Daisetsu-zan, Japan’s largest national park, which features the island’s highest mountain, Asahi-dake (2290m), and the spectacular Sōunkyō gorge, dominates central Hokkaidō. The fields around the picturesque village of Bibaushi, southwest of the national park, are best viewed in summer, when lavender, sunflowers and other blooms create a multicoloured patchwork. Further south is Furano, one of Japan’s top ski resorts and location of World Cup skiing competitions. Asahikawa, Hokkaidō’s second-largest city, is the area’s transport hub and offers a few sights of note as well as lively nightlife.

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