Snowy Mountains in Hokkaido: Best Ones to Visit


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A bunch of snowy mountains in Hokkaido.

In the heart of Hokkaido, Japan’s northern island, the snowy mountains paint a mesmerizing picture. Each mountain has its tale, filled with geological wonders and cultural wealth. Let’s take a close look at these towering summits that set the stage for a journey beyond the ordinary, inviting you to explore the enchanting snowy heights of Hokkaido.

Mount Hakodate (Oshima Subprefecture)

Mount Hakodate is a dormant volcano with a long history that lets us peek into the Earth’s past. It also gives us a fantastic view of the city below. Even though it’s not active now, it’s ancient, and its pretty slopes add to its natural beauty.

Climbing Mount Hakodate can be a fun adventure. You can take hiking trails or use a ropeway for an easy and exciting ride to the top. The mountain changes its look throughout the year, with cherry blossoms in spring and colorful leaves in the fall. The city lights up when the sun goes down, making a fantastic view for photographers.

Mount Hakodate during the winter.
Hakodate is a popular tourist spot. Image via Shutterstock

If you want a bit more excitement, try the Mount Hakodate Ropeway. It’s a thrilling ride with fantastic views. Once you’re at the top, you can see everything in a complete circle. Mount Hakodate is not only significant during the day; it’s incredible at night, too. When the sky is clear, you can see lots of sparkling stars. Mount Hakodate is notable because it’s not just an old volcano; it’s also the best spot to see the city. No matter when you visit, it’s a must-see place in Hokkaido, and you will surely have an unforgettable time.

Mount Yotei (Shiribeshi Subprefecture)

Mount Yotei is a lovely stratovolcano that looks a lot like Japan’s famous Mount Fuji. People even call it “Ezo Fuji.” It’s unique because it’s one of the well-known “100 Mountains in Japan,” making it unique in the region. “Ezo” is the old name for Hokkaido, where Mount Yotei is. This connection to the local history makes the volcano even more enjoyable. Mount Yotei has an incredible shape, attracting people who love nature and adventure.

Mount Yotei during the winter.
Mount Yotei is Hokkaido’s Mount Fuji. Image via Shutterstock

People often say Mount Yotei resembles Mount Fuji because it has a similar cone shape and a snowy top. Since it’s part of the “100 Mountains in Japan,” it’s a favorite for hikers and climbers who want to try its challenging trails and see the fantastic views. Depending on when you go, Mount Yotei changes its look. It’s covered in snow in winter, and in warmer months, it’s all green. The views from the mountain are amazing and let you see a lot of Hokkaido. If you decide to climb it, you’re in for a real adventure!

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Asahi-dake (Kamikawa Subprefecture)

Asahi-dake is the tallest mountain in Hokkaido, standing out in the rugged landscape. It’s located in Daisetsuzan National Park, a beautiful and untouched area with a lot of history. In the past, people used to mine sulfur on Asahi-dake’s slopes. Now, the mountain tells the story of Hokkaido‘s past and how it has changed. Despite the scars from mining, Asahi-dake symbolizes the region’s history and natural beauty.

Asahi-dake one of many snowy mountains in Hokkaido.
Asahi-dake is the tallest mountain in Hokkaido. Image via Shutterstock

Close to Sugatami Pond, Asahi-dake offers a stunning view of the rough mountains and the calm alpine waters. Even with the marks from mining, the landscape adds an exciting touch to the beauty of Daisetsuzan National Park. You can reach Asahi-dake through the Asahidake Onsen and Asahidake Ropeway, which makes exploring this iconic mountain easier. The ropeway gives you an exciting ride up, showing off incredible wilderness views.

The scenery changes as you ascend the mountain, revealing more of Daisetsuzan National Park’s natural beauty. The ropeway makes it accessible for both experienced hikers and casual explorers to enjoy the fantastic landscapes on Asahi-dake. Nearby, the Asahidake Onsen lets tired travelers relax in natural hot springs, creating a perfect mix of adventure and rejuvenation. Asahi-dake isn’t just a mountain; it’s a full experience in the heart of Hokkaido’s wild nature.

Mount Io (Kushiro and Tokachi Subprefecture)

Mount Io is a fascinating stratovolcano that shows off both geological wonders and special cultural offerings. It has a history marked by sulfuric eruptions in 1889 and 1936, making it a clear example of the powerful forces shaping the region. At the bottom of this giant volcano is a unique lava dome, reminding us of Mount Io’s dramatic past. This geological feature and the rare Alpine plants create a visually striking and ecologically special scene.

Mount Io one of many snowy mountains in Hokkaido.
Mount Io is one of many active volcanoes. Image via Shutterstock

A nearby rest house makes the volcanic experience even more enjoyable. It invites visitors to try local treats, like eggs cooked in hot springs, giving you a taste of the region’s natural goodness. The menu also includes iodama, sweets shaped like sulfur, connecting back to Mount Io’s volcanic history in a fun way.

Alpine plants surround Mount Io and show how life can bounce back even after significant changes in the land. The vibrant colors of these plants stand out against the volcanic background, creating a scene that’s both unusual and captivating. Mount Io has something for everyone, whether you’re a casual explorer or a serious hiker. It’s not just an excellent geological site; it’s a place where nature, history, and delicious food come together. Visiting Mount Io lets you experience the unique charm of Hokkaido’s volcanic landscape.

Why should I visit these snowy mountains in Hokkaido?

Consider visiting the snowy mountains in Hokkaido because they offer a mix of fantastic nature, rich culture, and varied experiences that will stay with you. These mountains let you see the different seasons, giving you a stunning view of the city below. 

Whether covered in cherry blossoms, dressed in autumn colors, or blanketed in sparkling snow in winter, these snowy mountains create a timeless, beautiful scene. Which mountain would you be interested in visiting? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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