Hokkaido, Hokkaido

The giant gorge attracts millions of visitors each year with its high cliffs, plentiful hot springs, powerful waterfalls and fantastic rock formations.

Sounkyo is situated at the foot of Mt. Kurodake. The giant gorge, bordered by 100-meter-high cliffs formed by the erosion of tuff, stretches for 24 kilometers and forms the center of Daisetsuzan National Park. The hot spring area boasts of magnificent scenery and plentiful natural hot water, and attracts three million visitors a year.

The gorge contains lots of waterfalls, of which the Ryusei Falls (shooting star falls) and Ginga Falls (Milky Way falls) are especially worth seeing. At both of these waterfalls, the water falls directly over the cliff, giving them a sense of great power. The Obako and Kobako rock formations are said to be the most beautiful places in the gorge. Obako features wide rock faces that resemble "byobu" (folding screens), while Kobako has many fantastic crags. You can rent bicycles there.

If you change from the Sounkyo Ropeway to the Kuro-dake Lift, you can climb to a height of 1,700 meters and enjoy a magnificent view of Daisetsuzan Mountain Range. The Sounkyo Hot Spring is in the middle of the gorge, and is full of modern hotels. In summer the Sounkyo fire festival takes place in the gorge, while in mid-winter there is the Hyobaku-matsuri Festival (ice waterfall festival).


From Tokyo:
[Air] 1h 50 min from Haneda to Asahikawa Airport.
From Sapporo:
[Rail] 1h 20 min to Asahikawa Station by JR Hakodate Line (limited express), and 1h 50 min from Asahikawa Station to Sounkyo by JR Bus.

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