Selected as one of the 100 Best Flower Mountains in Japan, Mt. Furanodake blooms with a wide variety of alpine flowers. On clear sunny days at the mountain peak, you can also enjoy a magnificent view of the Furano Basin, Mt. Ashibetsudake, Mt. Yubaridake, and even the faraway Shokanbetsudake mountains.
There are two routes to the summit of Mt. Furanodake. The first one goes from the Tokachidake Onsen trailhead, with a route that lets you experience a gradual change in plant life, from small Japanese rowans to Aleutian avens and other snowbed shrubs. The other route starts from the Furebetsu trailhead and takes you to Genshigahara, a vast wetland with marsh plants and a striking view of Furanodake’s towering peak. Genshigahara means “a grassland that abounds with primeval nature“, a fitting name for the untouched, tranquil scenery of the place.
Furebetsu Course (approximately 8 hours for a round trip)
Furubetsu trailhead (30 mins) → Tenshi-no-Izumi (30 mins) → Genshigahara wetland (3 hrs 30 mins) → Furanodake summit (2 hrs 30 mins) → Genshigahara wetland (1 hr) → Furebetsu trailhead
Tokachidake Onsen Course (approximately 6 hours for a round trip)
Tokachidake Onsen trailhead (40 mins) → Ansei Crater Junction (20 mins) → Kamihoro Junction (1 hr 30 mins) → Furanodake Junction (50 mins) → Furanodake summit (1 hr 40 mins) → Kamihoro Junction (45 mins) → Tokachidake Onsen trailhead
Goshikigahara is a plateau that becomes completely carpeted with alpine flowers in summer. To reach it, you enter from the Numanohara trailhead and climb up a steep slope to the Numanohara marsh. After making your way through marsh ponds and passing through a coniferous forest, you eventually reach Goshikigahara. The vast plateau lets you feel the expanse of Daisetsuzan, and also offers a magnificent view of Mt. Tomuraushi beyond the fields of snowbed alpine flowers.
Goshikigahara is situated on the traverse course towards Mt. Tomuraushi to the southwest and towards Mt. Chubetsudake and Mt. Hakuundake to the north.
Goshikigahara course (approximately 11 hours for a round trip)
Numanohara trailhead (2 hrs 30 mins) → Numanohara Junction (15 mins) → Onuma (30 mins) →Goshiki-no-Mizuba (3 hrs 10 mins) → Mt. Goshikidake
Mt. Goshikidake (2 hrs 20 mins) → Goshiki-no-Mizuba (40 mins) → Onuma (15 mins) → Numanohara Junction (1 hr 40 mins) → Numanohara trailhead
The trailhead to Mt. Midoridake is located at the back of the Daisetsu Kogen Onsen, a place where steam rises from the ground here and there. After climbing a steep slope in the montane zone, you reach the 1st and 2nd Flower Meadows, where alpine flowers such as Aleutian avens and wedgeleaf primroses bloom in succession on snowbeds. After passing through a scree area and a tunnel of dwarf pines, the trail goes up a steep rocky slope, finally arriving at the summit of Mt. Midoridake. From here, you can enjoy an excellent view of Mt. Hakuundake, Mt. Asahidake, Takanegahara, and even the distant Mt. Tomuraushi.
Note: In early summer, the 1st and 2nd Flower Meadows as well as the scree area is still fully covered with snow. Be sure to have the proper equipment for snow hiking.
You can also enjoy a variety of flora along this trail. In the mixed forest zone up to 1,500 m, you can see Yezo spruce, Sakhalin fir, Erman’s birch, butterfly maple, and Ukurundu maple trees. From 1,500 m to 1,700 m, you can see pink mountainheaths, Aleutian mountainheaths, Aleutian avens, wedgeleaf primroses, and other snowbed flora. In the rocky slopes from 1,700 m to 2,000 m, alpine azaleas, clubmoss mountain heathers, pincushion plants, Oxytropis japonica and other alpine shrubs are the dominant species.
Animals such as chipmunks, pikas, Ezo stoats, and brown bears also inhabit this area. Brown bears are especially common around the Kogen-numa pond. To avoid attracting the bears, make sure to observe designated eating sites, and always take all trash with you.
