For close to a good half a year, Hokkaido is a pretty cold and snow filled place as many could imagine. However, the other half of the year lends itself to amazing natural scenery, true spectacles to behold. One of the greatest examples of this is Takino Suzuran Hillside National Park, a park with waterfalls, pleasant nature walks and colorful rolling fields on various flowers.
One of the parts of Takino that grabbed my attention the most was the waterfalls, and Ashiribetsu waterfall, while not the biggest waterfall in the world was quite a sight to behold. The way to the waterfall was a treat in itself, as the walkway was directly beside rivers and babbling brooks, the sounds of which meshed together with the sounds of summer insects and birds to create a beautiful natural song.
After crossing through a few traditional looking bridges, we came to Ashiribetsu waterfall. The sounds of water roaring as it fell accompanied the sights of the brooks flowing from the pool at the bottom of the waterfall.
The central part of Takino Suzuran Hillside Park is a bit more modern looking, with shops and garden-like, colorful flowery décor of all sorts welcoming you as you enter. As per usual in Hokkaido, soft-serve is readily available all throughout the year and is especially appreciated on the hotter days as you admire the scenery. There are a couple of restaurants featuring ramen and other Japanese foods as well.
The gradually descending hill with various flowers of all colors is a particularly beautiful sight in the summer as orange, purple, blue, red and other colored flowers are in bloom. The smaller waterfalls at the central part of the park are all man-made, but they are still amazing to look at as you walk from large square “stepping stones”. There is even an area that you can walk behind one of these waterfalls and view the beautiful scenery through a lens of moving water.
All in all, from the endless greenery as far as the eye can see to the lovingly crafted man-made areas meant to supplement the already fantastic natural beauty of the area, Takino Suzuran National Park makes for a lovely day well spent in the sun, admiring all that nature has to offer while enjoying the comforts of all that shops and the like can provide as well.
For general admission information, click here.
Bus: Approximate travel time is 61 minutes.
At Sapporo Station, go to Chuo Bus Boarding Area #4, and wait for the Takino Line Bus (106). On weekdays the bus leaves at 9:15 AM and 12:15 PM, and on weekends and holidays leaves at 9:15 AM and 11:45 AM. For return rides to Sapporo, weekdays leave at 2:28 PM and 3:28 PM and 2:30 PM and 3:30 PM on weekdays and holidays. Price for adults is 630 yen, 320 yen for children.