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  • Sango Falls (coral waterfall)
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  • Log-pulling race at the Hidaka Jukon Festival
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  • Remain of an ore transportation route
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  • Sango Falls (coral waterfall) in spring
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  • Bird watching in the winter forest
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  • Woodworking workshop at the Hidaka Jukon Festival
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Hidaka Shizen-no-Mori Recreation Forest

1,081.62ha

Elevation Lowest : 260m / Average : 400–550m / Highest : 980m

Vast forest with clear streams at the foot of the Hidaka Mountain Range

Vast forest with clear streams at the foot of the Hidaka Mountain Range

Newest information
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Please visit official tourism websites for the latest updates and information.
Area
Hokkaido
Activities
Flower-viewing (species: Ezo Yamazakura, (sargent cherry (Prunus sergentii))) (Outside the forest) Autumn leaf viewing (Includes surrounding area) Waterfall viewing Birdwatching (Includes surrounding area) Picnics (lawn area/park) (Includes surrounding area) Paddling / fishing / boating (river) (Includes surrounding area) (Payment required in some cases) (Foreign language support not available) Canyoning (River trekking) Hands-on woodworking experience (Outside the forest) (Payment required in some cases) (Foreign language support not available) Hot Spring (Outside the forest) Ski resort (no. of trails: 11) (Outside the forest) Trekking trail (Includes surrounding area) Park golf (Outside the forest) (Payment required in some cases) (Foreign language support not available)
Overview
Geographical/topographical features
The Hidaka Mountain Range―a backbone range stretching over 150 km from north to south in southcentral Hokkaido―are located where two giant tectonic plates (the North American Plate and the Eurasian Plate) collide. Since the Cretaceous period, the Atlantic Ocean has continuously expanded, while on the other side of the planet, where Hokkaido lies, the plates have continued to collide. As a result, mountains began to rise about 13 million years ago, forming the Hidaka Mountains. The Kitahidaka District, where Hidaka Town is located, is one of the few areas in the world where the Cretaceous period crust of the island arc-trench system and the Atlantic region is compressed above ground where it can be directly observed. Visitors can see a wide variety of rock, ore and fossils.
Historical/cultural features
From 1937 to 1954, before the area’s 1971 designation as "Hidaka Shizen-no-Mori," a variety of ores were mined in the area, including manganese, chromium and asbestos. A tunnel was bored to control the flow of the mountain streams as part of the effort to build ore transportation routes, creating an artificial waterfall named "Sango Falls" (coral waterfall). The name of the waterfall is derived from the fossils of hexacorals that have been found in its surroundings.
The presence of hexacoral fossils indicates that this place was at the bottom of the sea some 85 million years ago.
Climate, flora and fauna
This area has a continental climate, with large temperature changes and heavy snowfall. The Recreation Forest has planted trees such as Todomatsu (Todo fir (Abies sachalinensis)), Karamatsu (Japanese larch (Larix kaempferi)), and Ezomatsu (Yezo spruce (Picea jezoensis)), as well as natural forest trees including Mizunara (Japanese oak mizu-nara (Quercus crispula Blume)), Udaikanba (monarch birch (Betula maximowicziana)), Dakekanba (Erman's birch (Betula ermanii)) and Shinanoki (Japanese lime tree (Tilia japonica)), with some trees growing to diameters exceeding 100 cm. Visitors can also view herbaceous plants such as Osakuraso (Primula jesoana var. jesoana), Enreiso (Japanese trillium (Trillium smallii)) and Ezo Engosaku (Corydalis ambigua). In addition, animals such as Ezoshika (Yezo shika deer (Cervus nippon yesoensis)), Kitakitsune (Ezo red fox (Vulpes vulpes schrencki)) and Ezoshimarisu (Siberian chipmunk (Tamias sibiricus lineatus)) and wild birds such as Akagera (great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major)), Shijukara (great tit (Parus major)) and Gojukara (Eurasian nuthatch (Sitta europaea)) can be seen.
Attractions
Along streams in the area, visitors can observe the various strata that speak of the changes the land has undergone since the distant past. Ores such as jade, chromium and manganese can be found on stream banks. The rich natural environment of the forest makes it an ideal site for hiking and trekking, insect collecting and the observation of wild birds, trees and fossils. Part of the forest, called "Hidaka Chisan No Mori," is specified as a forest conservation area and can also be used for nature education.
