Asahikawa is famous across Japan as it is known for being the coldest city in the country and sits on the scenic but less visited island of Hokkaido. If you plan to visit in the winter months, make sure that you wrap up warm as the record is a low of -41°C which happened in 1902, although it doesn’t usually get quite that cold every year.
As you would expect however, the cold climate here lends itself well to a range of outdoor winter activities such as skiing and some of Japan’s best slopes are located on the edge of town.
In addition to cold weather sports, you will also find a range of other things to do in Asahikawa such as visiting its famous attractions like zoos, breweries and craft villages.
You may try any of the following:
Walk along the Romantic Road that is made up of a tree tunnel which takes you all the way to the famous Kaguraoka Forest. Visit Otokayama Sake Brewing Musuem which is a great place to come if you want to try one of the most famous tipples in Hokkaido. The museum has won a number of awards for its delicious local sake which is said to date back over 300 years. Enjoy Asahikawa Winter Festival which is one of the main events in town and takes place every year in Tokiwa Park.The festival is an ode to the snowy season in Japan and is similar to that held in neighboring Sapporo.Here you can find a range of amazing ice sculptures which are carved by both local and international artists as well as snow sculptures and other winter themed events. If you are looking for some of the best food in Asahikawa then you need to head to Furarito Alley. Explore Asahiyama Zoo being one of the main attractions in Asahikawa and is also known for being the most famous zoo in all of Japan. Shop souvenirs at Arashiyama Pottery Village. It sits atop a pretty hill, so you can take in the views over Asahikawa at the same time. Also, one of the great things about Asahikawa is that, along with being the coldest city in Japan, it is also close to some of the best skiing spots in the country. And if you are in Asahikawa in the summer months then consider renting a bicycle as this is one of the best ways to check out the city and surrounding countryside. If you are in Asahikawa in September then make sure to attend Kontan Matsuri which is timed to coincide with the autumn equinox.This festival is held on the leafy banks of the Chuubestu River and you will find a range of activities here such as ceremonial dances and prayers. Lastly, visit the Kawamura Kaneto Memorial Hall has been on operation in Asahikawa for the last 100 years and this is an ode to the local Ainu culture for which Hokkaido is famous.