Mount Asahi is the highest peak in Hokkaido at 2291m and is part of Daisetsuzan Volcanic Group of the Ishikari mountain range. The area is the northern part of Daisetsuzan National Park, which is the largest National Park in Japan at 230,000 hectares.
You can come here any time of the year. In winter, you can ski. In summer, people come to hike and picnic here to enjoy the diversity of plants and flowers, which is so high that the locals call this place "garden for the gods".
One of the reasons this place is popular is because it's very convenient to reach via Asahidake Ropeway at Asahidake Onsen.
We decided to come here because we wanted to see mountains painted with lively colors of plants and flowers. We took a bus from Asahikawa, which took us 90 minutes and cost us ¥1,320. Then, we took Asahidake Ropeway for ¥2,900 (round-trip). Even the view from the ropeway already took our breath away. We were even more surprised when we saw that a large area was covered with '"snow" even though it was the middle of summer. We instinctively wanted to throw snow balls but realized we would probably fall flat on our faces. Luckily there were snow boots for rent. We were dressed really weird, but it's better to be safe than sorry (I'm still not sure about that decision). On we went to the 1.7km circled path with benches and view points along the way. Once we started hiking we saw that the locals were well prepared with walking stick, and picnic baskets. Now we were hungry!
While we were walking, we can't help but feel really amazing. The air is crisp like we're dipping in the water of melted snow, yet it's not cold. We're walking on a volcano (we're constantly reminded of that with the steam coming up the vents), but it is covered with snow, green plants, and many flowers fighting for our attention. It was a very pleasant walk and we took pictures of the ponds with reflection of snow peak mountain and steam coming up the vents from every possible angles. When we're tired, we sat on benches with front row view of this amazing scenic view. We didn't walk the entire 1.7 km or reach the famous Sugatami Pond cause we had to catch the bus back (and we spent to much time taking pictures). For those that bring along parents, there is more than enough food and shopping, as well as, great views near the shops to entertain them for a few hours.
If you come all the way to Hokkaido, please visit this amazing nature that may be a bit out of the way. You'll get to see how the locals really enjoy what Hokkaido has to offer (we were the only foreigners on the peak!)