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Difficulty: 4/5

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Hiking Distance: 16km 

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Time: 9 hrs

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Elevation Gain: 1550m

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Prefecture: Hokkaido

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Mt. Biei and Tokachi

十勝岳

Elevation: 2077m

Prefecture

Hokkaido

Distance

16 km

Elevation Gain

1550m

Time

8-9 Hours

Difficulty

4/5

Accomodation

Hotels or Campsites

Overview

Mt. Tokachi is a large and active volcano in Daisetsuzan National Park, it's part of the Hyakumeizan and is often hiked as a loop trail that includes Mt. Biei. Mt. Biei is a neighbouring peak and a highly recommended inclusion for the Mt. Tokachi hike because this is where the most enjoyable terrain and the most stunning views are found. However, if you are short on time, you can do either mountain as an out-and-back day hike which will take about 6 hours.

The terrain for Mt. Biei includes a lot of variety such as mellow forest sections, a river crossing, a ravine with ropes & ladders plus small icebergs, and a steep trail with rocks and tree roots. Mt. Tokachi is an impressive alien landscape of volcanic terrain, although the trail itself can be quite monotonous. The ridgeline between the two mountains is an enjoyable transition with gorgeous views.

Another popular attraction is the free and natural open-air onsen, located close to the trailhead here.

It's worth noting that wind on these mountains can be very strong even on sunny days, and there are some sections where the volcanic gas can mildly affect your breathing. Mt. Tokachi is an active volcano, it may be closed if there is an increase in volcanic activity. It had major eruptions in 1926 and 1962, with a recent but somewhat mild eruption in 2004.

Access

Car: If using a car then you'll be parking at the free Bogakudai parking lot. During the summer peak season on weekends and holidays it's often full by 7:30am, with overflow parking going up the side of the road.

Train + Bus: You'll need to reach Fukiage Onsen, or Tokachidake Onsen. The bus for both of these stops departs from Kamifurano Station. I could not find info for these busses on Google Maps, so you will need to confirm with the town's website for the most up-to-date information, or check out Lostfilipina.com for a good overview regarding the bus times. And lastly, the tourist info centre at Kamifurano will happily help you in English.

 

The Fukiage Onsen trailhead has a campground, which would be the best option if you don't have a car and want a full day hiking both peaks.

Maps

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The hikes

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Trail Description

Bogakudai Trailhead: Mt. Biei to Tokachidake Loop Hike

GPS Hiking Map: outdooractive.com

Time: 9 hrs

Distance: 16 km

Elevation change: ➚ 1550m gain  ➘ 1550m loss

Requiring a car or taxi, ​this is the famous loop hike featuring dramatic views and s variety of terrain. Starting from Mt. Biei is recommended as Tokachi provides an easier descent. The trail is well maintained and easy to follow, but be mindful of the weather forecast and bring adequate supplies as it's quite a big day.

Tokachidake Onsen Trailhead: The Out-&-Back Trail

GPS Hiking Map: outdooractive.com

Time: 7 hrs

Distance: 12.7 km

Elevation change: 1060m gain  ➘ 1060m loss

The best trail for the out-&-back hike is from Tokachidake Onsen. If you want to do the full loop then it would be best to start from the Fukiage Onsen trailhead listed below and spend the night at the Hakuginso campground.

Fukiage Onsen Trailhead: Mt. Biei to Tokachidake Loop Hike

GPS Hiking Map: outdooractive.com

Time: 10 hrs

Distance: 17.5 km

Elevation change: 1450m gain  ➘ 1450m loss

If you want to do the full loop of Mt. Biei and Tokachidake then it would be best to start from the Fukiage Onsen trailhead and spend a night at the nice Hakuginso campground. This will be a big day of hiking but well worth it, make sure you bring enough supplies for both hiking and camping as the facilities don't have much for you to buy. You could also spend a night at the campground and simply do the out-&-back hike.

Elevation Profile

Mt. Biei to Tokachidake Loop Hike

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Tokachidake Onsen Out-&-Back Trail

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Weather  and  Seasons

The summer months, from July to September, are considered the best times for this hike, outside of these months you will need to be prepared for snow. The first snowfall of the season typically lands around October, There will be Avalanche risk during the snow season, from October to June.

Useful links

Cautions

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Altitude & Weather

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Bears (rare)

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Volcanic Gas

Gallery

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