As far as cold cities in Japan are concerned, Asahikawa is the leader of the lot. The lowest temperature in this region was -41 degree Celsius, recorded in 1902. Nowadays, it is nowhere near as cold and allows some winter activities as well. So, let us have a look at the 10 best things to do in Asahikawa.
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10 Best Things to do in Asahikawa | Japan
1. Ride the Bus
A bus ride may not seem like a fun activity to start with at first. However, it is a great way to observe the town of Asahikawa. You can get up on the Sightseeing Bus Fun Fun which has three distinct routes covering the city. It is an interesting way to observe the town due to the hop-on-hop-off service.
With this form of service, you get to tour the important places quickly. If you stay on the bus, you can only enjoy the view from a distance. You can also choose to jump off if you come across anything you want to physically visit.
2. Stroll around Romantic Road
The Romantic Road consists of a tree tunnel that will take you to the well renowned Kaguraoka Forest. There are trees lining up the street which has an impact on the road’s name. These trees grew to form a beautiful green tunnel, bursting into blossom during summer and spring.
What makes the road even more famous is that numerous wedding chapels were located here. Over the years, it has added to the romantic appeal of the road itself.
3. Participate in Asahikawa’s Winter Festival
The Winter Festival is a famous event in town, taking place annually in Tokiwa Park. You can see the streets become colorful with the arrival of the festival. There are many excellent ice sculptures on display. Many local and international artists are responsible for creating those carvings.
You will have to visit Asahikawa in February if you want to witness this wonderful festival.
4. Exploring Asahiyama Zoo
The Asahiyama Zoo is the most well-known zoo in the country. While it is not large it still attracts many visitors. The main reason why visitors flock here are the polar bears. These bears live inside an enclosure with a glass base, making it easy for visitors to see them swim.
The zoo has a few more exotic residents that serve as quite the attraction. Those exotic residents are the seals. However, you cannot find them inside the zoo. They are let to roam outside, taking a look at their visitors.
Additionally, it is the visitors who have to wait at an inner enclosure to see the seals in action.
5. Shopping for Souvenirs
On top of a beautiful hill, you can find the Arashiyama Pottery Village. It lets visitors enjoy the view of Asahikawa. However, it is more famous for the graceful workshops. There are a range of items which you can buy as a souvenir.
Some of these items are local pottery, glassware, wooden objects, etc. You can even observe a few of the craftsmen and women doing their job. They will even let you have a hands-on experience of creating some pottery.
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If a town is as cold as Asahikawa, skiing becomes a natural activity there. You can hit the slopes by visiting Kamui Ski Links. It is located to the west of Asahikawa proper. You can enjoy an entire day’s worth of time in this location.
So, if you decide to spend the entire day, you may even travel to Furano. It is an hour-long drive from Asahikawa to get there. It is bound to give you an unforgettable experience.
7. Attend Kontan Matsuri
Kontan Matsuri is a festival in Asahikawa that is held during the month of September. The timing of the festival coincides with the autumn equinox. You have to visit the leafy embankment off the Chubetsu River.
When the festival commences, it becomes a wonderful spectacle in itself. It is known for the ceremonial dances.
8. Tasting the Local Food
A lot of people visit the region without realizing that it is a well-renowned culinary location. You can find ramen noodles here with shoyu. The shoyu is a version of the soy sauce. You will have to visit Ramen Mura in order to get your hands on some fine ramen.
There are eight different and well-renowned ramen noodle shops all over Asahikawa. They elevate the taste of the ramen noodles greatly so that the customers enjoy their meal.
9. Visiting the Kawamura Kaneto Ainu Memorial Hall
The memorial hall has been operating in Asahikawa since the last century. Hokkaido is incredibly popular because of the Ainu Culture. The memorial hall is an ode to the regional Ainu culture. It is full of a wide variety of photos representing the Ainu families.
You can take a walk around, focusing on the photos to learn about Kaneto Kawamura. Kaneto is a very important person since he founded the museum itself. He even worked on the railway lines, linking Asahikawa with other regions of Japan.
This visit to the memorial hall is a great opportunity for anyone to learn about Hokkaido’s history.
While Asakihawa is primarily a region dominated by the cold, the summer months are quite enjoyable. You can rent a bicycle during this time and head out to see the city and its countryside. When it is summer in Asahikawa, the temperature rises to 30 degrees Celsius. The best route to use the cycle on is from Asahikawa to its neighbor, Kamuikotan.
There is an ancient railway line linking both the cities. The available route is going to take you right through those tunnels, skirting along leafy embankments. Those embankments belong to the Ishikarigawa River.
You can take another route which will lead to Higashikagura. This new route will take you across the Chuubetsu River, rice fields and ending near to Taisetsu-san Mountain.
To conclude, the 10 best things to do in Asahikawa will impart knowledge about the region. It is best to visit the region with friends only with the activities lined up.
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