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Asahikawa Zoo Penguin

Asahikawa Zoo Penguin

Located almost in the center of Hokkaido, in the shadow of Mt. Daisetsu-zan, Asahikawa is well known for its art and furniture design. There are several places to visit, including the fantastic zoo. Asahikawa is the second largest city in Hokkaido with an estimated population of 361,488 and a total area of 747.60 km2. The city was founded on August 1, 1922 and is also the home of the second division of the northern army of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force. There are three (3) rivers flowing through Asahikawa, the Ishikari River, the Biei River and the Ushubetsu River.





Asahikawa is located north-east of Sapporo and is flanked by Daisetsu Mountain. The main train station (Asahikawa Station) is located right in the center of the city and provides easy access to the central shopping area which runs almost directly north away from the station. There are many shops, department stores, hire car shops in this area. There is also an information office located in the left wing of the station, with various English pamphlets and booklets. The center of the city is bordered by the Ishikari and Ushubetsu Rivers on the northern side and by the Chubetsu River on the southern side. Many people travel to Asahikawa to see the now quite famous and ever expanding
Asahikawa Flower.

Asahikawa Flower.

Asahiyama Zoo (Asahiyama Doubutsu-en). The zoo is located in the north-east of the city and takes about 10 min. by car or bus. Asahikawa can range from a hot +30°C in summer to a bitterly cold -30°C in winter. Please be mindful of the time of year you are visiting and bring appropriate clothing. Access to Asahikawa is via plane to Asahikawa Airport which is 1 hour 35 minutes from Tokyo Haneda Airport or two (2) hours from Kansai International Airport. Asahikawa Station is approximately one and a half (1.5) hours from Sapporo Station by Limited Express on the JR Hakodate Honsen Line.
Asahikawa is Hokkaido's second largest city and offers a variety of interesting places to visit as well as being a stepping stone to various other beautiful areas a short drive away.


Asahikawa Places To Visit

  • Inari Konpira Shrine
    Inari Konpira Shrine is located near the top of Asahiyama park and is a beautiful spot to walk around and take in the scenery, especially during the spring as it is surrounded by hundreds of stunning cherry blossom trees. With the cherry blossom …

Asahikawa City Asahiyama Zoo

Asahiyama Zoo is the most northern in Japan and houses a huge number of animals across a wide range of species. Some of the most popular exhibits are the polar bear house where it is possible to see the animals very close up through glass walls (This exhibit is particularly good at feeding time, but be sure to arrive early!). The penguin pool contains a 360° see through walk-way running through the middle of the pool. The seal house has a similar see through area. The large cat house allows visitors to see the animals close up through glass walls. Monkey mountain and the orangutan tower are also popular. There is a farm animal petting area for kids and also a small roller coaster. The zoo is open all year however many animals may be hibernating or closed indoors during the winter season. Top

AdmissionGeneral ¥580 Summer period
General ¥290 Winter period
Opening Hours9:30 am to 5:15 pm daily April 28th to October 20th
11 am to 2 pm November 3rd to March 30th
ClosedWinter period : Closed Wednesdays and Thursdays and December 30 to January 5th
Getting There-

Asahikawa Sculpture Museum

Housed inside a beautiful old western-style officers club, known as Kaikosha, which was built at the end of the Meiji era, this museum was built to honor a sculpture closely associated with Asahikawa, Teijiro Nakahara. The museum has various displays from modern sculptors from both Japan and abroad. Top

Opening Hours9 am to 5 pm
ClosedMondays, New Year holidays
Getting There1-chome, 1-jo, 4-ku

Banei Horse Racing ( Asahikawa Horse Race Track)

The Asahikawa Horse Race Track is home to a unique Japan only race, banei horse racing. Banei or draft horses are huge when compared to their thoroughbred companions (almost twice the size and weight). This race involves the horses pulling heavy sleighs ranging in weight from 500 to 1000 kgs. The course also includes two large mounds the horses must negotiate. The race was developed from old competitions between first settlers some 200 years ago. Top

Opening Hours-
Getting There500 Kamiubun, Kamui-cho, Asahikawa


Biei is a small town located south-west of Asahikawa. The town is mainly famous for it’s beautiful scenery. Surrounded by slowly rolling hills, the landscape lends itself well to farming and has been divided up and put to this use. Some areas are used to produce various types of flowers in the summer months and thus a large colorful carpet can be seen in the mid summer. While the winter sees few crops the area is still particularly beautiful and well worth viewing for some postcard winter Hokkaido shots. Top

Opening Hours-
Getting There-

Clark Horse Garden

For those who like a little adventure or would like to see the surrounding area of Asahikawa from a different perspective Clark Horse Garden is the ideal place to start. Located just a few minutes from the Asahiyama Zoo, horse rides of different types and lengths are offered. Beginners are welcomed as are more experienced riders. The horse trekking course takes visitors into the Sakuraoka Hill area where some beautiful scenery can be enjoyed. Horse trekking is offered all year round with summer and winter rides. There is also a coffee shop which serves various meals and drinks. Top

Opening Hours-
Getting There160-4 Sakuraoka, Higashi Asahikawa-cho, Asahikawa


Located approximately 30 min. drive south / south-west from Asahikawa, Furano is well known for two main reasons, in winter, skiing and in summer, flowers. To find-out information about the Furano ski areas please visit our Winter Sports & Resorts page. While the winter offers large amounts of fresh snow and good ski areas the summer offers a colorful patchwork of beautiful flowers and scenery. There are several farm areas where beautiful flowers and plants can be viewed however the most famous of these flower farms is perhaps Tomita Farm. The farm consists of various fields planted with a variety of flowers in eye pleasing rows. The farm area is completely free of charge to look at. The farm earns it’s money by selling a variety of products directly to the consumer. Lavender is the main flower grown and many lavender products can be purchased including soap, perfumes and even lavender soda. There are several restaurant areas and lookouts. The flowers are at their peak from the end of July to the beginning of August. This area becomes particularly crowded on the weekend so if driving be aware it may take longer than usual and it is recommended to park your car before the farm area and walk as the car parking area often has up to 1 hour waits. Top

