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Release | Fumiko Magota

Let’s go with the ropeway! Forest trekking with a guide at Kurodake 5th station

1.5 hour drive from Asahikawa. I went to a forest trekking with a guide at Kurodake 5th station where I reached by a ropeway from Sounkyo Onsen. I could feel the beauty of nature and seasons of mountains in Hokkaido even if I was a beginner of climbing mountains. Would you like to try?

青空と黒岳▲Mt. Kurodake (Photo provided by Rinyu Kanko Sounkyo Office)

Climbing beginners, let’s enjoy Mt. Kurodake casually!

Mt. Kurodake is one of the mountains in Daisetsuzan Volcanic Group. Although it’s 1,984 meters high mountain, you can go up to 1,500 meters by ropeway and ski lift, so the mountain is popular from beginners to professional mountain climbers.

For people who are not a regular mountain climber, I would like to introduce “Kurodake nature guide - Kamui no Mori Forest Trekking - “. Take the ropeway; the tour starts from the fifth station ropeway station “Mt. Kurodake”. You will walk through the forest to the ski lift station located at the seventh station. 

層雲峡の黒岳ロープウェイ乗り場▲The Daisetsuzan Sounkyo Kurodake Ropeway station at Sounkyo Onsen. 

層雲峡の黒岳ロープウェイ▲The ropeway is about seven minutes for one-way. 

Two observation sights to get views of Daisetsuzan Volcanic Group such as Mt. Kurodake

There is the Rock Garden to observe over 100 kinds of alpine plants in front of the station building!

黒岳に咲く花▲The station building of Mt. Kurodake Station. (Photo provided by Rinyu Kanko Sounkyo Office)

黒岳のロックガーデン▲The summer Rock Garden with various grasses and trees.

Ms. Chiaki Kajiura, the nature guide from Rinyu Kanko Sounkyo Office told us that “you can observe spring flowers from the end of June to July and summer flowers from the end of July to August.”

黒岳のネイチャーガイドの女性▲“I am interested in flowers and animals. The nature of Mt. Kurodake is very deep, and I learn something every day.” Says Ms. Kajiura. 

Then she took me to the two observation sights. The observation deck of the station and Takamatsu-Dai, which was a few minutes walk from the station. 

The view from the station was mountains, mountains, and mountains for 360 degrees! I could get a great view of the Daisetsuzan Volcanic Group. Not only the summit of Mt. Kurodake but also on the other side Mt. Choyo and Mt. Niseikaushuppe. Also, there are over 100 Betula ermanii on the slope of Mt. Kurodake to the foot and get colored from the end of September. It will be yellow all around. 

駅舎の展望台から見た黒岳の山頂▲The summit of Mt. Kurodake seen from the observation deck in the station. (Photo provided by Rinyu Kanko Sounkyo Office) 

黒岳の展望台から見る朝陽岳とにせいかうしゅぺっつ岳▲Mt. Choyo and Mt. Niseikaushuppe on the other side of Mt. Kurodake. (Photo provided by Rinyu Kanko Sounkyo Office) 

And from Takamatsu-Dai, you can see the summit of Mt. Kurodake and Mt. Kaigetsu. “This is also a famous site to view cherry blossoms. There are lots of Chishima-zakura trees, and beautiful light pink colored flowers become in full bloom at the level of eyes.” Said Mr. Kajiwara. 

黒岳の高松台とチシマザクラ▲Chishima-zakura flowers and Mt. Kurodake with snow left at the end of May. (Photo provided by Rinyu Kanko Sounkyo Office)

The attraction of this tour with nature guide is not only the safety for those of you who are not used to walking in the mountains but also you get to hear lots of stories about the ecosystem, animals and plants in Mt. Kurodake. It is much more fun than walking by yourself!

黒岳のネイチャーガイドの笑顔▲As we were walking, Ms. Kajiwara told me many stories, and my trekking tour got much more fun! “There are habitats of rock rabbits near summit of Mt. Kurodake.” One of the stories Ms. Kajiwara’s told us.


“Ohayo Ropeway” with a sea of clouds is another attraction! 

Sakura and little snow in Spring, sea of clouds in summer, changing colors of leaves from the summit in Autumn… Mt. Kurodake has fantastic views changing daily and seasonally. The day I covered was a rainy day at the end of July and the rain made green wet and beautiful. We should not miss every moment of its beauty.

雨で水が流れている黒岳の登山道▲The trail to Mt. Kurodake with flowing water like a river because of the rain.

This tour is about one hour. 
For reservation, contact Rinyu Kanko Sounkyo Office by the day before. The fee is 2,500 yen per person for an adult. (The guide fee, ropeway round trip, and insurance included. The fee is as of 2016) The tour is held from 1st June to 15 October in 2016.

In another program called “Ohayo Ropeway” which time of the meeting is 5:50 in the morning, adding to the content above, you may get to see a sea of clouds from Mt. Kurodake. This tour is a recommend as well! 

黒岳にかかる雲海▲Wake up early and enjoy the view of a spectacular sea of clouds! (Photo provided by Rinyu Kanko Sounkyo Office)

Make use of guide tours well and enjoy the nature of Sounkyo!
  • Let’s go with the ropeway! Forest trekking with a guide at Kurodake 5th station

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Fumiko Magota