Thursday, April 15, 2010
Have you ever seen anything like this?
The start of spring, after a long mean winter, pink moss (called "shiba-sakura" in Japanese which means "lawn cherry blossom") starts to bloom everywhere in Hokkaido. Takinoue town is known for "hill of pink moss" because the surface of hill is covered by pink and purple for a month.
Pink and purple definitely make people happy. Walking around the hill is a quite exercise but you get great rewards, nice view, sweet smell, and happiness.
The best day trip from Asahikawa during May ispink moss in Takinoue town, Port Monbetsu for fresh seafood lunch, and tulip park in Yubetsu (formaly known as Kami-Yubetsu) town.
It is just beautiful. Non-tulip lovers will turn into tulip fanatics. They really do a great job to make tulips look great, too.
May 8 ~ 30, 2010
(Tours are only on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays)
Self tour (no guide)
Pick up from:
JR Asahikawa Station, major hotels, JR Kamikawa Station, etc
Pick up time:
Duration of the tour:
About 6 hours
6500 yen per person
(includes admissions for pink moss and tulip park 1000yen value)
The tour price does not include lunch.
Tour bus stops at Okhotsk Palace hotel in Monbetsu for lunch break.
The hotel provides lunch buffet for 1200yen.
There are many restaurants in/around Okhotsk Palace hotel.
You can go for convenience, lunch buffet or for adventure some restaurants.
What we do:
We will book the tour for you in advance.
Walk you to pick up location on the tour date.
For more information, please email us at
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
If you were thinking of something to do to start your day, finish your day, or waste your day away in Autumn, Tokiwa Park is your best bet.
A short distance from the city centre (about 10 minutes on foot), and a short walk from all the major city hotels, this park is perfect for a tranquil walk, or jog, and a fantastic place to park yourself and read a book.
The colors are simply amazing, boats are available for hire, and the Art Museum sits quietly at the southern end of the park. In the next few weeks the colours will disappear to make way for the "whiteout" that is the Asahikawa winter, so if you're in town now, or the next few weeks, cruise down to Tokiwa Park for some quiet time.
Note also that during the winter, most of the paths are cleared of snow allowing you to negotiate your way through the park with easy. Just make sure you have some good winter gear with you.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
If this doesn't make you want to play golf in Asahikawa in Autumn, you probably don't like golf. The picture is the view from the 17th at Aibetsu International Country Club (AICC) taken two days ago. I shot my worst score of the season, but even that couldn't distract me from the spectacular visuals offered by this awesome course.
Each hole presented a different combination of stunning color that you simply couldn't ignore. And while the Autumn temperatures carry a touch more bite than than their balmy summer counterparts, when the sun is high, short sleeves are enough to get you through without discomfort.
The occasional fox, and deer pop out to say hello early mornings and late afternoons just to remind you that you're far removed from the city, while at the end of your round, the hot spring attached to the locker room provides the perfect tonic for sore muscles and joints.
If you want to get some luxurious golf in before the inevitable winter white out, Aibetsu ICC will stay open until the end of October weather permitting.
Forest Country Club
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Not Long to go now:
In the spirit of motivating myself and others for the start of the next snow season, and of course since Asahidake just got some overnight snow, I thought I'd post a nice pow-related pic. from Kamui Ski Links.
Asahidake got its first snowfall for the season yesterday, a couple of days earlier than last year and at the same time that the Autumn foliage is at its best. I guess the extra bit of white in there amongst the reds, greens, browns and oranges can't hurt.
Unfortunately I don't have any pics of it yet, but I'll try to get some from the guys up the mountain soon.
Stay tuned, should be a good riding season this season...
Friday, September 19, 2008
Presented by Panny
This week, the great guys from Panny (see HERE) did something that you don't see nearly enough of in Asahikawa. They held a daytime B.B.Q and clean up Kaimono Koen day. The mini-festival was held street side of their restaurant and provided yakitori, beer, hand made crafts, and toys for the kids to passers-by on Kaimono Koen.
The guy in the massive pink bunny suit was definitely a highlight, as were the awesome smells emanating from the twin BBQs, setup by people who clearly had a good grasp of what they were doing.
After plenty of beers and even more laughs, the entire crew formed a clean up line (with the pink bunny running shotgun) and worked their way down the length of Kaimono Koen removing any rubbish in their path.
Events like this one need to be applauded and supported. Not only do they provide great entertainment for city shoppers and residents, they show the willingness of people to promote the city area and Asahikawa in general.
Hats off to the guys from Panny, and thanks for a great day.
Romper Room is a small new Karaoke Bar in the San Roku nightlife district in Asahikawa City. With so many of the established Karaoke Bars closed in recent years, there really aren't that many places to go to belt out some of your favourite tunes without parting with a good amount of cash.
That's where Romper Room comes in. Unbelievably low priced party plans, excellent snacks and a late closing time, this is the perfect place both to kick off your evening or finish it in fine voice. The floor space is small, but efficiently utilized providing comfortable seating at the bar, bench and cushion chairs at the tables, or high chairs at the short counter by the entrance. You're sure to find something suitably comfortable on your visit.
