Cold Feats
April 12, 2006 9:25 AM   Subscribe

I want to hike in Hokkaido for the next two weeks. Can I do it? Will I freeze to death?

I live in Kyoto, and I have only the next couple of jobless weeks to go anywhere in Japan before I move back to the States. I have always wanted to go to Hokkaido and I just assumed for the last couple of months that I'd go up there and check it out during this time. Then tonight, it hits me: it's probably freaking freezing up there! There's probably no access to any trails, let alone any mountaintops.
So, does anyone know about the hiking conditions anywhere in Hokkaido this time of year? I am not necessarily looking for long trips, daytrips are fine as long as I can do a few of them. I grew up in New Hampshire so cold doesn't really freak me out-- though I'd rather not be in danger, and most of my gear is back home...Can I even access any of the trails or anything in the National Parks?
If Hokkaido is out of the question (though I hear Sapporo is nice--maybe not for two weeks..), what's another good hikable area this time of year?
posted by simonemarie to Travel & Transportation around Japan (3 answers total)
I can't tell you much about Hokkaido, but I did go hiking near Tokyo in the summer a few years ago. I stayed in a hut on Kumotori-yama and got in a few other nearby summits. According to this page (which I actually used to plan my trip), hiking there is quite do-able in the winter.

I stayed at a mountain hut and I strongly suggest you consider doing the same - all I had to carry for an overnight trip in the mountains was two lunches and a water bottle.

The rest of Randy Johnson's page looks really extensive and covers Hokkaido, but I haven't read those parts.
posted by driveler at 9:45 AM on April 12, 2006

I did some day hikes in Daisetsuzan National Park in June a couple years ago. There was still snow in the mountains then, and it was cold - 40-50F. Based on that I'd guess it's probably pretty snowy still.

If it is passable, I highly reccomend it - the scenery up there is fantastic. Some of the more southern (and lower) areas of Hokkaido may be better - I also spent time in Noboribetsu on that same trip and had a lot of fun looking at the geothermal activity there. Noboribetsu was quite a bit warmer than Daisetsuzan.
posted by pombe at 10:02 AM on April 12, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks for the help, those links were great, driveler. and pombe, you have given me hope about Noboribetsu!

Thanks again!
posted by simonemarie at 9:49 PM on April 12, 2006

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