Hiking Hakenzan, Jozankei, Hokkaido



On a sunny afternoon during the warmer months a great spot to check out near Sapporo is Hakkensan. This mountain stands at just under 500 meters and is an easy hike and provides spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and valley below. At the base of Hakkensan is a homely kind of commercial ranch that has a restaurant, pond fishing, horseback riding and fruit and vegetable picking. Over the year the ranch also plays host to several concerts including the out door dance party Big Fun.

If you do choose to hike Hakkensan it will take approximately one and a half hours return if you walk the loop track that begins at the ranch. The trail up is fairly steep and when you reach what seems like the top you will encounter the cliffs you can see from the bottom, these are nothing short of impressive. These cliffs are double sided and from here you can choose your route to the summit either along the goat track that will perilously perch you atop of the cliffs or along a much safer track that runs behind the cliffs. The photo at the far bottom illustrates just how perilous the ridge option is! When you reach the summit and take in the view you then can take the track that falls to the north side of the ridge this will take you on a loop that finishes on a road a few hundred meters south of the Ranch. Fishing is one of the activities on offer here but don't expect to be breaking any records! If fishing isn't your thing there is a restaurant that serves a variety of fresh farm foods, their speciality being Hokkaido's own Ghengis Khan a lamb barbeque accompanied by delicious fresh vegetables a perfect reward for your hard work hiking or horse trekking.

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Joel Westcot