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  • Cabins at the National Shirogane Campsite
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  • Mt. Tokachidake in autumn
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  • Shirahige Falls in winter with frozen spray
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  • Shirahige Falls in early summer
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  • National Shirogane Campsite
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  • Shirogane Blue Pond
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  • Bieishizennomura Camping Ground
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  • Shirahige Falls and autumn foliage
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Shirogane Recreation Forest

946.10ha

Elevation Lowest : 510m / Average : 580–680m / Highest : 1,000m

White birch groves and a virgin forest spreading across the base of Mt. Tokachi

White birch groves and a virgin forest spreading across the base of Mt. Tokachi

Newest information
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Please visit official tourism websites for the latest updates and information.
Area
Hokkaido
Activities
Flower-viewing (Outside the forest) Autumn leaf viewing (Includes surrounding area) Waterfall viewing (Outside the forest) Birdwatching (Includes surrounding area) Picnics (lawn area/park) (Includes surrounding area) Paddling / fishing / boating (pond / lake / river) (Outside the forest) Canyoning (river/waterfall) Bike trail (Outside the forest) Bicycle rental (Outside the forest) Guided tours (Includes surrounding area) (Payment required) Hands-on forestry / woodworking experience (Outside the forest) Hot Spring (Shirogane, Biei Town) Ski area (Operation suspended) Medium-long distance Trail (Includes surrounding area) Botanical garden (Outside the forest)
Overview
Geographical/topographical features
The Tokachidake Mountains form the southern part of the vast Daisetsu Mountain System that rises majestically at the center of Hokkaido. Several eruptions of the main peak, Mt. Tokachi, have been recorded, and the mountain offers distinctive features such as extensive mud flow areas and a large number of volcanic craters. Craters of various sizes (the Ansei Crater, the Showa Crater, and the 62-II Crater) demonstrate this active volcano’s history of the eruptions and continue to emit white smoke even today. Combined with the scenery of the mud flow areas, they evoke the powerful forces of the Earth and the grandeur of the natural world.
Historical/cultural features
Volcanic activity began to be recorded in 1857. In the first eruption, in 1926, a mud flow swept into Shirogane Hot Spring, and a second major eruption the same day resulted in a mud flow down the Biei and Furano Rivers that reached the Kami-Furano Plain. These eruptions were a serious disaster, leaving 144 people dead or missing.
Mt. Tokachi has continued to erupt approximately every 30 years.
Climate, flora and fauna
The remains of mud flows caused by volcanic activity can be seen in many parts of the Shirogane Recreation Forest. The surrounding forest, including the Recreation Forest, is distributed between 300 m and 1,000 m in elevation. It is mainly a mixed conifer-broadleaf forest which gradually transitions to a conifer forest at higher elevations.
The area at an elevation of approximately 1,300 m and below was unaffected by the mud flow caused by the major eruption in 1926. It has a mixed conifer-broadleaf forest mainly consisting of Ezomatsu (Yezo spruce (Picea jezoensis)), Akaezomatsu (Sakhalin spruce (Picea glehnii)), and Todomatsu (Todo fir (Abies sachalinensis)), which is reminiscent of primitive Hokkaido, the clear stream of the Biei River winding through the forest, and a distinctive birch forest that has developed in the mud flow area. All of these splendid landscapes together offer breathtaking mountain beauty.
Attractions
The Shirogane Recreation Forest is divided into several zones for the enjoyment of people of all ages, including zones for nature observation and education, forest sports and the exploration of scenic beauty.
Each zone has footpaths for strolling and enjoying the changing seasonal colors of the natural world.
Superb views of the towering, 2,000 m peaks of the Daisetsu Mountains abound, including Mt. Tokachi, Mt. Beiei, and Mt. Biei-Fuji. Visitors can trek along the ridgeline from the Mt. Tokachi Observatory.
The forest sports zone provides a place for recreation with a campsite, cabins, a field kitchen and toilets (closed during the winter, from early October through early June).
Three organizations provide mountain/nature guide services in and around the Recreation Forest throughout the year. Their programs are diverse, offering seasonal forest experiences and amazing viewpoints.
Latest Information
Regular events
Opening of Mt. Tokachidake to climbers (June 18 every year)
Oka-no-machi Biei Healthy Marathon (June 9 and 10 every year)
Biei Century Ride (September 22 and 23 every year)
Warnings (Dangerous areas)
Some footpaths may be impassable due to fallen trees or other damage, so please check with a guide organization, the Biei Tourism Association or the Kamikawa Chubu District Forest Office before entering the forest.
Usage Guide
Entrance fee
Free of charge
Opening seasons and hours
Accessible 24 hours a day from early June through late September
Accommodation options
[Inside the forest] National Shirogane Campsite (early June through September), Bieishizennomura Camping Ground (early July through August), Japanese inns
[Outside the forest] Japanese inns and hotels in Shirogane Hot Spring
Facility
Toilets and drinking fountains (Includes surrounding area) Toilet (accessible) (Outside the forest) Footpath / walking trail / nature trail (Includes surrounding area) Bike trail (Outside the forest) Parking lot (Includes surrounding area) Observation platform (Outside the forest) Visitor center (staffed only) (Outside the forest) Vending machine (Outside the forest) Shop (Outside the forest) Restaurant (Outside the forest) Campsite and/or cabins (Payment required in some cases) Free public wireless LAN (Wi-Fi) (Outside the forest) Specimen forest/Botanic garden (Outside the forest) Resource center/Museum (Outside the forest) Accommodation facilities (Hotels/Japanese inns) (Includes surrounding area)
Map
pdf
Location
Shirogane, Biei Town, Kamikawa County, Hokkaido
Access
(Distances and times are provided as a guide only)
By public transport
<Access from nearest railway station / bus stop>
  • Biei Station → Shirogane Hot Spring (Dohoku Bus, about 35 minutes)
  • Shirogane Hot Spring → National Shirogane Campsite (10 minutes on foot)
<Access from major transport hubs to nearest railway station / bus stop>
  • Asahikawa Station → Biei Station (JR Furano Line [Asahikawa-Furano route], about 40 minutes)
  • Asahikawa Airport → Biei Station (Furano Bus [Lavender Bus route], about 15 minutes)
By car
<Access>
  • Biei Station (21 km / 25 minutes) → Shirogane Hot Spring
  • Asahikawa Airport → Biei Station (12 km / 15 minutes) → Shirogane Hot Spring (21 km / 25 minutes)
<Car parking capacity / parking charges>

Free parking for about 30 vehicles

Nearby tourist facilities
  • Mt. Tokachi Observatory: 10 minutes by car
  • Shirogane Hot Spring, Shirogane Blue Pond (3 km from Shirogane Hot Spring, 5 minutes by car), Shirahige Falls (adjacent)
  • Patchwork Road: 30 minutes by car
  • Panoramic flower gardens of Shikisai-no-oka: 30 minutes by car
Management office contact details
Kamikawa Chubu District Forest Office
Information on Other Local Tourist Attractions
National Taisetsu Youth Friendship Center [External link]
Official Tourist Information
Biei Town website [External link]
Biei Tourism Association website [External link]
Recreation Forest Management Committee
Shirogane Recreation Forest Management Committee
Economic and Culture Promotion Division, Biei Municipal Office
Supporters
Other

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