If you have never tried Karaoke before, please consider Romper Room. Food, drink, and song, with the luxury of your own private space, what could be better?
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
In February, thousands of people will descend on Asahikawa City to enjoy the splendor that is the Asahikawa Winter Festival, celebrating its 50th anniversary no less. At roughly the same time, Sapporo City celebrates its own winter festival, though for Sapporo, it will be the 60th anniversary.
At Asahikawa Tourism we always try to point out that Asahikawa is a central location with quick and easy access to all of Hokkaido, and with that in mind, I would suggest getting more out of our trip to Hokkaido by seeing BOTH festivals.
The Sapporo winter festival takes off on the 5th of February, the Asahikawa Festival on the 7th. Why not spend two days in Sapporo (5th & 6th) checking out the Sapporo Festival and then head up to the 'Kawa for the start of the festival here on the 7th.
If the reverse is more suitable for you, then try that. Sapporo and Asahikawa are separated by 70 minutes on the train and trains run all day.
Why not double your Winter Festival Action!
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Where to get an Aussie Meat Pie in Asahikawa
Is there anything better than following a day's skiing or snowboarding with a quality Aussie Meat Pie?, yeah, probably plenty of things, but there's no doubt that a pie does add a certain polish to the end of a great day out. So you'll be happy to know that you'll be able to get of Australia's finest right here in Asahikawa at the Den International Bar. That might not seem like a big deal, but trust me, after a couple of weeks in the snow you'll be craving more than one. For memory, the Den offers Beef, Steak and mushroom and chicken pies.
As a side note, those of you that are going to ride in Colorado this season, my bro. informs me that a couple of Aussie punters have their own pie shop close to the snow there too and make pretty good gear by all reports.
Monday, September 15, 2008
It seems that the more we cruise around Asahikawa, the more we become convinced that its reputation as a gourmet town is richly deserved. This week took us to Panny, an infant in terms of its age, yet a modern, spacious, beautifully presented restaurant with an internationally inspired decore and menu.
Most impressive at Panny, is its ability to provide privacy and atmosphere at the same time. Now that may seem strange, but really there's no better way to put it. Meticulously placed decorations, curtains and shades break the rooms up into subtly perceivable segments, sufficiently enough to allow you to manage your own space, but not so much that you become separated from the atmosphere of the room in general. Only rare restaurants can pull this off successfully, though I've sure many try.
The preferred choice of music is reggae, but the in-house DJ will mix it up from time to time. The food is a genuine hybrid of International influences with no individual style dominant. The owners consider Panny an International Izakaya, and as I devoured my lunch set including sweet & sour chicken, red chili pasta, naan bread with curry /bean and tuna salad dips, Italian style salad, and a mushroom and tempura prawn donburi, I figured they were probably right.
Comfort, atmosphere, great food, great music, you'll get it all at Panny. Do yourself a favor and check it out. You'll find Panny on the Main Shopping Street, Kaimono Koen in Asahikawa City, just after the 4th main intersection heading from the train station on the right.
Panny also has a sister restaurant called Delly in the San Roku party district. More on this one soon...
Summer is Hangin' in there!
Half way through August, we were saying goodbye to Summer and dusting off the snowshoes and shovels in preparation for the inevitable inundation of pow. Well, as it turns out, summer has struck back. The last few weeks have been sunny, warm to hot, and perfect for getting out and about.
The above picture (taken yesterday) is of a rice field in Toma town, famous for the Toma Limestone Caves as well as mushrooms (the rice is probably ok too). As you can see, beautifully clear sunny skies, with little cloud. Today the weather is even nicer, blue skies and a more than comfortable 24 degrees Celsius. The forecast for the rest of the week is for more of the same, so if you are visiting Asahikawa around this time, try to make the most of it. I would seriously recommend the zoo or a round of golf.
Things to do:
Beautiful Walk in the Park
If you're staying in Asahikawa during mid to late Autumn, keep Tokiwa park in mind as a place for a stroll or a jog. A large and open park, located very close to the city centre, it is easily accessible on foot from any of the city hotels. During the Autumn, the park is at its most striking, with the diverse nature offering an incredible palette of colour as a backdrop for whatever activity you wish to undertake there.
Work your way through the park and you'll soon reach the expansive banks of the Ishikari river between the Asahibashi and Shinbashi bridges. From here, you can walk along the river along the bicycle path, or perhaps rent a bicycle from the small shop at the rear of the Library Car Park. You'll find the library at the north end of the park. A bicycle will obviously allow you to cover a lot more ground, and during a nice clear day is a great way to navigate the fringes of the city. Bicycle rental will cost you about ￥500 with the presentation of some form of ID.
In the centre of the park you'll find some small shops selling drinks and snacks, as well as plenty of places to take seat and have a rest. For a further alternative, with a slighly more cultural flavour, at the Southern corner of the park you'll find the Asahikawa Museum of Art. More on the Museum in another post.
Other Places of Interest: