Hidden gems in Hokkaido : Sounkyo Ice Fall Festival

There are so many hidden gems in Hokkaido. You can see beautiful scenery e.g.; lakes, mountains, forest, sea and so on. I would like to share some gems in Hokkaido.


The Place, SOUNKYO Onsen

SOUNKYO is a picturesque gorge located in the center of Hokkaido island, specifically in the town of Kamikawa. It’s renowned for its stunning natural beauty, with towering cliffs, lush forests, and the Ishikari River running through it. Sounkyo is particularly famous for hot springs and it serves as a gateway to the Daisetsuzan National Park, offering access to hiking trails, and other outdoor activities.

Ice Fall Festival

During winter, Sounkyo is completely covered in snow, and taking advantage of this cold season, a large-scale winter festival is held. That is the Sounkyo Ice Fall Festival. Next year, it will celebrate its 50th anniversary, making it a historic festival. Around 30 various ice sculptures such as huge icicles, ice tunnels, and ice domes are lined up along the Ishikari River, illuminated by lights in seven colors at night. The construction period is approximately three months, starting from early November, and you can enjoy it for two months from late January to early March.

Japanese festival

This festival is held only at night. You can also see small fireworks too, so I highly recommend staying at a hotel, enjoying hot spring and meals and joining this festival as a nighttime activity. It’s about a one-hour drive from Asahikawa, where the Conde House is located. However, in winter, the roads are very icy, so it may take longer. Please be careful and enjoy your visit!