Asahikawa, Biei and Daisetsuzan 3 days sample trip plan. Central Hokkaido 3-day highlights

Very typical scenery in Biei and Furano area

I will show you 3-day sample trip plan of the central Hokkaido from Sapporo. This trip plan covers these following spots:

✔ Asahiyama Zoo
✔ Biei and Blue Pond
✔ Daisetsuzan and Sounkyo

Overview

3-day trip route map
The blank map provided by CraftMAP

On day 1, go to Asahikawa and enjoy visiting Asahiyama Zoo.

On day 2, take a bus to Sounkyo.

On day 3, take a train to Biei and move back to Sapporo.

JR Pass, Hokkaido Rail Pass and Furano Biei Rail Ticket covers most part of this trip.

Day 1, Sapporo – Asahikawa

Asahiyama zoo
“The flying Penguin” showcase spreaded the popularity of Asahiyama Zoo over Japan.

On the first day of trip, you will take the limited express Lilac or Kamui from Sapporo and spend the rest of the day in Asahiyama Zoo.

Itinerary

TimePlace and transporation
08:30Sapporo station
(The limited express Lilac 5)
09:55 / 10:10Asahikawa station
(Asahikawa Denkikidou Bus)
10:49 / 17:10Asahiyama Zoo
(Asahikawa Denkikidou Bus)
17:10Asahikawa station

The limited express trains run between Sapporo and Asahikawa mostly every 30 minutes. The buses between Asahikawa station and Asahiyama Zoo run every 30 minutes as well. You can leave Sapporo earlier or later to adjust your time in Asahiyama Zoo.

Highlight

Asahiyama Zoo

Asahiyama zoo
The presentation of seals are very popular.

Asahiyama Zoo is most popular one in Japan. It wasn’t before but this zoo tried to make some difference with very tight budget. They tried many things which other zoos had never tried.

Many other zoos follow their way in these days. But Asahiyama Zoo is still most popular in Japan.

Stay overnight in Asahikawa.

Day 2, Day trip to Sounkyo and Daisetsuzan

Sounkyo Onsen
Sounkyo Onsen

On the second day of trip, you will make a day trip for Sounkyo from Asahikawa.

Itinerary

TimePlace and transporation
09:15Asahikawa station bus stop
(Dohoku Bus)
11:10Sounkyo Onsen bus stop
(walk 5 minutes)
11:15 / 11:20Kurodake Ropeway base station
(Kurodake Ropway)
11:28 / 11:40Kurodake 5th station
(Kurodake chair lift)
11:50 / 12:30Kurodake 7th station
Walking on the trail for 30 minutes.
(Kurodake chair lift)
12:30 / 13:40Kurodake 5th station
Lunch time and walking around the station
(Kurodake Ropway)
13:50Kurodake Ropeway base station
Free time in Sounkyo canyon
If you have lots of energy, you can walk to Ginga falls
which is 2.5 km away from Sounkyo onsen
17:30Sounkyo Onsen bus stop
(Dohoku Bus)
19:25Asahikawa station bus stop

Highlight

Kurodake

kurodake sounkyo daisetsuzan
The chair lift takes you to the seventh station of Mt. Kurodake. (C) Yasufumi Nishi/JNTO

You can get to the 7th station of Mt. Kurodake by a gondola and a chair lift from the base of the canyon.

The view is amazing especially in the fall season. There are 30 minutes walking train at the 7th station. Anyone can enjoy the mountain walking in the high elevation area.

Sounkyo

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Ginga no Taki (the fall of Galaxy) is one of the highlihts in Sounkyo Canyon.

Sounkyo is about 20km long canyon along Ishikari river. You have to drive a car if you want to cover whole canyon. But you can enjoy walking along the river on foot. Ginga no Taki is located about 2.5 km away from Sounkyo Onsen town. If you have an extra energy, you can walk to get there.

