Situated in the center of Hokkaido, Daisetsuzan National Park is a vast area that spans about 230,000 hectares. This mountain national park has the largest primitive natural environment in Japan. With Mount Asahi (2,291m), the highest peak in Hokkaido and the main peak in the park, Daisetsuzan has mountains at elevations of around 2,000m.
A wide variety of alpine plants found in the alpine zone create vast fields of flowers; you can see snowy gorges and large snow patches even in high summer; and the high moor is dotted with a number of small lakes and swamps of varying sizes. All of these present a primitive homeland that the Ainu used to call “Kamuimintara (God’s playground).
Vast virgin forests spread out around the alpine zones. Snowmelt from the summit becomes the headwaters of the Ishikari and Tokachi rivers, creating gorges with artistic columnar joints, which are found in Sounkyo and Tenninkyo gorges.
In addition, large mammals like the brown bear and Ezo deer and rare wild birds like the black woodpecker (Dryocopus martius) and Blakiston’s fish owl (Ketupa bkakistoni) inhabit the forests of Daisetsuzan. Another inhabitant is the Japanese pika, a survivior of the ice age. Eversmann’s Parnassian (Parnassius eversmanni menetries) and the Freija’s Fritillary (Classiana freija asahidakeana) live nowhere else in Japan but in Daisetsuzan. Such alpine butterflies and many other kinds of animals make Diasetsuzan their home.
Furthermore, the Ministry of the Environment published the guidebook of this park in multiple languages including English, and its electronic version is available in the following link;