First time in 9 years Mt. Asahidake’s first light covering of snow has occurred as late as October

On October 3, a light covering of snow formed on the summit of Hokkaido’s highest peak – Mt. Asahidake in the Taisetsu Mountain Range in the Kamikawa region of central Hokkaido – creating a landscape that signals the arrival of winter. However, it was not officially recorded as the first snowfall of the season, as the snow could not be confirmed visually from the Asahikawa Local Meteorological Office in the city of Asahikawa.

According to Song Dongheon, an employee at the Asahidake Visitor Center near the Asahidake Ropeway Base Station, on the morning of the 3rd, visibility near the summit was poor due to fog but a climber reported “a covering of snow near the summit” after returning down the mountain at approximately 2 p.m. When the fog cleared at just after 4 p.m., Song went to the Ropeway’s Sugatami Station at a height of 1,600 m and was able to visually confirm a light covering of snow at the summit.

The autumn foliage is said to be reaching its peak near the Visitor Center: “I got a real feeling that winter is approaching,” said Song.

The Hokkaido Shimbun Press helicopter was unable to approach the Mt. Asahidake summit due to low clouds, but images of snow cover were captured several kilometers away near Ohachidaira during a short period of clear skies.

Light coverings of snow near Ohachidaira in the Taisetsu Mountain Range


Mt. Asahidake