The buses generally meet the trains, you may have to wait 20 mions...but mostly when the train gets into Kamikawa there is a bush waiting. It's a small station with only a few trains stopping.
RIde to Sounkyou is about 25 mins.
why not stay at Sounkyou? or Asahidake Asahikawa isn't so interesting.
Unfortunately, I can't read Japanese so I can only guess at what it says! There seems to be 2 buses, but the frequencies differ.
I'm relying on the bus to go up to Sounkyo in early October. But it seems a very tight schedule if I want to train to Kamikawa and take, say, the noon bus up to Sounkyo. The train arrives at noon so I've only got a few seconds to catch the bus! I wonder why the timetable is designed like this... not very pratical for people hauling luggage and maybe kids!
Did you have any luck? Can someone else who've been to Sounkyo on the bus help out please? Thanks!
I also am going to Sounkyo in October!
This schedule posted by the Sounkyo youth hostel is in English and shows the bus leaving at 12:05:
(Perhaps it is the same as the schedule you are looking at.)
NOTE: The schedule for going to Sounkyo is correct, but the return schedule has the labels for Asahikawa and Sounkyo exchanged, so if you use that schedule, remember that the names of the towns should be the opposite.
Generally in Japan, if you must take a train and then a bus to get somewhere, the bus is scheduled to coordinate with the train. Just make sure you get off the train quickly and follow other people that look like they are also going to Sounkyo and you will get on the bus OK. (I am guessing you can pay on the bus and don't need to get a ticket beforehand.)
Yes....Kamikawa is really really small. You get off the train, take about 20 steps and climb on the bus...the driver is standing there smoking a cigarette waiting for you...he can see you on the platform so he will wait.
Nobody goes to Kamikawa to stay, so if the driver sees a group of people with suitcases he will wait...or being Japan probably come over and help you.
It's the same bus that has come out from Asahikawa, but actually it is better to get it at Kamikawa because the bus from the city goes all through the suburbs for ages before getting out of the city.
Thanks for soothing my nerves, Ginnyfsh and Amanda!
I was thinking of changing my itin to stay in Asahikawa for one night just to be safe and so as to avoid a mad rush in the morning, but I'm now ok with taking the 12:05 bus, esp after Amanda's assurance!
I just wonder whether the bus will be so crowded coming from Asahikawa that we may not be able to get onto it? Generally, I don't much like bus travel so I prefer getting on at Kamikawa, but if there's a chance I might have to stand all the way, or if there might be no place for our luggage, then I'll board on Asahikawa.
Also, what's the prognosis for seeing red leaves up at Sounkyo in early October, based on the weather so far? The foliage website I check seems to say (I'm guessing, cos it's in Japanese) that mid Oct is better than early Oct... oh well...
the bus shouldn't be that crowded unless its a sat or sun am...but even then not so bad...
Leaves in October...yes, ok...if they aren't changing in the village, by the time you take the cable car up the gorge, and then the chairlift...and even then hike the further 1.20 to the top- SOMEWHERE along the way they will be changing!
Thanks, Amanda! Good thing we plan to hike up to the top (or as far as we can go!) anyway! Just hope we don't meet any bears along the way... coming from a city, that would be a scary thing indeed! :)
It'S a great hike to the top - quite a hard hike with big stones to climb over and ropes in some places to help pull yourself up. BUt awesome views on a good day.
At the top you can go on down into the mountain plateau for about half and hour...to the lodge house where many people eat their lunch packs.
FRom the top of the cablecar you get the chairlift and then the hike is about 1.20-30 mins to the top. BUt take warm clothes and waterproof stuff...it can very cold up there.
It is a popular hike and there will be many people. You sign your name in the book at the bottom so the guides can come and rescue you if you never reappear!
I did it in September last year - here is the link to my pictures
Thanks for the photo sharing...I am very looking forward to my 1st Japan trip on late sept /oct.
Because i read somewhere from internet abt Asahidake Onsen and Sounkyo Onsen as both are quite similar so i wonder shd i go both or just one ?
I hope i can see Autumn color and the day i travelling to Asahidake Onsen or Sounkyo Onsen are fall on saturday morning. so which one shd i choose ? headache.:(
is it worth to stay a night at Asahidake Onsen or Sounkyo Onsen ?
I wonder if there any big locker at Asahikawa /Kamikawa train station? or how abt visitor information counter at Asahidake Onsen and Sounkyo Onsen ? because it very troublesome if carry the big and heavy backpack to hiking ??!! else i have to book a room for myself if there are no locker for backpack.
Thanks for sharing your photos! Nice to "know" you through the pictures, and the area looks really nice.
Looking forward to it - planning almost complete now except for Niseko pension - for some reason they are not responding to my emails to change my date of stay! Arrrgh.
Don't know whether you celebrate this in Japan, but happy Mid-Autumn Festival!