Last weekend I decided that I had to see more of Hokkaido before the winter starts rolling in. Additionally, on most mountains above 1700m, the Autumn colours have already faded away. Therefore, I set out for the place which usually gets the Autumn colours first in Japan: Mount Kurodake. It is located roughly in the centre of Hokkaido and is part of the Daisetsuzan National Park.
I went there by bus, which is apart from going by car the cheapest way to get there. It takes around 4 hours from Sapporo and I had to change half-way at Asahikawa.
As the bus was just a regular bus, we stopped quite often along the way. This is Kamikawa Station, the furthest I could have gone by train.
When I arrived at my destination, Sounkyo, the weather cleared up a little and the variety of Autumn colours was amazing. The colours were especially rich because it had just rained…
Sounkyo is a very small village, which consists almost exclusively of Hotels, or Japanese style Hotels, called Ryokans. There are a few restaurants, souvenir shops, information centres and a convenience store as well.
On the far side of the village, a cable car goes up to the fifth station of Mount Kurodake. It was kind of cloudy though, so I couldn’t see all the way up.
After dropping some of my baggage off at the Sounkyo Youth Hostel and talking to staff there, they gave me a bike to ride to the surrounding waterfalls.
The first place I went to is called Momijidani, which roughly translated means Autumn colour Valley and definitely did its name justice.
The clouds started rolling in, but I decided to proceed anyway
The path was easy to walk on, nevertheless not many people decided to come that day.
Being in a kind of forest, the leaves were illuminated from the outside and made the colours appear even richer.
They had a lot of signs describing the different trees in the forest. It also said how many meters you’d still have to walk until the waterfall.
Turns out that the waterfall was not that impressive after all! They way to get there however, was!
On the way back, it began to rain..
I met two Americans along the way, who had a car and were kind enough to take me along to the next waterfall. It turned out to be quite different from the one before!
Afterwards, we went a public Onsen together. There are different kinds of Onsen and this one was a public bath house, where you can take a shower and relax. From the top floor the view was top notch!
In the end I had dinner at the Youth Hostel and made plans for my hike on the next day.