Getting To Kurodake

Getting To Kurodake

Where is Kurodake?

Kurodake is located in Central Hokkaido in the northern part of the Daisetsuzan National Park. The Asahidake ski area, which shares many similarities with Kurodake, is just a little to the southwest as the crow flies, although it’s about 100km by road to get there.

The Kurodake Ropeway is at the south end of the tourist town of Sounkyo, which is 66km east of the city of Asahikawa, 22km southeast of Kamikawa train station, 114km northeast of Furano, and 204km northeast of Sapporo.

Driving to Kurodake

Driving yourself is the easiest way to get to Kurodake, and considering the fickle weather, it allows flexibility to visit other areas if the ropeway is closed.

The Kurodake Ropeway telephone number for GPS navigation is (01658) 5-3031. The routes in from Asahikawa and Furano are reasonably easy with roads that are not particularly windy or steep. There’s no petrol in the Sounkyo area so fill up beforehand.

Having a guide to drive you to and from Kurodake is even better! Guiding is available on day ski tours from Furano when conditions permit, or as part of multi-day tours with flexible itineraries.

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Bus from Asahikawa to Sounkyo

An inexpensive bus service is available from Asahikawa to Sounkyo/Kurodake with about 7 buses per day. Check the Dohoku Bus website for timetables. The first bus arrives at Kurodake too late in the morning to make it viable for day trips from Asahikawa. The Asahikawa to Sounkyo bus takes about 110 minutes.

Some of the Sounkyo hotels offer guests a free shuttle service from Asahikawa upon pre-arrangement.

Train then Bus from Asahikawa to Sounkyo

Alternatively you can catch a train from Asahikawa to Kamikawa (see Hyperdia for timetables and fares), which takes 45-75 minutes. From there, Dohoku offers a cheap bus about 11 times a day to Sounkyo.

Getting Around Sounkyo

None of the Sounkyo accommodation is ski-in ski-out and most of the lodging is about 350-750 metres walk to the ropeway building. The public onsen and the Italian restaurant are centrally located, as are the convenience stores, so it’s easy enough to walk around Sounkyo. Otherwise if you want to save your energy for the skiing and snowboarding, there are buses that do loops around Sounkyo.

Other Ski Areas Nearby

Pippu is 51km northwest of Kurodake. Pippu is a small mellow ski area that can be fun for storm riding in the trees.

Nukabira is 63km southeast. It’s completely deserted and great for freshies, although if the top lift is closed and there’s no cat skiing, the fun is minimal.

The former ski resort of Kitataisetsu is about 30 minutes away. Tengu Snowcats offer some cat skiing on mellow (…not meow) slopes at this old ski resort.