Asahidake Onsen Winter
As autumn deepens, you could see animals in forest are in hurry stocking up and preparing for coming cold months. Same for people in Higashikawa town, and people are busier than one would think by stocking up firewood’s and fixing houses for coming winter.
In November, higher elevation area is in early winter. Asahidake Onsen, away from town center and over 1000m elevation in the middle of Hokkaido, things are a little different from lower part of town.
As as early as late September, it snows in Asahidake area. In mid November, cross-country skiers flock in Asahidake Onsen area to try out the first ski on snow in the season. It is also good time for winter climbing beginners to see and try snow-covered Asahidake before it gets technically difficult.
Core winter months
Best time for winter sports would be from Christmas until March. Powder seekers flock in Asahidake for arguably one of the best powder snow in Japan. In the area, there are a number of ski resorts/backcountry area to explore. Places such as Furano ski resort, Asahikawa Kamui, Pippu ski resort and Tokachidake backcountry area are good examples.
Winter climbing would be at this time of the year if the weather permits. if you are not so extreme, rental snowshoe, cross-country ski are available at Asahidake visitor center, and they often hold small tours.
Things to do if you do not ski
Of course, snowshoeing and ski walking in nearby forest would be great way to enjoy the area, and one might bump into red fox and ezo deer! Visiting Asahiyama Zoo to meet Penguins, Polar bear, and white fethered Eurasian Owl, having hot pots and outdoor onsen are staple things to do in the area.
late winter and early spring
From late March until late May is late Winter month in this area. Spring ski, hiking around on firm and packed snow , and seeking out early mountain vegetables are popular things to do. A few mountain flowers start to blossom and migratory birds starts to visit nearby ponds, and one could feel the spring has come after long Winter.
Asahidake Ropeway Asahidake Ropeway official site. Running schedules and weather updates are available.
SNOW-forecast.com Snow forecast and many other weather related information.
Asahidake Visitor Center Visitor center runned by Dept of Environment. Snowshoe, cross country ski rental are available.
Ezo deer related car accident map It is no joke! Its could happen to everyone. Very useful if you plan to drive .
Bus Schedule Departs from JR Asahikawa bus and train station 90min to Asahikawa Onsen
From Asahikawa take route294、and then route 1160 to Asahidake Ropeway