About Higashikawa

Higashikawa is known for the "Photo Koshien", where high-school students from all over Japan compete in photography. It is a town of 7,800, located in the inland basin of Kamikawa, central Hokkaido.

The eastern part of the town includes the highest peak (2,291m) of the Taisetsu Mountain range, and is a part of the Taisetsu National Park, the largest natural park in Japan with large scale forested areas. The foothills include the Asahidake Hot Springs surrounded by primary forests, Tenninkyo, which is tucked between sheer cliffs, and the Hagoromo Falls that fall from a height of 270meters, the highest in Hokkaido, and the natural Tenninkyo Hot Springs that flow in the ravine.

The town, is a spread of beautiful and quiet pastoral landscapes that are the first to be designated as such by the "Government Landscape Organization". However, it is also blessed in location as it is only 13km (15 min. by car) from Asahikawa, the central city of Hokkaido, and only 7km (8min. by car) from Asahikawa Airport, therefore increasing the number of migrants each year.

The change in season is drastic, especially at the foot of Mt. Taisetsu, where the scene will change from alpine flowers, to new green forests, colorful foliage, to fluffy white snowscapes; a different yet beautiful scene with every season. Many photographers, wood artists, pottery makers and other artists are drawn to this beautiful scenery with a commanding view of Mt. Taisetsu, and have settled here, built studios and art cafes. There are cafes and bakeries that bring to mind the goodness of the slow life. There are also many furniture stores due to the thriving wood working industry, and boasts the nationally renowned Asahikawa furniture.

Higashikawa town uses underground water full of minerals provided by the water that flows down from Mt. Taisetsu as their drinking water. It is an unusual town in the nation in that it does not rely on a public water supply system.

The pure water from Mt. Taisetsu supports not only the rice fields of Higashikawa, but also supports the production of alpine vegetables, flowers and other agricultural products as well as playing a major role in food processing and manufacturing, the wood working industry, in restaurants and other various industrial activities in the town.

The pure water from Mt. Taisetsu combined with the cool climate and fertile land make Higashikawa one of the leading rice makers in the nation, not to mention production of alpine vegetables and flowers. The water plays a major role in food processing, the wood working industry, in restaurants and other industries.

For more information... (In Japanese)

Photo: Tenninkyo Streams
Photo: Tenninkyo Streams


Favorite souvenirs from the area include bottle water from Taisetsu Asahidake Source Water which was chosen as one of the best one hundred waters in the nation, non-wash rice "Hoshino Yume" grown in Higashikawa, Momotaro 100% Tomato Juice, rice flour cakes, soy milk pudding and other sweets, a collection of children's furniture and toys and other wooden products.

For more information... (In Japanese)

"Taisetsu Mountain Water grown tomatoes, Kiseki" Tomato Juice.
"Taisetsu Mountain Water grown tomatoes, Kiseki" Tomato Juice.
Non-wash rice "Hoshinoyume" made with lipid waters running at the foot of the Mt. Taisetsu in Hokkaido.
Non-wash rice "Hoshinoyume" made with lipid waters running at the foot of the Mt. Taisetsu in Hokkaido.

What to see

  • Tenninkyo
  • Hagoromo Falls
  • Shikishima Falls
  • Tenninkyo Hot Springs
  • Asahidake (climbing, nature exploration, alpine plants)
  • Asahidake (cross country skiing, slope skiing, snow boarding)
  • Asahidake Ropeway
  • Asahidake Hot Springs
  • Taisetsu Asahidake Source Water
  • Kitoushi Shinrin Koen
  • Lake Chubetsu (Chubetsu Dam)
  • Central town (Wood carved sign)
  • Pastoral landscapes (The first to be designated by the Government Landscape Organization)
Photo: Hagoromo Water Falls
Photo: Hagoromo Water Falls

Live Cameras

Only in a "Town of Photography!" Higashikawa town and the sunrise taken with Single-lens reflex camera. Live updates of the hills every hour.

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    Kitoushi Shinrin Koen Family Travel Village "Tenbokaku" A castle like landmark which stands amidst a natural park large enough to hold 25 Tokyo Domes. View from the observatory 360meters high.
    Live view of Higashikawa town.

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    Asahidake Visitor Center Stands on the premises of Asahidake Hot Springs at altitude 1,100 meters, Asahidake being the center of Mt. Taisetsu and its nature. A view from the center of information, where you can find out what is new. Live view of the changing appearance of Asahidake and the ropeway.

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    Fire look out tower for the Taisetsu Firefighter Association East Fire Department First Section View of the Taisetsu Mountain Range from the fire look out tower of the Higashikawa Town Fire Department.
    Live view of the vast mountain range.

For more information... (In Japanese)