Saturday, 5 July 2008

Daisetzusan National Park

Distance travelled: 16.358 km

First stop on my ''Tour de National park Hokkaido'' was the National park Daisetzusan, meaning the Great snowy mountains, Japans largest national park - where I installed myself in a local youth hostel in the small onsen (hot spring) town of Sounkyo, a rather touristy spot - Japanese style, complete with ropeways (cable cars) and towering hotel blocks, but the location was impeccable, nestled in between towering mountains in a narrow river gorge.

Naturally since I only have the car for 6 days, good old Murphy decided it to play his tricks, and current weather forecast for the next 6 days is saying rain - and only on Hokkaido that is! Not to despair, i set out on an 8 hour hike the next day, which took me over 3 mountain peaks, the highest being 2115 meters. For the first 5 hours, just as the weather forecast had predicted, I was being pounded by rain, gail force winds, and thick heavy clouds that only left a few meters of visibility. But on the last 2 hours the clouds suddenly cleared - and I realized the beauty of the scenery i had been going through. It was a faunal extravaganza extraordinaire, complete with pretty butterflies, crystal clear mountain streams and soaring rivers, I hope I've been able to capture some of it on the pictures.

Daizetsusan National Park

When i got back to the cable car i was absolutely spent, but I still had a 5 hour drive to the next stop, Akan National park. However when i return the car in Asahikawa, ill try to return to Daisetzusan, at another onsen town further west closer to Asahikawa, if the weather is better - it was mind blowing!

- Stefan

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