By Amanda Ho
Furano is one the most popular destination in Hokkaido. Although mostly known for its flower fields and hilly landscapes, it's also a great base for one day trips in the nearby area. Several great spots in the Daisetsuzan National Park can be reached in less than one hour by car or bus. Tokachidake Mountain is one of the most interesting options and it’s also the nearest.
The area offers different hikes. The main trail starts at Ryounkaku Onsen and goes all the way up to the summit. The landscapes are simply marvelous. The vegetation slowly fades from a thick forest to smaller plants and bushes to finally disappear into just rough rocks. The various shades of green leave space to the countless hues of the volcanic stones creating an almost Martian landscape. The rocks’ hues range from dark black to shiny yellow and deep brown red.
After hiking there is nothing better than soak into an onsen. The area offers several options: Ryounkaku and Kamihoroso are standard onsen ryokan and both have good baths. However there is also a real hidden gem just a 15-minute walk from the trailhead. Fukiage Onsen is mostly unknown but it’s truly stunning. This natural hot spring is free and set in the middle of the forest. You may find yourself there alone, surrounded by a misty forest of high trees. This is one of the most regenerating and authentic Japanese experiences you can do. Dip in the hot water and feel your muscles relax. Enjoy being naked and alone in the wild, hearing the only noises of the streaming water and the wind blowing through the branches. You will go back to be just a simple living being immersed in the surrounding environment. The strong connection with nature and the amazing atmosphere are absolutely unforgettable.
There are three buses a day that reach the trailhead in 45 minutes from Kamifurano (¥500 one way)
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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.