Midori-dake course (approximately 5 hours for a round trip)
Kogen Onsen (1 hr 20 mins) → 1st Flower Meadow (1 hr 40 mins) → Mt. Midoridake summit
Mt. Midoridake summit (1 hr 10 mins) → 1st Flower Meadow (1 hr) → Kogen Onsen
Ginsendai, situated at an elevation of around 1,500 m, is the starting point of the trail to Mt. Akadake. Ginsendai can be reached by car through an unpaved forest road. At the mountain trail, you will see an abundance of alpine flora, with several guideposts indicating key spots along the way. Visit in late summer or early autumn and you can experience a range of seasons, as you encounter both summer flowers and autumn leaves in your trek to the summit.
Note: When hiking in early summer, be careful of slippery areas due to snow, including the traverse point after the 1st Flower Field, and the slopes at the 3rd and 4th Snow Patch.
The trail to Akadake is known as the place to see Japan’s earliest autumn colors, with plenty of scenic autumn spots from trailhead to summit. The peak period for the autumn leaves varies slightly from year to year, but seeing how the condition of the leaf coloration changes every year is interesting in itself.
Note: During the peak season from mid to late September, the road to Ginsendai is closed to private cars. Please check the closure and transportation information in advance before visiting.
Aka-dake course (approximately 5 hours for a round trip)
Ginsendai (1 hr) → 1st Flower Field (50 mins) → Komakusadaira (30 mins) → 3rd Snow Patch (50 mins) → Mt. Akadake summit
Mt. Akadake summit (30 mins) → 3rd Snow Patch (30 mins) → Komakusadaira (30 mins) → 1st Flower Field (40 mins) → Ginsendai
This alpine zone course is located at the top of the ropeway going to Sugatami station. With fairly shallow slopes along the route, it is recommended for hikers who want to enjoy alpine flowers without the strenuous mountain climb.
This area flourishes with snowbed floral populations. Since the melting of the snow varies from place to place depending on the terrain and sunshine conditions, you can see alpine plants bloom over a long period from late June to mid-August. Some of the famous spots in the trail include the Aleutian avens flower field and the swan-shaped snow patch (visible from mid to late July) in the Susoaidaira plateau.
While this area is a popular trekking course, there are plenty of swamps that can lead unwary hikers astray. There are also many snow patches and muddy surfaces due to snowmelt especially in July, so you should be prepared with the proper clothing and equipment. Take care not to go off trail especially along flower fields as this may cause damage to the plants.
For those who prefer an easy trek, the short walking course around Sugatami lets you enjoy the alpine flowers of Daisetsuzan as well as a view of several ponds. This area also abounds with fumaroles that vent gases such as sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide, so most of the plant species here are those that thrive in volcanic environments.
Sugatami Pond → Susoaidaira → Naka-dake Onsen course
(approximately 6 hours for a round trip)
Asahidake Ropeway Sanroku Station (10 mins) → Sugatami Station (1 hr 30 mins) → Susoaidaira Junction (1 hr) → Nakadake Onsen*¹ (1 hr) → Susoaidaira Junction (1 hr 30 mins) → Meoto Pond Junction → Sugatami Pond walking course*² (1 hr) → Sugatami Station (10 mins) → Asahidake Ropeway Sanroku Station
*¹ You can have a meal or enjoy a foot bath here.
*² It takes about 1 to 1.5 hours to go around the walking course.
Mt. Nipesotsu is one of the few mountains in Hokkaido that has a distinct pointed peak, and is the only 2,000-meter class mountain in the Higashi Daisetsu area. The view of the mountain’s towering and beautiful form from Mt. Maetengudake is well-known. The mountain is also a habitat for various alpine plants and wildlife such as pikas, chipmunks, and Ezo stoats.
Mt. Nipesotsu is a peak for expert climbers, with a grueling 10-kilometer course from trailhead to summit that is full of steep slopes. This mountain has seen climbers slip and fall or get lost in the past, so it is best to come equipped with full mountaineering gear.
Horoka Onsen course
(ascent 6 hours, descent 4 hours 10 minutes)
Horoka Onsen trailhead (1 hr 20 mins) → Sanjo-numa pond (1 hr 40 mins) → Tenbodai (1 hr 20 mins) → Maetengudake* (1 hr 40 mins) → Mt. Nipesotsu summit
*A disposable toilet booth is available here.