Climbing the charming Jozankei mountain where you become one with nature
Surrounded by mountains, Jozankei offers a variety of trails, some of which can be easily climbed with sneakers, and others of intermediate grade that require proper climbing gear, allowing both beginners and experienced climbers to enjoy themselves by choosing a course that suits their level and physical fitness. In spring and early summer, fresh greenery buds and flowers begin to bloom as in Hokkaido, in summer you will be surrounded by deep green and fresh breezes, and in autumn you will see the colorful autumn leaves, each season offering beautiful views and an experience of nature’s breath. After descending the mountain, you can refresh yourself in a hot spring bath, another luxury that only a hot spring resort can offer.
8 mountains you can climb around Jozankei
▼01 Mt. Sapporo ［1,293m］
Ascent: approx. 3 hours and 15 minutes
Descent: approx. 2 hours and 20 minutes
There are two trails: the steep Toyotaki Course and the relatively flat Hiyamizusawa Course. The Toyotaki Course is challenging with a forest trail and a steep climb. The Hiyamizusawa Course features refreshing breezes and the gentle sounds of the flowing river. But the second half of the course changes to a steeper climb. The summit is wide and offers a great view of the city of Sapporo and the surrounding mountains.
▼02 Mt. Muine［1,464m］
Ascent: approx. 3 hours and 30 minutes
Descent: approx. 2 hours and 40 minutes
There are two trails: the Motoyama Course from the former Toyoha Mine and the Usubetsu Course, which continues from the Horaizawa forest trail. By following the ridge road where both courses meet, you will reach the highest point (elevation: 1,464m), but there is no view from there so the “real summit” is at a triangulation point 250m further down the trail (elevation: 1,460.2m). There is a wide area there with a view of Mt. Yotei and the various mountains that surround Sapporo.
▼03 Mt. Jozankei Tengu［1,145m］
Ascent: approx. 3 hours
Descent: approx. 2 hours and 10 minutes
Currently, the Higashione Course is closed, so you can only walk on the Kuma-no-sawa Course. This mountain climbing course includes walking along the forest road since both ends of the forest road to the Mt. Jozankei Tengu entrances are gated off, and no vehicles are allowed to enter. The way to the summit is very steep as you will walk through streams, rock faces, dry streams, and finally, a gully trail. From the summit, you can see Lake Sapporo, the mountains surrounding Sapporo, and Mt. Yotei.
▼04 Mt. Kamui［983m］
Ascent: approx. 3 hours and 25 minutes
Descent: approx. 2 hours and 25 minutes
The Hyakumatsu Bridge used to be accessible by car, but is now closed to vehicles due to aging problems. It is now part of a mountain climbing course, which includes the Hyakumatsuzawa Forest Road. An uphill climb follows from the end of the forest road, and the latter half of the course is a bit hard, with some paddling through bushes. You can see Mt. Teine and downtown Sapporo from the summit. Mt. Kamui shares the same traverse route to Mt. Eboshi before reaching the summit. To get to Mt. Eboshi, it takes about an hour from the juncture before the summit.
▼05 Mt. Kotengu［765m］
Ascent: approx. 1 hour and 25 minutes
Descent: approx. 1 hour
The trail is relatively steep and uphill, but many are steps, making it easier to walk. Ropes are attached to the steep slopes and steps, making it a well-maintained course. Near the summit, you can see the top of the dam, the lake, the hot spring resort, and the mountains in the distance.
▲06 Mt. Aasahi［598m］
Ascent: approx. 1 hour
Descent: approx. 40 minutes
Trees surround the summit, but a clear view of the hot spring town and mountains can be seen from the middle of the course. There are two trails: the Iwato Park Course and the Horinso Course. It is recommended to try each route on either the ascent or descent, before returning via the path at the foot of the mountain.
▼07 Mt. Yuhi［594m］
Ascent: approx. 1 hour and 10minutes
Descent: approx. 40 minutes
A mountain stream flows from the trailhead for 300m, allowing you to enjoy the fresh air on your way to and from the mountain. The viewing platform near the 6th station is a great place to rest and enjoy the view of the distant mountains towards Jozankei hot spring resort. The climb is relatively gentle, making it easy for beginners, and highly recommended!
▼08 Mt. Hakkenzan [Mt. Kannoniwa]［498m］
Ascent: approx. 1 hour
Descent: approx. 30 minutes
A climbing course that is easy to complete in about an hour, but has a certain degree of difficulty and thrill factor. The course is rich in variety, with safety ropes and steep slopes in the latter half of the course. The 360-degree panoramic view from the summit is breathtaking. This mountain will give you a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
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