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).
After leaving the gondola (you could walk up, but this is a rather tedious walk) you are greeted by the flanks steeming smokers.
On the plateau there are quite some smaller hiking options which are usually frequented by Japanese groups
It’s like a valley of steam and smoke puffing and hissing everywhere
Erasth in all colours which can be created by minerals from Sulphur, Antimon, Arsen, Copper, … – most quite toxic
On the flank you can slowly progress upwards to better viewpoints
These rocks are spewn out from time to time in eruptions and work a bit like bombs
The nicer thing is that they are often very odd-shaped or very colourful.
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.
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…
Looking down and admiring the view
Another of these volcanic bombs
This time basalt (very light and fluffy – floats on water) mixed with something much harder (often very fast running, very liquid lava)
The sulphur deposits can be nicely seen
This was a beauty as well
Very flat and immensely powerful
Up here are the first autumn colours in Japan, so everything was nicely coloured
including this small shrub
the last alpine flowers
and the whole slope are covered
beautiful and soothing
This is an area where another hot spot has opened, yet currently no further eruption, just hot earth and hostile environment
Last views before taking the gondola down
And here comes the cloud to cover everything in a foggy blanket
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.