Sounkyo Winter Festival (Sounkyo Hyobaku Matsuri) is usually held from late January to early March.

If you visit this place in the winter time, you can join a winter festival.

Day 3, Asahikawa – Biei – Sapporo

Blue Pond Biei
Blue Pond is located outside Biei.

The 3-day trip will be wrapped up. You will visit some places around Biei and go back to Sapporo.

Itinerary

TimePlace and transporation
08:43Asahikawa station
(Furano line local train)
09:16 / 09:45Biei station
Sightseeing by Biei View Bus
Visit the places in Biei
Blue Pond, Shirahige falls, Shikisai hill and some more places
12:30 / 14:19Biei station
(Furano line local train)
14:44Nakafurano station
Visit Farm Tomita
16:41Lavender Farm station
(Norokko train #6)
17:45 / 18:00Asahikawa station
(The limited express Lilac #40)
19:25Sapporo station

I put the sightseeing bus “Biei View Bus” from Biei station. But you can take a scheduled bus to Blue Pond and ride a bike around the town of Biei.

Biei station 9:26 – 9:46 Blue Pond 10:24 – 10:53 Biei station

But in this case, you cannot visit Shirahige falls because it is about 3km away from Blue Pond. The schedule is too tight to visit Shirahige falls from Blue Pond.

Highlight

Blue Pond

Blue pond bie
Blue Pond is one of most popular places in Biei.

Blue Pond is a small lake. It is about 20 minutes away from Biei station. In the winter time, the light up festival is held. This small lake attracts the tourists all year round.

Shirahige Falls

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Shirahige falls are located near Shirogane Onsen.

Shirahige falls is located upstream of Blue Pond. If you take a tour by Biei View Bus, you can visit this place.

Biei

Biei Shikisai no Oka
Shikisai no Oka is one of the popular flower fields in Biei and Furano area.

This place is included by the bus tour. It is hard to get here by a bike from Biei station.

Farm Tomita

farm tomita
Farm Tomita is most well known flower field in Biei/Furano area. (C) Farm Tomita/ (C) JTA/ (C) JNTO

This place is like the icon of Furano. It is also called “Lavender Park”. June is a lavender season but this place is busy all summer long.

Furano Norokko Train

Furano Biei Norokko train goes on Furano line. (C) 800px-Norokkogou-furano-biei / Birdman
Furano Biei Norokko train offers the open air carriages. You can enjoy mountain fresh air even in the train. (C) 800px-Norokkogou-furano-biei / Birdman

You will take a sightseeing train, “Furano Norokko Train” at the end for Asahikawa.

Travel cost

All train trips are covered by JR Pass, Hokkaido Rail Pass or Furano Biei Rail Ticket. The local bus trips and the admission fees are extra. Hokkaido Rail Pass 3-day covers this trip but Furano Biei Rail Ticket is cheaper. And you can get your money worth of Hokkaido Rail Pass 3-day by this 3 days trip. If you visit some more places before/after this trip in Hokkaido, you may consider using Hokkaido Rail Pass.

If you use JR Pass, you may take a train between Asahikawa and Kamikawa. And you will catch a bus from Kamikawa for Sounkyo. If you do so, you can save 860 yen one way. However a train runs infrequently between Asahikawa and Kamikawa. The trip time is longer and you have to transfer a bus and a train at Kamikawa. It is not recommended.

Please see the table below to find the cost breakdown:

TripCost
The limited express Hokuto from Sapporo to AsahikawaCovered
Admission fee for Asahiyama Zoo1,000 yen
Asahikawa Denkikidou Bus for the round trip to Asahiyama Zoo900 yen
Dohoku Bus for the round trip to Sonunkyo Onsen4,280 yen
Biei View Bus2,600 yen
Total cost9,860 yen
Accommodations and meals are not included.

Summary

This is a very simple trip plan but you can cover major places in the interior of Hokkaido.

I hope this trip plan helps you to build your trip plan.

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