Sounkyo Onsen

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(Sept 14) The Sounkyo hot springs resort is a very small community nestled among the spectacular scenery of the Daisetsuzan National Park.

Sounkyo Onsen\

Sounkyo Onsen

Sounkyo Onsen

Ishikari River

Ryusei Falls

Ishikari River


Store with Carving

Cafe Happy Hippie

A public footbath for washing one’s feet in the hot spring water.
Sounkyo Footbath

And a handbath next to it.
Sounkyo Handbath

Unlike the equivalents at Akanko, the water is hot enough to sting.

A “ropeway” (the Japanese term for a gondola lift or cable car) runs up the side of Mt. Kurodake, bringing you to “Stage 5” (1,300 m.)
Kurodake Ropeway

Wildflowers at Stage 5.
Kurodake Wildflowers

Kurodake Wildflowers

The Forest is the Sweetheart of the Sea

From there you can take a chair lift up to Stage 7 (1,520 m.)
Kurodake Chairlift Station

This is a long, slow, peaceful ride, much more relaxing than the crowded and relatively fast-moving ropeway.
Kurodake Chairlift

From Stage 7 you can follow a very steep, rocky and muddy 1.5 km trail to the top.
Kurodake Trail

Kurodake Trail View

Kurodake Trail View 2

At the top (1,984 m) there is a small shrine to the kami of the mountain.
Kurodake Shrine

People throw coins in, perhaps to express their gratitude at having made it up there.

After that it is time to relax, enjoy the view of the rest of the Daisetsuzan mountain range, and get your breath back for the climb down.
Daisetsuzan Range

Another trail runs down the other side of the mountain. It doesn’t look nearly as steep, but it is much, much longer, running over Mt. Asahi to the Asahidake ropeway.
Other Kurodake Trail

Kurodake Panorama

All posts from this trip.