Hiking Mt. Usu

Mt. Usu, also Uzusan (有珠山), is an active stratovolcano. It is located on the southern side of Lake Toya and is under the jurisdiction of the towns of Sobetsu and Toyako, and the city of Date in Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan.

Mt. Usu / Uzusan 

Mt. Usu details

Mt. Usu is one of the most well-known features in the area, standing at an elevation of 732 meters (2,402 feet).

Mt. Usu / Usuzan crater - Sobetsu and Toyako

Mt. Usu has a long history of eruptions dating back to the 17th century, with its most recent eruption occurring in 2000. This eruption caused extensive damage to nearby buildings and roads, but there were no casualties. Mt. Usu is closely monitored by scientists and experts to prevent any potential hazards.

Mt. Usu Observatory

Mt. Usu Outer Rim Mountain Trail 

One of the views from Mt. Usu Observatory

Mt. Usu
 is a popular destination for hikers and tourists who come to enjoy the scenic beauty of the surrounding area. The Mt. Usu Ropeway takes visitors near the summit where they can experience stunning views of Lake Toya and the surrounding mountains. Numerous hiking trails lead around the volcanic crater and through the forests on the mountain slopes.

Usuzan Ropeway
Mt. Usu Ropeway / Usuzan Ropeway

Mt. Usu Terrace

Mt. Usu Terrace

Cafe Mt. Usu

Cafe Mt. Usu soft cream

In addition to hiking, visitors can also enjoy taking a sip of warm coffee while enjoying the view at Café Mt. Usu near the ropeway station on the mountaintop. On a warm day, you can enjoy the soft cream instead.

Team Nicerio visits Mt. Usu

Mt. Usu with our Japanese family

My family and I used the Mt. Usu Ropeway last August 21, 2022, which was the 3rd day of our "From Osaka with Love" Road Trip with our Japanese family. We were lucky as it was a beautiful clear day during our visit hence, we were blessed with a wonderful view of Lake Toya and Showashinzan.

Overall, our visit to Mt. Usu was very memorable as we managed to reach the Mt. Usu Crater Observatory together with our Japanese family. We also enjoyed the view from the terrace near the ropeway station. Given a chance, I would want to come back there in the future.

Mt. Usu Ropeway fare

To ride the Mt. Usu Ropeway, visitors need to pay the following fare:

Adult (Junior high school students and older) 1,800 yen
Children (elementary school students) 900 yen

There are group discounts for groups with 15 or more members. There is also a discount for the fare of PWDs.

Mt. Usu Ropeway Operating Hours

Mt. Usu Ropeway operates from 8 AM to 6 PM but operating times vary depending on the season so please check the official website for updates about its operating hours (LINK).

Why visit Mt. Usu?

Mt. Usu continues to be a famous tourist attraction today, providing tourists with stunning views of the surrounding area. Mt. Usu is a unique geological feature that attracts both locals and tourists alike, and it continues to be an important cultural and natural landmark in Hokkaido.

Getting to Mt. Usu


To travel from New Chitose Airport to Showashinzan Station, follow these steps:

1. Upon arriving at New Chitose Airport, proceed to the Air Cargo Mae bus stop.

2. Board the Ku 5 Shinsei Kuko Sen bus operated by the Chuo Bus Company.

3. Alight at the Minami Chitose Eki bus stop.

4. From the Minami Chitose Eki bus stop, make your way to the nearby Hokuto 14 Limited Express Hakodate train platform.

5. Take the Hokuto 14 Limited Express Hakodate train towards Datemombetsu Station.

6. Disembark at Datemombetsu Station.

7. Once you exit the station, walk for approximately two minutes to reach the Date Eki Mae bus stop.

8. Board the Toyako Onsen (via Sobetsu Office) bus, which is operated by the Donan Bus Company.

9. Alight at the Sobetsu Onsen bus stop.

10. From Sobetsu Onsen, you will need to walk for about 2.6 kilometers to reach Showashinzan Station.

Travel time: 3 hours
Fare: 5,510 yen

If you are not a fan of walking, then from Datemombetsu Station, hail a taxi that will bring you directly to Showashinzan Station. 




Overall Rating


  1. Is it safe to hike Mt. Usu? Isn't it an active volcano?

    1. Yes it is safe to hike Mt. Usu. It is an active volcano but it is constantly monitored by experts.


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