Hohei-kyo Gorge

Hohei-kyo Gorge

Travel Guide

Hohei-kyo Gorge is a popular year-round hiking spot set about seven kilometers upstream from Jozankei Hot Spring, and there is a good reason to visit—it is beautiful. In winter, the area is a ghostly white and in spring it turns slowly green and lingers through the summer before burning out in yellows, crimson and browns in autumn. You can approach the lake and summit by electric cable car. If you are hungry, you can eat at the Rest House Hoheikyo. Special dishes include broiled rainbow trout and inoshishi or wild boar and hot pot. Lake Jozan, the lake of Hoheikyo Dam, has been selected as one of the "top 100 dam lake" in Japan. Also the National Forest at the upriver of the lake has been chosen as one of the "top 100 forest of the water source".

Continuing upstream from Jozankei Hot Spring, you will come across Hohei-kyo Gorge, an idyllic hiking area with gorgeous scenery and within easy reach of central Sapporo. Each season here has something unique to offer, with winter being especially picturesque, when the trees and ground become shrouded in snow.

Autumn is also a rather appealing time to visit Hohei-kyo Gorge, when the colorful leaves look stunning as they adorn their vibrant fall colors to form a magnificent effect. In summer the surface of the lake reflects the colors of the surrounding forest and sky, with lush green in summer. The forest consists of many Japanese maple and Rowan trees whose leaves turn vibrant colors in the autumn. In the interest of protecting the environment in the area, transportation to the dam is provided via hybrid electric bus.

Other attractions include a restaurant, which offers hungry walkers a range of local delicacies and snacks. To access the lake and gorge, take the cable car and enjoy the dizzy heights and outstanding views.

The Hoheikyo Dam is a popular sightseeing attraction about an hour’s drive south of Sapporo, at the Northern edge of the Shikotsu-Toya National Park.

It dams the Toyohira River, creating a large reservoir lake which is surrounded by virgin forest. The views here are spectacular, especially in the autumn when the leaves turn color. Construction of the Hoheikyo Dam was completed in 1972. It spans the Jozankei valley, holding back the waters of the Toyohira River to create Lake Jozan, which has a surface area of 150 hectares. The dam itself is 102.5 meters high and 305 meters long, and holds back a total of 47,100,000 square meters of water. The purpose of the dam is for flood control, as a source of water for Sapporo city, and the generation of hydroelectric power.

Hokeikyo Dam which provides 98 percent of the electricity demand of Sapporo city will release the water for water level control purpose every year from April to October. The water lease provides the spectacular views and attracts large numbers of onlookers.

Hohei-kyo Gorge - Rest house Hohei-kyo Gorge - Kudan Falls Hohei-kyo Gorge - Senjo Rock
Rest house Kudan Falls Senjo Rock

Travel Advice


- Wheelchairs are available for free at Hohei-kyo Gorge and Hoheikyo Dam.

- The hybrid electric bus is equipped with escalator, so the visitors can ride and get off the bus sitting on the wheel chair.

- On the two sides and back of the hybrid electric bus are the transparent sheet instead of glass. The sheet will be open in the warm days for tourists to get fresh air and minus ion.

- It is recommended that tourists sit on the left side when riding on the bus both on the way to dam or back to bam. Tourists sitting on the left side can see the Kudan Falls on the way to dam and can see Senjo Rock on the way back.

Hybrid electric bus
Admission Senior: 580 yen
Adult: 640 yen (Groups 580 yen)
Student: 320 yen (Groups 290 yen)
Senior: over 65
Adult: over 12
Student: 3 to 11
Groups: over 10
The admission is for round trip
Hours 08:45 to 16:00 May 1 to November 3
Duration 3 minutes
Remarks But No 5 is equipped with escalator


Rest house
Hours 09:00 to 16:00  Open hours
10:00 to 15:30  Meal time


Hoheikyo Dam Museum "Hifumimihaname"
Hours 08:45 to 16:00
Closed Saturday, Sunday and national holiday


Address Shikotsuko Onsen, Chitose-shi, Hokkaido
Phone 011-598-3452 (Hoheikyo hybrid electric bus)
Admission Free  
Hours Free time  
Closed Open 7 Days a Week
Duration 30 minutes
Getting There By Train
25 minutes ride on the "Hoheikyo Line" by Jotetsu Bus from JR Hakodate Station and get off at the final bus stop, then walk approximately 30 minutes to the bus stop of Hybrid electric bus.
After September, visitors can take the route bus departing from Jozankei Hot Spring.

By Car
Take Doto Expressway to Ashoro exit and take National Highway route 214, 243 and Hokkaido Highway 52. It is approximately 120 kilometers 2 hours from exit.
Parking Free parking available at the bus stop of hybrid electric bus

Attractions in Japan