Visiting Takino Snow World (Takino Suzuran Hillside National Park)

On Christmas Day, we decided to visit Takino Snow World from Sapporo for a day to play in the snow.

Takino Snow World is located at Takino Suzuran Hillside National Park, about 20km south of Sapporo Station (around 50 minutes by car, or 1 hour by public transport).

Country House at Takino Snow World
Inside the Country House

In winter from the end of December to the end of March, the park opens for the snow season with many different activities – snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, a 200m tube sledding slope, beginner skiing and snowboarding.

The English Brochure explains all the activities available and includes maps of the facilities available at the park.

 

I wanted to go to Takino Snow World ever since I saw it listed on some of the tourist information websites.

It’s a very cheap way (it’s free entry) to enjoy the snow without going to a ski resort, and is a great family activity for kids as well as adults.

The park seems massive, and although we were there for over half the day, we only saw a small portion of it.

Park Map – Click to Enlarge

They also have many events held during the season, check the website for the latest news.

Best of all, they have free entry during the winter season! It makes a great day trip from Sapporo if you want to play in the snow.

They also have free hire for snow play equipment, tube sleds, plastic toboggan sleds, snowshoes, binoculars and clothing for adults.

Kid’s slope (the rest were closed because of a strong weather warning)
Plastic sleds for free use, even adults were allowed to play!

If you want to ski or snowboard, they have alpine or cross country ski hire, as well as ski wear hire (these are paid services, but very affordable).

Park Map – Click to Enlarge

Ashiribetsu waterfalls is a 26m waterfall which freezes from late December to become an icefall.  According to the brochures, it’s around 1.1km from the Keiryu Guchi Parking area and you can access it by walking, cross country skiing or snowshoeing.

Garden area

Before going, make sure you check the park’s open status on their website here. We didn’t do so and arrived to find that unfortunately nearly all of the activities were suspended for the day due to weather warnings!

Carpark was empty that day because most of the slopes were closed!

If I had checked the open status, I would have gone on a different day when the activities were open. We didn’t get to go tube sledding or snowshoeing.

Many of the slopes don’t open early in the season too, if the snow depth is too shallow.  You can get an update of what is open from the link above.

No hire when we got there.

Still, we were able to look around, play in the snow, build a snowman, and even enjoy some toboggan sled riding alongside some kids on a mini slope (admittedly, a lot more fun than it initially looked).

Around the sled slope – lots of areas roped off due to the weather warning
Roped off areas
We still managed to build an epic snowman
And make snow angels
Kids playing at the open sledding slope

It wasn’t that clear what is free to rent and what isn’t, so here are some more details that we found out once we got there. The rentals appeared to be mainly in the Country House building.

Country House

Free To Hire

These are available from the Country House building, but in a separate area to the rental shop.

  • Adult snow wear (winter jacket & pants) – the smallest size seemed to be medium, but they fit over your existing clothes easily anyway. Would recommend these as they are waterproof and warm!
  • Snow Shoes – we weren’t able to borrow any as the courses were all closed, but these are for walking in deep snow.
  • Binoculars
  • Tube Sled – free to rent, but we weren’t able to use them as the slopes were closed.

Paid Hire / Lift Passes

These are available from the Country House building’s Rental Shop (hours from 9:00AM – 4:00PM):

Click to enlarge
  • Snow boots (500yen/pair) – Both kids and adult sizes available. When we hired them, some of our pairs were just gumboots and your feet tend to get cold after a while, so wear extra socks!
  • Kid’s Snow Clothing (Jacket and Pants set) – 90-160cm.  1540Yen
  • Slope Skis/poles/boots – Both kids and adult sets available.
  • Cross Country Skis/poles/boots – Both kids and adult sets available.
  • This seemed really affordable at only 820 Yen for adults, I was disappointed that we missed out because the courses were closed, since I didn’t check the park status report beforehand!
  • Kid’s Gloves/Hat/Googles set – No adult sizes. 920Yen
  • Kid’s Helmet – No adult sizes. 1030Yen
  • Lift Ticket

Not Available (Bring Your Own)

  • Gloves (not available for hire, but you can buy them in the store near reception. They cost around 3000Yen)

We found that woolen gloves were suitable to play in the snow, despite not being the waterproof kind. It was too cold for the snow to melt anyway, so you could just brush it off without your gloves getting wet!

Snowshoeing Akagera Course Map

Click to enlarge

Getting There

We caught the subway to Makomanai Station, then got on the bus number 106 from there. It takes about 30 minutes to get to the park.

To get to the bus, walk out of the Makomanai Station, then turn left to get to the bus stand number 2 at the South bus terminal area.

Keep an eye out for the Moai Statues and giant buddha statue on Hill Of The Buddha on the way there – you can see these from the bus route!

There are three stops in the park: Suzuran Koen Keiryu Guchi, Suzuran Koen Chuo Guchi, and Suzuran Koen Higashi Guchi.  Don’t get off at the first stop unless you plan on doing cross country skiing only. It seemed a long walk to the tube sledding slopes from there.

We got off at Higashi Guchi stop which is a fair distance after the first signs saying welcome to the park. From here it was an easy walk to the Country House for information and rental/free hire ( about 100 meters).

Don’t Miss The Last Bus

If you’ve traveled to the park via public transport, be sure not to miss the last bus, which leaves before 4pm.

We were told not even Taxis were likely to pick you up if you missed the bus!

Last bus
Entrance to a tower for kids to play in
Inside the castle tower, fun area for kids to play
Tunnel leading to the tower
Indoor kids play area
Indoor kids play area
More areas roped off
Viewing tower, though we didn’t get time to go up for a look.

For more information including maps of the bus stops and car parks, check out the latest English Brochure here, also available from the ‘leaflets’ section of the Takino website.

2 Replies to “Visiting Takino Snow World (Takino Suzuran Hillside National Park)”

  1. Hi, just saw your post about takino snow world. me and my kids are planning to visit next week. may i ask what is the best stop to get off from the bus? shortest walk to the country house? my kids are only 5 and 8 and i am afraid that they can get tired easily. also want to confirm that we can rent waterproof pants and shoes for kids and adults there? we just want to play in the snow and not necessarily ski?

    thank you for your helpful post

    1. Hi Cherish,
      Sorry for the late reply! If you want to walk to the country house, the best bus stop to get off at is Higashi Guchi car park. It’s only a few hundred meters to walk to the Country House from there. Check out this brochure here, which includes some maps so you can see the different areas! (I’ll also add this to the post!)

      The free waterproof pants and jackets are in adult sizes only. However, you can rent children’s sized clothing for a fee – when we went a Jacket and Pants set for children (90-160cm) was 1540 Yen for the day.

      Rental shoes costed us 500 yen per pair as well. I believe they had children’s sizes available.

      Bring your own gloves if you can, as they don’t rent them on site, but you can buy them. (They may have had kid’s gloves to rent, but that was part of a set including goggles etc I think).

      Just playing in the snow is totally fine at Takino Snow World – the plastic sled rental is free, and there are places off the side of the path to play in the snow. Snow-shoes are also free to rent if you want to walk on fresh powder snow, but I am not sure if they have kid’s sizes.

      I hope you have heaps of fun!!

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