The adjacent National HIDAKA Youth Outdoor Learning Center has outdoor experience facilities such as campsites that allow visitors to enjoy various activities in the great outdoors, including nature experiences, sports, recreation and crafts.
The nearby Hidaka International Ski Resort attracts large numbers of visitors. In the winter, they can ski or snowboard the slopes on powder snow while enjoying the view of Hidaka Town far below and magnificent Mount Ashibetsu and Mount Yubari. In summer, they can harvest edible wild plants and gaze at a sea of clouds.
Latest Information
Regular events
4th Saturday and Sunday in July: Hidaka Jukon Festival
Warnings (Flora and fauna)
Ezo Brown bears: Higuma (brown bears (Ursus arctos)) may be present during the period from May to November. When entering the forest, please carry a bear bell and stay in a group. Check for local information on bear sightings and warnings and follow instructions.
Ticks: Please note that ticks are present in bamboo grass areas. Wearing long sleeves and long trousers is essential.
Warnings (Dangerous areas)
There is a risk of landslides in some areas.
Usage Guide
Entrance fee
Free of charge
Opening seasons and hours
There are two entrance gates along the forest road. Vehicles are not allowed to travel on the forest road during winter (from around late November to early May of the following year) due to snow.
Accommodation options
National HIDAKA Youth Outdoor Learning Center (adjacent), Hidaka Kogenso (adjacent), Japanese inns and hotels (5 km / 10 minutes by car), Hidaka Sarugawa Auto-camping Site (in the vicinity)
Facility
Toilets (Includes surrounding area) Toilet (accessible) (Outside the forest) Footpath / walking trail / nature trail (Includes surrounding area) Parking lot (Includes surrounding area) Vending machine (Outside the forest) Shop (Outside the forest) Restaurant (Outside the forest) Campsite and/or cabins (Outside the forest) (Payment required for use of facilities) Specimen forest (Foreign language support not available) Resource center/Museum (Outside the forest) (Payment required for use of facilities) (Foreign language support not available) Cultural asset (nationally designated) (Outside the forest) Accommodation facilities (Hotels/Japanese inns) (Outside the forest)
Map
pdf
Location
Tomioka, Hidaka Town, Saru Country, Hokkaido
Access
(Distances and times are provided as a guide only)
By public transport
<Access from nearest railway station / bus stop>
  • About 15 minutes on foot from the Hidaka Municipal Branch Office bus stop of the Hidaka Town Bus
<Access from major transport hubs to nearest railway station / bus stop>
  • Sapporo Station (JR Sekisho Line [Sapporo-Kushiro route]: about 70 minutes by limited express) → Shimukappu Station*
  • New Chitose Airport (JR Chitose Line [Sapporo-New Chitose Airport route]: 3 minutes) → Minami-Chitose Station (change trains) (JR Sekisho Line [Sapporo-Kushiro route]: about 60 minutes by limited express) → Shimukappu Station*
  • Obihiro Station (JR Sekisho Line [Sapporo-Kushiro route]: about 75 minutes by limited express) → Shimukappu Station*
  • Shimukappu Station → Hidaka Town Bus (bound for the Hidaka Municipal Branch Office bus stop: about 25 minutes) → get off at the Hidaka Municipal Branch Office bus stop
By car
<Access>
  • Sapporo Station (Doto Expressway, Shimukappu IC exit: about 90 minutes) → public road (about 15 minutes) → Hidaka Shizen-no-Mori Recreation Forest
  • Tomakomai Ferry Terminal → public road (about 100 minutes) → Hidaka Shizen-no-Mori Recreation Forest
  • Obihiro Station (Doto Expressway, Shimukappu IC exit: about 70 minutes) → public road (about 15 minutes) → Hidaka Shizen-no-Mori Recreation Forest
<Car parking capacity / parking charges>

National HIDAKA Youth Outdoor Learning Center parking lot: free parking for approximately 45 vehicles

Nearby tourist facilities
  • Hidaka International Ski Resort (adjacent), Hidaka Mountains Museum, Hidaka Library Folk Museum (all located outside the forest): 15 minutes on foot / 3 minutes by car
Management office contact details
Hidaka Hokubu District Forest Office
TEL:01457-6-3151
FAX:01457-6-3152
Information on Other Local Tourist Attractions
Large stone in Chiroro, autumn leaves in the Sarugawa Valley, the Nissho Pass, cherry blossoms in Kaguraoka Park
Official Tourist Information
Hidaka Town Tourism Association
Tourism, Agriculture, and Forestry Group, Regional Economy Division, Hidaka Branch, Hidaka Municipal Office
Recreation Forest Management Committee
Hidaka Shizen-no-Mori Recreation Forest Management Committee
Hidaka Branch, Hidaka Municipal Office
Supporters
Other

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