Sounkyo is known as one of Hokkaido’s best tourist spots.
Located at the gateway to eastern Hokkaido, the area offers a variety of tourist attractions during each of the four seasons.
The Sounkyo Ropeway in Taisetsuzan National Park operates every 20 minutes to ferry visitors on a gondola with a 101-passenger capacity back and forth on the 7-minute ride to a point halfway up Mt. Kurodake.
In the peak season, the ropeway starts operation at 6 a.m. Visitors can enjoy the magnificent scenery of the huge gorge from the gondola.
|Route||Approx. 20 min. via National Route No. 39 from Kamikawa Sounkyo IC on the Asahikawa-Monbetsu Expressway|
|Hours||6:00～19:00 (Varies by season.)|
|Fee||One-way: Adults 1,100yen ; children 550yen / Round trip: Adults 1,950yen ; children 1,000yen|
|Map||googleMap Yahoo!Japan Map|
In mid-September, Mt. Kurodake (known as the place where the fall foliage sets in first in Japan) is covered with a vibrant carpet of fall colors.
Kurodake Ski Resort
Located on the seventh stage of the 1,984-m Mt. Kurodake, this ski resort normally opens in early November, allowing skiers to enjoy winter sports earlier than anywhere else in Japan.
The Mountain ski area spreading over the northern slope of Mt. Kurodake is one of the best in Hokkaido, and is known for its high-quality snow.
The ski season is long, running from mid-November to early June. Spring skiing between April and May is popular, as is early-season skiing between November and December.
The visitor center in the hot spring resort provides information on programs so that visitors can learn about and experience the natural environment under the concept of interaction between people and nature.
The Taisetsu Mountains, where snow still remains in the gorge even in early July, are represented with a diorama.
An introduction to animals inhabiting the Taisetsu Mountains is also available.
|Closed||November-May Closed on Mondays
(if Monday is a national holiday, closed the following day)
|Fee||Free of charge|
|Map||google Map Yahoo! Map|
Ginga no Taki Falls / Ryusei no Taki Falls
The parking area for visitors to the falls is approximately five minutes by car from the hot spring resort.
Looking away from the parking area, on the left is Ginga no Taki Falls (left of the photo) – a series of rivulets that resemble white ribbons cascading down a cliff approximately 90 m high.
On the right is Ryusei no Taki Falls (right of the photo) – a gushing mass of water that comes over the cliffs at a height of approximately 90 m.
These falls are collectively referred to in Japanese as Meoto Taki (lit. “husband-and-wife falls”), with Ryusei no Taki as the husband and Ginga no Taki as the wife, and are listed among Japan’s top 100 waterfalls.
Route：Approx. 3 km from Sounkyo Hot Spring Resort.
Sounkyo is a spectacular gorge extending approximately 24 km along the Ishikari River, which originates on the Taisetsu Mountains.
Ahead lies a magnificent view of steep cliffs as high as 160 m, named Shinsaku-heki and Amagi-iwa, and a giant lofty rock wall featuring columnar structures with rectangular and hexagonal profiles.
Fudoiwa Rock rises between Ginga no Taki Falls and Ryusei no Taki Falls.
Travelers driving on National Route No. 39 toward the Taisetsu Dam and passing through the tunnels there will see Obako Gorge on the left.
The narrow pillar-shaped rocks that form the rock wall have a columnar structure, and are known as ignimbrite. This was formed by pumice flows (commonly called zaimoku-iwa) from the Taisetsu Mountains that were consolidated under unique conditions of high temperature and pressure.
The rocks in Sounkyo Gorge and its surrounding areas mostly have a hexagonal profile.
Lake Taisetsu is a mammoth dam lake completed in 1975, and is held back by the first rock-fill dam among the many types of such structures found in Japan.
The dam is 86.5 m in height with a reservoir area of 292.0 ha, and collects water from the Ishikari River’s main stream as well as a number of its tributaries.
Surrounded by primeval forest, this dam lake offers spectacular views that must be seen to be believed
Route : Approx. 25 minutes on National Route No. 39 toward the Sekihoku Pass
Sounkyo Park Golf Course
Sounkyo Park Golf Course is situated on the banks of the Ishikari River along National Route No. 39.
This undulating area (4 courses, 36 holes) is great for all levels from beginners to advanced golfers.
On clear days, golfers can see the Taisetsu Mountains.
|Fee||Donation for tree planting: 500yen *Group of more than 10 : 300yen
Golf club set rental: 300yen
Sounkyo Taisetsu Mt. Photography Museum
The museum exhibits approximately 200 photographs by Takaetu Ichinei, who has been photographing the mountains of Hokkaido for over half a century.
One of the largest photography museums in Japan, this museum was converted from the former Sounkyo Elementary School.
|Fee||Adults 300yen (junior high school students and younger children are free)
group rates (10 people or more) 200yen
|Open||Every day, except November1st thru April 30th|
Taisetsu Forest Garden
Opened in April 2014, beautiful flowers and and the change of seasons await your visit. Garden Restaurant offers delicacies prepared by acclaimed owner chef, Seizou Mikuni.
|Summer sales period||Everyday during April 26th 2014 thru October 19th|
|Summer Hours||9:00-18:00 (Reception end 17:00)|
junior high school students and younger children are free
One Year passport:Adults 1,500yen
Information on Events in Sounkyo
|Jan.||Sounkyo Hyobaku Matsuri
(Ice Waterfall Festival)
|Late Jan. – late Mar.|
|May.||Sounkyo Hana Monogatari||Mid-May – early Oct.|
|Jul.||Taisetsuzan Sounkyo Gorge Fire
|Last Sat. in July|
|Contact||The Sounkyo Tourist Association.(+81-(0)1658-2-1811）|