Japan’s northernmost, second largest and least developed island, Hokkaido, is famous for its unspoilt nature. Harsh, cold and snowy winters make way for pleasant summers, which allow tourists and locals to enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, year-round, in the island’s six protected areas.
The largest of the natural parks is Daisetsuzan: known for it’s wilderness and volcanoes. It is formed by the Daisetsuzan volcanic group, which is arranged around the Ohachidaira caldera. The highest peak of the group is Mt. Asahidake (2,291 m above sea level) and remains active. The Mt. Tokachi volcanic group, named after its highest peak Mt. Tokachi (also an active volcano), and the Ishikari Mountain Range, which includes the Mt. Shikaribetsu volcanic group near Lake Shikaribetsu and older geological strata of the Hidaka Mountain Range, make up the rest of the volcanic groups in the park.
Mt. Asahidake has not erupted since 1739, but constantly releases steam, which escapes from cracks across it’s volcanic slopes. According to Daniela Domeisen, who took the photograph we feature today:
“The fumaroles give the volcano its characteristic look and sulphuric smell.”
She goes on to describe the impressive volcanic setting:
“The mountain raises rather slowly, but with a steep and slippery peak. The descent on the opposite side is literally a secluded paradise, with the soil and the plants competing for the most beautiful patchwork of colour.”
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