    What a website! My colleagues are heading to Japan next week and I have directed them to yours, Rob Thomsons and our Niseko Skiing Map:

    I help build 3D maps aimed at adventure as you can see above and we are looking for a content partner for Japan and was wondering if you would be interested in an introductory call?

    The content you have produced is fantastic and I would be interested in displaying it on our 3D model.

    Kind regards,



  6. Hello,
    Will be in Sapporo next week and I’m wondering if it’s not a good idea to hike Mt Tarumae?
    Would appreciate your answer in advance.


    1. Hi Sean,

      Tarumae usually does not get any significant amount of snow until well into December so you should be fine, but just check the weather before heading up (I am assuming you will be hiking from the 7th station hut).
      The road to the hut might also be closed already so you may need to walk from the lake.

      Hope that helps! Cheers!



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