Joe and Jinhee, a couple from the UK, went on a trip to Japan last July. They really enjoyed their time there, and pointed out that the highlight of their stay was a hike up Meakan, in Akan National Park. They went there with Kikuo-san, the mountain guide they contacted through Explore-Share. Read the feedback Joe sent us, and be the next one going there!
I have to say that our 5 days in Hokkaido was just fabulous. We had perfect weather for all the days except one, the day we were hiking the crater of Lake Mashu. We decided to do the hike in the rain, but an hour into the hike, it started to heavily lightening. So my wife insisted we head back. Probably smart decision, since we were out there on the the top of the mountain with metal hiking poles in our hands.
But aside from that one afternoon, the weather was perfect for each day. Not the same, but just the right temperature for each day’s activity.
As much as we enjoyed every day, and the different activity we did, the highlight was the hike up Meakan with Kikuo-san. It was really a wonderful hike. We hiked up one side, then hiked down the other side, stopping at the summit to eat lunch at the caldera. The caldera was quite impressive, with all the hissing steam and sulphur fumes. And there were so many different scenery in each section.
We hiked about 6-7 hours in total. When we finished, we were quite exhausted and totally ready to soak in the onsen.
My wife and I both remarked, how it was one of the best holidays we’ve spent. Also, being in that far eastern section of Hokkaido, we were usually without much crowd. I was a bit surprised, as it was suppose to be high season. But with a few exceptions, Goko Lakes area in Shiretoko being one, we usually found very few tourists. And so it was very very pleasant.
People were so genuinely friendly. We flew into Memanbetsu Airport and flew out of Kushiro Airport, so we didn’t even experience much hassle at the airports as well.
We had to spend one night in Tokyo, as our flight was early the next morning. And coming into Tokyo, already missed Hokkaido.
I would very much recommend Eastern Hokkaido.
As for Kikuo-san, our guide, we both really liked her. She is very pleasant. A bit quiet spoken in a good way. She obviously knows the Akan region very well, as she lives inside the national park. She has very responsible and well organised. I would have her guide us again, when we go back to the area.