Release | Eri Makino
Takino Suzuran Hillside Park is located about a 50 minute drive south of central Sapporo. This park features a beautiful grounds surrounded by a lush natural landscape. In summer the many flowers and waterfalls in the area create the perfect backdrop for fishing, cycling, or camping.
In the winter months, however, admission is free!
Winter festivities include downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, sledding, and snowshoeing! A trip to the park is the perfect winter outing for adults and children alike, let me show you a few of the activities you can enjoy.
The park is divided into several different "zones," they are the central zone, the mountain river zone, and the Takino forest zone which two areas, east and west.
From among the many activities available in these different areas, our top recommendation is the snowshoe tour. These tours are only available in March and take visitors through the west area of the Takino forest zone, which is normally off-limits during the winter months.
This forest area, which first opened in 2010, features the most raw natural beauty in the park. From the beginning of winter, up until the start of spring, the area is closed to allow nature to cycle through the seasons without human interference. The snowshoe tour guide takes you through the middle of these changes, giving you a chance to discover the beauty of the park yourself.
Perhaps you will spot signs of the coming spring season; maple sap leaking from the trees, or new sprouts coming up through the melting snow. For bird lovers, you may be able to spot nuthatches, great spotted woodpeckers, pygmy woodpeckers, goldcrests, or many other species. One thing is for sure, the experience gives you a front row seat to the natural beauty of Hokkaido.
The guides are well versed in explaining interesting and unique features of the park throughout the tour. Because of the small number of tour participants, each tour guides is able to adapt the tour to their group's specific needs and interests.
Now for the best part: the tour only costs 100 Yen!
The snowshoe rental is free, which makes the tour itself a great deal.
This is one of the most interesting tours available in Sapporo for such a low price.
【Guided Snowshoe Tours in the West Area of Takino Forest Zone】
Held on Wednesdays and Saturdays from March 2nd to the 27th.
Tours start at 10:30 and 1:30.
Capacity: 15 Guests per tour.
Cost: 100 Yen.
Tours meet at the Forest Information Center.
For more information please follow this link:
http://eng.mg/70f4e (Japanese with English pages available.)
Also available in the Takino Forest Zone is snow sledding! No matter your age, you'll love the intense feeling of speeding across (sometimes tumbling across) the snow!
On March 10th there will be a special event held which includes a music performance, snow hut building, and (for children) snow diving! Be sure to check out the "2013 Winter Forest Fest" in Takino Forest Zone's east area.
http://eng.mg/74700 (Japanese with English pages available.)
To access the Takino Forest Area you have to use a different entrance than the other areas of the park, so I recommend coming by car. However, for those that don't mind the walk between areas, there is also a bus available. For more information please contact the park.
Other activities available in the park include a 200 meter tube slide, the biggest in Japan (free!), skiing courses for every level from beginner to advanced, and much more!
If you do visit the park I have to recommend trying out the tube slide. The speed is exhilarating, but the best part is riding the tube back up the hill using the tow-rope.
This allows you to experience the fun of flying down the course as many times as you want without having to wear yourself out trudging back up to the top. Because of the number of activities available this park has many visitors every year, so be sure to call ahead before you visit to make sure you can participate.
Takino Suzuran Hillside Park (滝野すずらん丘陵公園)
(Winter season from December 23rd to March 31st.)
Open from 9:00 to 4:00.
Car Parking: 400 Yen per day.
Bus Information: Daily service available from the Makomanai subway station. (Located on the Nanboku Line.)
★Sapporo Smile - SAPP‿RO
(Hokkaido Likers Photo Writer - Eri Makino)
(Photographs provided by Takino Suzuran Hillside Park)