Climbing Season Starts at Hokkaido’s Mt. Apoi; Easy Climbing with Beautiful Flowers Attracts Climbers

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Volunteer group members enter a Mt. Apoi trail, with one of them holding a caution sign for climbers, in Samani, Hokkaido, on April 13.

SAMANI, Hokkaido — The climbing season started at Mt. Apoi in Hidaka Sanmyaku-Erimo Quasi-National Park in Samani, Hokkaido, on April 13.

Mt. Apoi, with an elevation of 810 meters, has a relatively low peak among the steep Hidaka Mountains. It is a popular location because about 80 alpine plant species grow wild there, about 20 of which are endemic to the area.

The park is scheduled to be designated as a national park this summer. According to the town’s commerce, industry and tourism division, Mt. Apoi attracts more than 7,000 climbers every year.

The town expects that the number of climbers will increase further after the area has been fully designated as a national park.

On the opening day, a prayer service was held in front of the Mt. Apoi Geopark Visitor Center, where officials from Samani, the Urakawa Police Station and other people prayed for safety during the climbing season.

“I hope that many people will visit the area as it becomes a national park,” Samani Mayor Teruaki Araki said.

Climbers from both inside and outside Hokkaido make their way to the summit to admire the beautiful Japanese hyacinth blossoms and other plants.

A group of volunteers placed a brush to remove mud from shoes and warning signs near the start of a mountain trail to help prevent invasive plant species from being brought into the area.