Opening HoursBest times for flowers are mid / late July to early / mid August.
Hanabito house, Dried flower house, Potpourri house, Perfume workshop are open until 4 / 5 pm.
ClosedSome sections closed November to April.
Getting There

Heiwa Dori Shopping Street

Running directly away in a north-east direction from Asahikawa Station for about 15 blocks, Heiwa Dori Shopping Street is a wide pedestrian shopping fair, which is home to most of Asahikawa’s large department stores and brand name shops. The street is almost always teeming with people even during the harsh winter but is particularly busy in the summer when markets, fresh fruit and vegetable stalls and various other novelty shops will come outside to enjoy the summer. The street is also lined with various sculptures of interest that have been produced by some of Asahikawa’s well known artists. This shopping street is also located next to the famous Asahikawa entertainment area called Sanroku. Top

Opening HoursMost stores are open 10 am to 9 pm with some opening earlier and closing earlier. Times may vary in the winter season
Getting There-

Hokkaido Asahikawa Museum of Art

Located in the south west corner of Tokiwa Park, the museum has a permanent exhibition of woodwork created in the Asahikawa area. Other regularly changing exhibitions are also on display at various times of the year. Exhibitions included Japanese and foreign art works and various exhibitions of famous writers from the central Hokkaido region. Top

AdmissionGeneral admission is ¥100 however prices may vary for special exhibitions
Opening Hours10 am to 5 pm daily
ClosedMondays, new year holidays and periodically for rearrangement of exhibitions
Getting ThereIn Asahikawa City Tokiwa Park (7 Jo Dori)

International Dyeing & Weaving Art Museum

Displaying works from more than 80 countries around the world this museum was the first of it’s kind in Japan. The majority of exhibits are from the 18th and 19th centuries and include a variety of famous tapestries and textiles. Examples of such works include the “Gobelin Tapestry” which was commissioned by Louis XV as a gift to the French Royal family and red dyed textiles from the Tang Dynasty in China. Top

AdmissionGeneral fee ¥550
Opening Hours9 am to 5:30 pm daily April to November
ClosedDecember to March
Getting There3-chome, Minamigaoka, Asahikawa

Sanroku Entertainment Area

Much like Sapporo’s Susukino entertainment area, this area is conveniently located next to the main down town area, less than 5 min. walk in a north-west direction from JR Asahikawa Station. Covering about 12 blocks and containing more than 1,300 bars, restaurants, clubs and cocktail bars Sanroku is definitely the center for nightlife in Asahikawa. Restaurants and entertainment facilities cater to any kind of budget ranging from the cheap to the extremely expensive. Specialties in this area are the sushi and crab shops however many other kinds of food can be found. There is a summer festival held in this area each year which brings out the Asahikawa residents for fun times and street parties. Top

Opening Hours-
Getting There6-chome, 3-jyo (And nearby area), Asahikawa

Snow Crystal Museum

Featuring a covered passageway with natural ice moldings and a painted dome entitled “Northern Sky” (Kita no Sora) the museum houses a music hall where various concerts and weddings are held and an ice cloister. The beauty and mystery of snow and ice are the themes for all the types of displays and projections throughout the museum. Top

AdmissionAdults ¥650
Opening Hours9 am to 5:30 pm (5pm February to March)
ClosedDecember and January, Mondays February and March
Getting There3-chome, Minamigaoka, Asahikawa

Taisetsu Crystal Hall

Taisetsu Crystal Hall was built in 1993 and contains three facilities, a concert hall, a historical museum and an international convention hall. The theme of the permanent exhibition at the museum is “The Relationship Between Humans and Nature” . The museum houses various materials used by humans since the prehistoric ages. It also contains interesting material on the local area of Asahikawa and the Ainu people. Top

Opening Hours8 am to 5 pm Daily
Closed2nd and 4th Monday and December 30th to January 4th
Getting There7-chome, Kagura 3-jyo, Asahikawa

Tokiwa Park (Tokiwa Koen)

This park is located in the midst of the down town area and provides a lovely place to relax after a hard day sightseeing or shopping. The park contains poplar trees, elms and Sakhalin firs. There is a large pond (Chidoriga Pond) in the center where visitors can enjoy row boating or simply watch the birds. Also contained within the park is a Youth Science Center, River Amusement Museum Public Hall, Central Library and the Hokkaido Asahikawa Museum of Art. Top

Opening Hours-
Getting ThereWalk north up to the end of Heiwa Dori Shopping Street (away from the station) and turn left. Approximately 15 min walk from the station

Yukaraori Folkcraft Museum

Yukaraori fabrics were first created in Asahikawa and have gained worldwide recognition for their beauty and detail. The fabrics are woven in traditional styles using traditional patterns and themes. Many themes of these exquisite fabrics are based on the nature of Hokkaido itself, such as “Drift Ice” and “Rugosa Rose”. Several masterpieces that were created over long periods with painstaking detail are on display along with many other examples. Top

AdmissionGeneral ¥450
Opening Hours9 am to 5:30 pm everyday April to November (5 pm December to March)
ClosedMondays, December to March
Getting There3-chome, Minamigaoka, Asahikawa