Other than downhill skiing and snowboarding, the winter activities at Asahidake
are rather limited. If the ropeway closes due to bad weather, you may have to play cards or read a book for a while! Or if you’ve got wheels, you might want to go to Asahikawa to go shopping or head to the Asahiyama Zoo
You can check out activity ideas at the Asahidake visitors centre which is just before the ropeway station, but it is more geared up to provide information to hikers during the summer months.
Asahidake Cross Country Skiing
Beautifully groomed cross country (or snow shoe) trails extend into the picturesque forest directly across the road from the youth hostel. La Vista Daisetsuzan hotel lends out cross-country skis or snowshoes to guests, or you can rent cross country ski equipment at the visitor centre.
Asahidake has several onsens. The village isn’t called Asahidake Onsen for nothing! The therapeutic waters of the onsens are a fabulous way to relieve weary legs and finish a day of skiing or boarding.
We have visited a few onsens in the Asahidake Onsen village. One outdoor onsen (rotemburo) was at Lodge Nutapukaushipe which was very well decked out and in a very pretty setting. Unfortunately it was really busy with lots of Japanese tourists, and that much staring at my naked body was difficult to take! If tattoos were allowed in onsens, I’d get my body tattooed with “$10 per look”!
We enjoyed the onsen at the youth hostel which wasn’t as flash, but was picturesque, authentic, inexpensive and more relaxed.
We also visited the onsen at La Vista Daisetsuzan Hotel
. This is an exquisite experience with a variety of indoor and outdoor hot spring baths, and small baths with recliner beds for the ultimate in relaxation. There’s also a sauna in case you’re not dehydrated enough already (!), and a cold plunge pool if you need to cool down. The changing rooms have an array of nice toiletries on offer - you could almost give yourself a make-over whilst there! They also provide lots of sorbet ice-creams afterwards. Not surprisingly this upscale experience costs a little more than a few of the other Asahidake onsens (for non-guests of the hotel).
The onsen at the Grand Hotel Daisetsu
is inexpensive for day-trippers. It’s nice enough but not particularly fancy.
See our Japanese onsen etiquette
page for information on what to do when using an onsen.