Daisetsu-zan and Mount Asahi


Mount Asahi (Asahi-dake in Japanese) is the highest mountain in Hokkaido and part of the Daisetsu-Zan mountain range. Usually this place sees the first autumn colours in late September / beginning October which makes it the predominant destination for hords of Japanese tourists to catch a glimpse of the whole… Despite all that it is a kind of magical place with high mountains and more or less unspoilt nature around you (just ignotre the 1000 other tourists for a second).

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After leaving the gondola (you could walk up, but this is a rather tedious walk) you are greeted by the flanks steeming smokers.

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On the plateau there are quite some smaller hiking options which are usually frequented by Japanese groups

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It’s like a valley of steam and smoke  puffing and hissing everywhere

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Erasth in all colours which can be created by minerals from Sulphur, Antimon, Arsen, Copper, … – most quite toxic

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On the flank you can slowly progress upwards to better viewpoints

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These rocks are spewn out from time to time in eruptions and work a bit like bombs

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The nicer thing is that they are often very odd-shaped or very colourful.

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Viewpoint #2 was reached at around 1.890m – we didn’t venture higher up (200m more to go or so). Technically you can cross (on a good day) over and hike to Mt. Kurodake in the back of Mt. Asashi and arrive at the other side (east) of the Daisetsu-Zan mountains afterwards.

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What looks so sterile and barren is actually among the most fertile soils on the world. The only thing needed is some time and water…

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Looking down and admiring the view

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Another of these volcanic bombs

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This time basalt (very light and fluffy – floats on water) mixed with something much harder (often very fast running, very liquid lava)

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The sulphur deposits can be nicely seen

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This was a beauty as well

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Very flat and immensely powerful

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Up here are the first autumn colours in Japan, so everything was nicely coloured

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including this small shrub

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the last alpine flowers

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and the whole slope are covered

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beautiful and soothing

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This is an area where another hot spot has opened, yet currently no further eruption, just hot earth and hostile environment

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Last views before taking the gondola down

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And here comes the cloud to cover everything in a foggy blanket

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Whoever has the option to go there should do – an active volcano is always a most impressive sight and wonderful to admire. Sure in torrential rain it’s no fun, but like that just amazing.

Kategorien:Hokkaido, Japan, Nature, Volcano

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