Hike on a slumbering volcano
Mt. Tarumae, located between Hokkaido’s coast and Lake Shikotsu, offers a unique opportunity for hikers to explore a slumbering volcano and witness its natural wonders. Rising majestically, Mt. Tarumae provides a close-up view of the lava dome and the smoking sulfur vents that surround it. This one-hour hike to the peak from the parking lot is relatively easy, making it accessible to both experienced hikers and beginners.
The hike up Mt. Tarumae is a spectacular experience, especially during the fall season when the leaves change colors. The vibrant hues of red, orange, and yellow create a breathtaking backdrop as you ascend the mountain. The trail offers stunning views of the surrounding ocean and Lake Shikotsu, adding to the charm of this natural wonder.
How to Get There
To reach Mt. Tarumae, the most convenient mode of transportation is by car. From central Tomakomai, it is just a short 20-minute drive to the mountain. However, parking can be scarce, so it is advisable to arrive early to secure a spot. Alternatively, you can take a train from Sapporo to Tomakomai, which takes approximately one hour. From there, having your own transportation would make it easier to reach the mountain.
If you’re feeling adventurous and want to extend your hike, you can follow the ridgeline from Mt. Tarumae to neighboring Mt. Fuppushi and then descend to the lake. The contrast between the two mountains is striking, with Mt. Tarumae having minimal vegetation near its summit, while Mt. Fuppushi is covered in lush greenery. On clear days, the panoramic views from the ridgeline are breathtaking, offering vistas of the coast and the expansive Lake Shikotsu.
Seasons on the mountain
The peak hiking season for Mt. Tarumae is during the summer and fall months. This is when you can witness the stunning transformation of the leaves in the national park. The vibrant colors of the foliage create a picturesque setting, making it a favorite destination for nature enthusiasts and photographers alike. Some daring hikers also venture up the mountain during the winter when the snow blankets the landscape. However, during this time, the access road is closed from both sides, making the approach longer and parking more limited.
One of the unique features of Mt. Tarumae is the constant emission of smoke from its summit. Unlike active volcanoes that spew lava and ash, Mt. Tarumae releases steam-like smoke throughout the year. This adds an intriguing element to the hiking experience, reminding visitors of the mountain’s dormant yet powerful nature.
In conclusion, a hike on Mt. Tarumae offers a captivating journey through a slumbering volcano. With its easy accessibility, breathtaking views, and the opportunity to witness the changing seasons, this hike is a must-do for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Whether you choose to hike to the peak or explore the ridgeline, Mt. Tarumae promises an unforgettable experience that showcases the beauty and power of Hokkaido’s natural landscapes. So, lace up your hiking boots and embark on an adventure to remember on Mt. Tarumae.
Address And Maps Location: