Hokkaido – the land of trekking
Have you experienced trekking in Hokkaido yet? Trekking is a form of walking through nature trails with the goal of exploring the scenery; it’s similar to hiking but doesn’t necessarily have the aim of summiting a mountain. Trekking in Hokkaido is one of the most recommended ways to immerse one’s self in the beautiful nature. Trekking can stimulate all 5 senses as visitors can take in the sights, taste the fresh air, and touch/feel the lush greens alongside the trails. Shiretoko Peninsula is a popular trekking destination in Hokkaido, but there are many more trekking spots, some even very accessible from major cities like Sapporo.
Popular trekking spots near Sapporo
Trekking in Hokkaido is enjoyed by people of all ages. Near the city of Sapporo, there are many beginner-level trekking trails at Mt. Moiwa, Mt. Maruyama, Mt. Sankaku, and Mt. Hakkenzan. At Mt. Moiwa, visitors can trek through the Moiwa Primeval Forest (designated as a natural monument) to witness over 450 species of trees and plants. Near the summit, visitors can take in the view of Ishikari Bay situated on the Sea of Japan. Planetariums and restaurants that offer equally stunning views are also located near the summit. Visitors can trek during the day and enjoy a romantic night view of Sapporo, designated as 1 of the 3 best night views of Japan
Popular trekking spots near Asahikawa and Furano
Near the Asahikawa/Furano area, Asahidake(Mt. Asahi) is a famous trekking spot as it’s one of the first places in Japan to change colors during autumn. The mountain is situated in the Daisetsuzan Volcanic Group – an area that’s known for its beautiful nature as it’s part of the national wildlife protection area. The mountain attracts a wide range of trekking enthusiasts, from those interested in photography, hot springs, to snow trekking in the wintertime.The 2,300 meter height of the mountain may sound intimidating to beginner trekkers, but there is a cable car that brings visitors up to 1,600 meters. The mountain trails can be enjoyed throughout the year, but it is especially beautiful from late August to September as the colors of the leaves change. The beautiful colors that coat the entire mountain will surely be a sight to behold.
Make new friends while trekking in Hokkaido
The scenery isn’t the only thing visitors can enjoy while trekking in Hokkaido. Because visitors will be immersing themselves in the grand nature, there is a high chance to meet local foxes, deer, and squirrels. Children can also enjoy finding the various species of insects in the trails as well. If you go up to the Asahidake or Mt. Moiwa, visitors might find themselves encountering friendly bears, too. It’s a good experience to learn about animals at the Asahiyama Zoo, but it’ll be an even more memorable experience if one can encounter wild animals while trekking.
What to wear when trekking in Hokkaido?
Waterproof hiking shoes that fully support your ankles/feet will be essential when trekking through Hokkaido. Moisture wicking shirts that dry up quickly are necessary too, especially in the summertime when visitors will be sweating a lot on the trail. Bags with a 20-30 liter capacity, packed with snacks, ample supply of food, water, and waterproof ponchos will ensure you to have a safe trekking experience. Also, don’t forget your camera to capture all the great scenery!
To wrap it up
Hokkaido is known for its abundant supply of nature. It’s great to eat your way through Hokkaido, but it’s also a great experience to work up a sweat while trekking with your friend, significant other, or family!