Kurodake Ishimuro Mountain Hut

Spend a night in the stunning Daisetsuzan National Park

By Sandro Bernardinello    - 3 min read

Watching the sunset over the stunning landscapes of Daisetsuzan National Park is an absolutely unforgettable experience. After dark countless stars shine over the deep dark blue of the night. The Milky Way crosses the sky leaving you speechless. The connection with nature and the feeling of inner peace will leave you with a gentle smile on your face.

Daisetsuzan is the largest national park in Japan and is open for hiking from June to September. With its variety of trails, you can easily spend a week here. Multi-day hikes are actually a great way to explore the place, so staying overnight without having to go back down is the best way to immerse yourself in nature's sanctuary.

This mountain hut and refuge is barely ten minutes away from the summit of Mount Kurodake. Located in a broad highland, it's a great base for many awesome walks that starts nearby. The building itself is very basic, with rocky walls and a metal covered wooden roof. The dormitory has wide wooden bunk beds without mattresses so bring a foldable one if you need. From the small windows you can even see the starry sky at night. The cubby-house like reception boasts a homely and welcoming atmosphere. Here you'll find the check in counter, some books and a table where you can relax or have dinner if the weather is bad outside.

Outside a couple of tables and benches will be your alfresco dining room. It's undoubtedly the perfect place where to read, eat or just have a chat while enjoying the incredible view on the surrounding mountains. The best way to cook is to bring your own kitchen tools (gas burner, pots and cutlery) as they don’t have any. There is free rainwater being collected in a huge bucket but you will need to filter or boil it. In any case, if you need, they actually sell some camping food like cup-noodles and snacks and even cold beers and soft drinks.

The rate for one night is ¥2000, including a blanket and the toilet fee. The toilet is also an unique experience. Recently built, it's a wood chip composting toilet; if you are guessing, it doesn't smell bad at all. After you have done your business, you'll have to ride a bike powered machine to activate the mixing system that will ease the composting cycle.

Spending a night at Hokkaido's most stunning mountain hut will undoubtedly change your way to view nature.

Getting there

The easiest way to reach the hut is to get the ropeway and chairlift from Sounkyo Onsen and then walk up to the top of Kurodake Mountain (about 1 hour). The refuge is another 10 minutes away from the summit.

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Sandro Bernardinello

Sandro Bernardinello @sandro.bernardinello

Born on a cold day in December 1984, I am a computer engineer in Verona. I love martial arts, travel, Japan, food and of course photography. Photography is not only looking for beautiful pictures, it's more, much more; It means keeping memories, details, and moments that will inevitably become more and more blurred in our memory; it means waking up when everyone is sleeping; getting excited at the frost or under a thunderstorm when everyone is running away; learning to wait and knowing the surrounding environment; looking for new places and exploring forgotten ones, it means being able to see and enjoy what is surrounding us learning to observe with different eyes.

Join the discussion

Bonson Lam 7 months ago
Every time I read this I am astounded at the natural beauty of Daisetsuzan National Park. No wonder the Ainu revere this mountain top sanctuary.
Sandro Bernardinello Author 7 months ago
I truly understand! I love that place so much!
sue tiller a year ago
We are hoping to stay in the Kurodake refuge in September. Do we need to book? I can't find an email address!
Sandro Bernardinello Author a year ago
you can't book but there should be no need anyway :)
Lynda Hogan a year ago
It sounds idyllic. I have yet to visit Hokkaido, but I am looking forward to the day that I can.
Bonson Lam 7 months ago
Actually it took me a long time to make my first trip to Hokkaido, but now I have been here a few times in quick succession. It feels like a different country!
Scott Brause 2 years ago
Thanks for the peek! You definitely sold me on a visit to this park, and mountain hut! I wonder how close I can get to Daisetsuzan on a JR Pass?
Sandro Bernardinello Author 2 years ago
Hi Scott, I'm happy you liked the article and I'm sure you won't be disappointed at all when there, it's amazing! The ropeway is in Sounkyo Onsen, to get there you can get a bus from Asahikawa (2 hours) or from Kamikawa Station (40 min) . The JR pass should cover the whole trip by train, I don't think it will cover the bus though. You can find the JR rail coverage fo hokkaido here http://www2.jrhokkaido.co.jp/global/pdf/e-route_map.pdf :)
Kim 2 years ago
All those stars...phenomenal! You have some of the best travel adventures!
Sleiman Azizi 2 years ago
I'm with you on this one. That star photo is stunning.