Category Archives: See

Where to see cherry blossoms in Sapporo?

I guess most of people who plan to visit Japan in spring are looking forward to seeing cherry blossoms. Cherry blossoms in Hokkaido are bloomed 1 month later than Tokyo area, around beginning of May.
Characteristics of cherry-viewing party, “Ohanami” in Hokkaido is to eat lamb BBQ, called as “Genghis Khan” which is Hokkaido’s specialty during cherry blossom viewing.
There are still chilly days in May, therefore eating “Genghis Khan” works to make body warm and it makes sense. “Ohanami” with “Genghis Khan” is one of unique customs in Hokkaido.
By the way, according to some reliable weather forecasts , it is expected cheery blossoms will bloom in the period from 26 Apr to 1 May in 2016. If you just visit to Sapporo during this period, it would be interesting activity for you to enjoy “Ohanami” with local people.
For Sapporo citizen, the most popular place to enjoy cherry-viewing would be Maruyama park. It is located close to Sapporo city center and accessible by subway, Tozai line directly.
Maruyama Zoo and the biggest shrine in Hokkaido, Hokkaido Jingu are located next to Maruyama park, so you can also drop in there after viewing cherry blossoms.

Maruyama Park(円山公園)
Address: Miyagaoka, Chuo ku, Sapporo
*5 minutes walk from “Maruyama koen” station by subway Tozai line
円山公園の歴史(植物編) | 円山公園
via kwout

Except Maruyama park, following places are also popular to enjoy cherry-viewing in Sapporo.

Makomanai Park(真駒内公園)
Address: Makomanai koen 3-1, Minami ku, Sapporo
*30 minutes walk from “Makomanai” subway station by Nanboku line
Moere numa park(モエレ沼公園)
Address: 1-1 Moere numa koen, Higashi ku, Sapporo
*Bus stop at “Moere Koen Higashi guchi by Chuo Bus (No. Higashi 69)
Finally, I introduce my secret recommended spot, Shiroishi cycling road(白石サイクリングロード)
Although this is the place where local residents mostly enjoy seeing cherry blossoms and not so familiar for tourists, bloomed flowers are very gorgeous and must be attracting you!

*Overall length of Shiroishi cycling road is 20km. Avobe photos were taken at the place near “Nango 7 chome” subway station of Tozai line.

Magnificent view at Mt. Asahi

Even though I just used my mobile phone rather than a camera to take pictures of Mt. Asahi which is the highest mountain in Hokkaido, the photos still shows its brilliant beauty of the nature.
My explanation would not be necessary, just look and enjoy photos.

Chubetsu dam located on the way to the mountainDSC_1161

At the bottom of the mountain

View from the gondola climbing to the top

If you would like to stay around Mt. Asahi, I strongly recommend  La Vista Daisetsuzan.
The outside view from the room is like a picture, and you would know the hotel is exactly next to Mt. Asahi.

La Vista Daisetsuzan also offers very nice hot spring area with private hot spring room, and even ice bar during winter.

The food (both dinner and breakfast) is excellent. Most ingredients are made in Hokkaido, and you can also eat your original seafood bowl at buffet style breakfast.

Access to Mt. Asahi by public transportation
*The bus, Ideyu-go is only available as public transportation
From JR Asahikawa station to Mt. Asahi
Departure time: 9:30, 12:30, 15:30
Price: JPY 1,430
From Asahikawa airport to Mt. Asahi
Departure time: 10:05, 13:05, 16:05
Price: JPY 1,000

Recommended Hotel: La Vista Daisetsuzan
Address: Asahidake Onsen, Kamikawa-gun, Higashikawa-cho 071-1472 , Hokkaido
Official website:


Short trip from Sapporo – Asahiyama Zoo –

It takes about 1.5 hours from Sapporo to Asahikawa, the 2nd largest city in Hokkaido by JR .
Most travellers would imagine Asahikawa is the city that has a famous zoo, “Asahiyama zoo”. Visiting there, you can see many animals and even can watch their lively expressions very close to them.DSC_0925
What I especially recommend at Asahiyama zoo is to enjoy “Mogumogu time” when you can see animals are joyfully eating foods. Asahiyama zoo currently prepares “Mogumogu time” for seals, owls, Hokkaido deers, etc *The arrangement for ” Mogumogu time” is finally fixed in every morning, so above animals can be changed. You can check today’s time schedule for “Mogumogu time” on Asahiyama Zoo official website.DSC_0536
In addition to “Mogumogu time”, it is limited in winter though, penguin walk is one of the most popular events in Asahiyama zoo. Penguin walk was originally begun to improve the lack of exercise in the zoo, rather than entertainment show. It is not for the show trained by zoo staff, but group walking by King Penguin is their natural habits to get food in wildlife. Those who want to see the penguin walk in front of you, I recommend to wait at the pass 15 minutes before it starts.DSC_0930

Asahiyama Zoo

Address:11-18 Kuranuma, Higashi-asahikawa-cho, Asahikawa-shi, Hokkaido
9:30-16:00 (close at 17:15) in summer | 10:30-15:00 (close at 15:30) in winter
* Open period varies depending on season.
Entrance Fee: JPY 820 for adults | free of charge for child 14 or under


How to access to Asahiyama Zoo from Sapporo or Asahikawa airport

JR Sapporo station →JR Asahikawa station
It takes about 1hour 20 minutes by JR
Fare for only JR ticket: JPY 5,080 (“S ticket” for round trip discounted ticket )
Fare for “Asahiyama Zoo Ticket”: JPY 6,130
*Including 1)JR ticket for round trip from Sapporo station to Asahikawa station, 2) Bus ticket for round trip from JR Asahikawa station to Asahiyama Zoo and 3) Entrance ticket for Asahiyama Zoo ]
*Only available at ticket counters of any JR station in Hokkaido.

JR Asahikawa station→Asahiyama Zoo
It takes about 40 minutes by bus (No. 41, 42, 47): Every 30 minutes
Fare: JPY 440
If you go to the zoo by Taxi, it takes about around JPY 3,000.

Asahikawa Airport→Asahiyama Zoo (By bus No. 78)
It takes about 35 minutes.
Fare: JPY 550
*10:00 -Asahikawa airport to Asahiyama Zoo, 15:10- Asahiyama Zoo to Asahikawa Airport