This morning we took the train from Asahikawa to Kamikawa where we changed over to bus for the rest of the journey to Sounkyo.
Sounkyo is a tiny little alpine style village at the foot of the Daisetsuzan National Park. From what I can gather most people come here for either snow, hiking, hot springs or autumn leaves. The timing of our holiday couldn’t have been more perfect as we are just starting to see the leaves start to turn gold and red (and we love a good soak in a hot spring…although we haven’t yet braved a Japanese onsen yet…)!
For the next three nights we’re staying at the Hotel Kanko, a hotel that the style gods seem to have forgotten about since the 1970s. Flowery carpets, stripey wallpaper and old school lifts that try to cut you in half if you fail to exit within 2 seconds of stopping!
Unfortunately, as we’re out in the boonies, and this IS an alpine village, the prices are insanely expensive. So we were really hoping that the hotel wouldn’t let us down. On the style front it failed miserably, but on the food front (the most important one as I’m sure you’ve gathered by now!), it absolutely kicks arse! The dinners here are an all-you-can-eat buffet style with a massive range of food to choose from.
Bowls piled high with salmon, tuna, scallop and squid sashimi, grilled wagyu steaks, platters full of crab claws, dumplings, ramen…the list goes on!!
Let’s just say we made the most of it!
To put our bodies into calorie credit before dinner though, we thought we would walk up the river to a couple of waterfalls; the Ryusei-no-taki (Shooting Star falls) and the Ginga-no-taki (Milky Way falls). Of course the second of these got the most laughs from us, well…from me anyway, for obvious reasons!
While dodging the numerous tourists spewing forth from the endless stream of tour buses, I managed to get a few good shots. These really need some exposure blending when I get home to make the most of them, but you get the idea!
On the way back we stopped by a public foot spa that was located in the middle of town where we rested our weary hobbit-ish feet in the warm sulfuric waters.
And here’s the room. Proper Japanese style with tatami mats and frescoed walls…just a little dated now though.