Use the

Planning a Trip to Japan?

Share your travel photos with us by hashtagging your images with #visitjapanjp

Asahikawa Municipal Asahiyama Zoo Asahikawa Municipal Asahiyama Zoo

HOKKAIDO Asahikawa & Hokkaido North A thriving city of artisans, with a major zoo and world-class powder snow

A thriving city of artisans, with a major zoo and world-class powder snow

Hokkaido's second-largest city, Asahikawa, lies to the northwest of the Daisetsuzan mountain range and is a major gateway for exploring Sounkyo Gorge and the Furano area. The city itself has well over 100 rivers flowing through it, a flourishing culture of arts and crafts, and a major zoo.

The Asahikawa area also presents great runs for skiing and snowboarding when winter comes along, plus a snow festival that rivals Sapporo's.

Don't Miss

  • Asahiyama Zoo and its natural animal environments
  • Sake-making exhibits and tastings
  • The spectacular Asahikawa Winter Festival

How to Get There

You can get to Asahikawa Airport via plane and JR Asahikawa Station by train, and then to central Asahikawa by bus.

The journey by train from JR Tokyo Station to JR Asahikawa Station takes 10 hours, including an 80-minute JR Hokkaido train ride from Sapporo Station . The Japan Rail Pass covers all JR train legs. Multiple flights go from Haneda Airport in Tokyo to Asahikawa Airport.

Quick Facts

Asahikawa is a thriving arts and crafts center

In 1902, Asahikawa recorded a temperature of -41C (-41.8F)

Heiwa Street was the first pedestrian-only outdoor shopping space in Japan

A heritage of arts and crafts

Asahikawa is a hotbed of renowned artists, craft workers and sculptors producing high-quality handcrafted goods. You'll see a lot of sculptures along Heiwa Street, or Peace Street, the main road from Asahikawa Station. You can pick up unique mementos at the many small galleries and stores around the city.

Become a sake connoisseur

If you haven't tried sake, Asahikawa is a great place to sample Japan's rice-based brew. The city is home to three breweries with established brands popular domestically and internationally. All offer sake-tasting, much of it free except for some of the highest-end varieties.

Takasago is the most atmospheric brewery, and centrally located in a traditional white-walled building minutes on foot from Asahikawa Station. To learn about the brewing process, head to the Otokoyama Brewery where there is a museum with exhibits and information in English. Taisetsu no Kura, the youngest of the three breweries, has an on-site Japanese restaurant, beautiful garden and a well-stocked shop with everything from sake and shochu to plum wine, beer, and handcrafted glasswork.

See animals in their natural habitats

Japan's northernmost zoo, Asahiyama Zoo is one of the highlights of this city. The enclosures are designed to give you unusual views of the animals so that you're essentially on exhibit to them as well. You can watch polar bears diving for food, see spotted seals swimming above as you walk through a large transparent tunnel, and explore many other similar exhibits.

The zoo features many animals indigenous to the region, such as cranes, eagles and Hokkaido deer. Feeding times vary, and the keepers announce the times for the different animals on the day. Don't forget to check the schedule on entering the zoo. Times are generally staggered, so if you plan accordingly, you can catch many of your favorite animals at their most active.

Sample the region's savory take on ramen

Asahikawa is a famous ramen noodle region and is known for its soy sauce-based ramen. You can, of course, get all types of ramen here, but try a big bowl of the "double soup," a blend of seafood soup introduced to Asahikawa about 50 years ago.

A massive winter festival not yet on everyone's radar

The Asahikawa Winter Festival doesn't have the same high profile as the Sapporo spectacle, but the sculptures are just as impressive and the crowds smaller. Early February is when the fun takes place, and along with Instagramming the massive carvings you can indulge in snow slides, snowmobile and horse-drawn sleigh rides, and barhopping igloo style.

* The information on this page may be subject to change due to COVID-19.

Recommended for You

Goryokaku Tower
Hakodate & Hokkaido South
Kushiro Marsh
Kushiro & Hokkaido East

Did this information help you?

Near Asahikawa & Hokkaido North

Asahikawa Municipal Asahiyama Zoo Attraction
Hokkaido Asahikawa & Hokkaido North
Hokkaido Matatabi Yakiniku (BBQ)
Hokkaido Honnete French Cuisine
Hige Hokkaidoh Izakaya
Hokkaido Hige Hokkaidoh Izakaya Izakaya (Japanese Style Pub)
Randebu Daina
Hokkaido Randebu Daina Japanese Style Western Food
Hokkaido Kikuzen Steak
Hokkaido Tokujuen Yakiniku (BBQ)
Osuteria Kimihiro
Hokkaido Osuteria Kimihiro Italian Cuisine
Hokkaido Oribe Izakaya (Japanese Style Pub)
Hokkaido Kadowaki Eel / Unagi (Freshwater Eel)
Hokkaido Oofune Izakaya (Japanese Style Pub)
Hokkaido Kushiagetarou Izakaya (Japanese Style Pub)
Hokkaido Bahsahkurubehsu Bar
Yuuichirousyouten Asahikawahonten
Hokkaido Yuuichirousyouten Asahikawahonten Sashimi (Raw Sliced Fish)
Dembapuremiamu Iommoruasahikawaekimaeten
Hokkaido Dembapuremiamu Iommoruasahikawaekimaeten Steak
Kikuyoshi Iommoruasahikawaekimaeten
Hokkaido Kikuyoshi Iommoruasahikawaekimaeten Rice Bowls (Gyudon / Tendon / Oyakodon / Katsudon / etc.)
Hokkaido Koshiro Local / Regional Cuisine
Menya Kururu Chuwaten
Hokkaido Menya Kururu Chuwaten Ramen
Supukare Mori-no Bata
Hokkaido Supukare Mori-No Bata Soup Curry
Sumibiyakiniku Kinton
Hokkaido Sumibiyakiniku Kinton Yakiniku (BBQ)
Asahikawa Municipal Asahiyama Zoo Attraction
Hokkaido Asahiyama Zoo Hokkaido
Ueno Farm Attraction
Hokkaido Ueno Farm Hokkaido
Biei Nature
Hokkaido Biei Hokkaido
Shikisai-no-oka Nature
Hokkaido Shikisai No Oka Hokkaido
Miyama Pass Nature
Hokkaido Miyama Pass Hokkaido
Blue pond Nature
Hokkaido Blue Pond Hokkaido
Furano Flower Fields Attraction
Hokkaido Furano Flower Fields Hokkaido
Tokachidake Bogakudai Observation Tower Nature
Hokkaido Tokachidake Bogakudai Observation Tower Hokkaido
Hokkaido Tokachidake Onsen Hokkaido
Daisetsuzan Nature
Hokkaido Daisetsuzan National Park Hokkaido
sounkyo Nature
Hokkaido Sounkyo Hokkaido
Furano Nature
Hokkaido Furano Hokkaido
Furano Ski Resort Action & Adventure
Hokkaido Furano Ski Resort Hokkaido
H_00638_001 Attraction
Hokkaido Unkai Terrace Hokkaido
Kitami Nature
Hokkaido Kitami Hokkaido
Mount Rishiri Nature
Hokkaido Mt. Rishiri Hokkaido
mount rishiri Nature
Hokkaido Rishiri & Rebun Hokkaido
Wakkanai Area Nature
Hokkaido Wakkanai Hokkaido
Cape Soya Nature
Hokkaido Cape Soya Hokkaido

Please Choose Your Language

Browse the JNTO site in one of multiple languages