This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Asahikawa.
Asahikawa is a city in the Kamikawa district on the island of Hokkaido. It is the second-largest city on the island and the capital of the Kamikawa district. Asahikawa is of of northern Hokkaido’s industry centres. It in at the confluence of four large rivers, including the Ishikari and Chubetsu Rivers, and over 700 bridges. Asahikawa is also surrounded by mountains and has Japan’s coldest climate.
There are several popular ski resorts in the mountains above the town, but Asahikawa sees few foreign visitors. The Winter Festival, held each February, attracts ice sculptors from around the world and has the largest snow sculpture in Japan. The climate here is much like Colorado, or Central Europe: there is snow and lots of skiing in the winter, while in the summer the mountains have cycling and hiking trails.
Asahikawa is at the end of the JR Hakodate Main Line from Sapporo, and the city bus network is extensive. It’s easy to get around the city without a car, unless you want to visit the Otokoyama sake brewery and museum. To get around the region, you may prefer to have a car.
Because there are so few international visitors, hostels are few and far between. You may want to consider a guesthouse or rokyan (traditional Japanese inn). Don’t expect hostels in Hokkaido to be traditional backpacker-style hostels; rather they tend to be family-owned, small, and often quiet.
While you might be backpacking, you very likely haven’t have ramen like they have here in Asahikawa. As one of Japan’s gourmet towns, Asahikawa has some of the best ramen noodles in Japan. You also can tour the Taisetsu-ji Brewery if you can’t get out of town to the sake museum and brewery. Finally, Asahikawa is also home to several arts, crafts, and furniture museums, as well as a pottery village where craftsmen display their glass, wood, and ceramic creations.
Written by local enthusiast for Asahikawa hostelsJakob Lombardi