The georgeous Yōtei-zan is quite remarkable and we looked at it all the time in Tōya-ko-Onsen. The hiking route is also found in our Hiking Japan guide and therefore we couldn’t resist to climb it. By local trains we got to Hirufa, were we put up our tent late night. The early next morning we set out to climb the approx. 1500m elevation to the summit at 1893m. After 4 hours of ascent, the view was absolutely terrific!
From Lake Shikotsu we got further to Tōyako-Onsen by bus and train. The last days packed with activities required us to have some rest in a hotel. The rooms were japanese style (tatami mats with futon) and the excellent dinner was served in the room. We enjoyed the relaxing day at the Onsen. Especially the lake view and the island Naka-jima with Yōtei-zan in the back. After this rest day we set out to Mt. Usu-zan. We used to ropeway and hiked along the caldera ridge. The view of Tōya and southern Hokkaido was stunning.
Southern of Sapporo lies Shikotsu-Tōya National Park which is formed around the two caldera lakes Shikotsu and Tōya. We stayed one day in Shikotsuko-Onsen. The closest campsite, Morappu, lies directly at the lake so we got there by canoe. The water is so clear, unlike every other place we haven been before. The next morning we made a nice trip to the Tarumae volcano (1041m). After two nights at the camp we moved on.
After Daisetsuzan we continued to Furano famous for its cheese, wine and lavender. They even serve cheese-fondue! Certainly we couldnt’t resist to taste it, however there isn’t a photo of it. To roam around we rented bikes (attention left driving). Driving to the Furano Cheesefactory we tasted black Camembert (dyed with squid ink) and various icecream flavours like cheese, asparagus, pumpkin and corn. From there we went on to Ningle Terrace. In small cottages they offer crafted goods. Lovely stuff, not the trash sold everywhere. Since everything weighs in our pack we consider every bought deliberately, good for our wallet as well. From here we headed to Furano Winery where we enjoyed their wine. We have been convinced japanese have mastery of wine and cheese!
On the last day of the tour weather was even worse than the days before. Rain was continuos and served together with with SE-wind and miserable sight. After reaching summit of Mt. Biei-Dake (2052 m A.S.L.) the trail to Mt. Tokachi-Dake (2077 m A.S.L.) was covered with sand and gravel and would have been demanding already. Weather however decided to bear a challenge and wind was blowing quite strong. From the peak we headed in direction of Mt. Kamihorokamettoku. Soon we escaped the winds an descended to Tokachi-Dake Onsen. Finally sight of the terrific vulcanic landscape became better. Body and gear were restored at Tokachidake-Onsen.