3 Recommended Places to View The Sea of Clouds, “Unkai” in Hokkaido | FAST JAPAN
Places to View The Sea of Clouds, “Unkai” in Hokkaido

3 Recommended Places to View The Sea of Clouds, “Unkai” in Hokkaido

"Unkai (雲海)” is the sea of clouds that is visible from places located at high elevation. There are many popular spots where you can view Unkai in Hokkaido.

Unkai (雲海), the sea clouds is the natural phenomena that clouds spread all around just like sea and a mountain looks like an island on the sea. It emerges under certain conditions in the early morning. The sea clouds generated when low pressure passes through mountains and the earth is cooled down by the radiational cooling without flow of air. Therefore, opportunity of Unkai emergence is quite rare, but it is relatively high at following places.


#1. Unkai Terrace of Hoshino Resorts Tomamu

Unkai Terrace of Hoshino Resorts Tomamu
Photo Credit: Kentaro Ohno@flickr.com

Hoshino Resorts Tomamu is famous for its winter activity facility and ice village. However, they have special activity you can never experience at any other place in the season other than winter. As Tomamu is surrounded by Mt. Tomamu and Hidaka Mountains, Unkai emerges relatively more than other places.

Unkai Terrace of Hoshino Resorts Tomamu
Photo Credit: Kentaro Ohno@flickr.com

Hoshino Resorts Tomamu established the special place to view Unkai in 2005. The place named “Unkai Terrace” at an altitude of about 1008 meters. After 13-minute ride on gondola, you can view the largest and dynamic Unkai from the perfectly developed observatory area or cafeteria.

Unkai Terrace of Hoshino Resorts Tomamu
Photo Credit: Kentaro Ohno@flickr.com

You will have fresh feeling by not only having a coffee break, but also doing yoga exercise there in early morning. You can go up to the Unkai Terrace without using gondola if you would like to hike to the top of the hill.
[map lat=”43.077075″ lng=”142.598892″][/map]

Unkai Terrace of Hoshino Resorts Tomamu

Address: Naka-Tomamu, Shimukappu-mura, Yufutsu-gun, Hokkaido

Access: About 10-minute shuttle bus ride from JR Tomamu Station

4:00 AM ~ 8:00 AM (May – August)
4:30 AM ~ 8:00 AM (September to October)

Admission Fee:
2,200 yen (adults)
1,300 per (elementary school student)
500 yen (pet)

Phone: +81-(0)167-58-1111 (Hoshino Resorts Tomamu)

Website: Hoshino Resorts Tomamu


#2. Mt. Tokachidake

Mt. Tokachidake is almost located in the center of Hokkaido Island. It is famous as the place where you can enjoy beautiful colors of autumn leaves in the early in Japan. Wild scenery of endlessly extending mountains is magnificent and you can see Unkai with such environment full of nature.

Mt. Tokachidake

The most recommended spot to view Unkai of Mt. Tokachidake is the hotel named Kamihoro-So. Surprisingly you can view Unkai just in front of the hotel as the hotel is located on the hillside of Tokachi Mountain Range at an altitude of about 1200 meters.

Photo Credit: Booking.com

It is the luxury time to view Unkai while soaking in the bathtub of open-air bath using 100 percent free-flowing hot-spring water. You will feel like that you are soaking in a tub on the cloud. Free shuttle buses from/to Kamifurano Station and from/to Asahikawa Station. Please remind that you need to make a reservation by 1 week before staying if you ride on a bus from Asahikawa Station.
[map lat=”43.415349″ lng=”142.638416″][/map]


Address: Tokachidake-onsen, Kamifurano, Sorachi-gun, Hokkaido

Access: About 30-minute bus ride from Kamifurano Station

7:00 AM ~ 9:00 PM (for onsen-only guests)
3:00 AM ~ 0:00 AM (for hotel guests)

Phone: +81-(0)167-45-2970

Booking.com: Kamihoro-so


#3. Tsubetsu Toge Out Look

Tsubetsu Toge Out Look

Tsubetsu Toge is located near Lake Kussharo, the largest caldera lake in Japan and one of the representative sightseeing spots in Hokkaido by the unique feature that you can make your own open-air bath if you scoop out a hole in the sand along the shore of the lake. From Tsubetsu Toge out look you can view the scenery of Lake Kussharo and Unkai covered the lake in the morning.

Tsubetsu Toge Out Look

There is a tour of Unkai departing 6:00 AM from Kussharo Prince Hotel to the Tsubetsu Toge out look. Actually, the observatory is closed in the early morning, but only tour participants can go up to the platform.

[map lat=”43.577148″ lng=”144.224159″][/map]


Tsubetsu Toge Out Look

Address: Tsubetsu-toge, Kamisato, Tsubetsu, Abashiri-gun, Hokkaido

Access: About 20-minute bus ride from Kussharo Prince Hotel

Hours: 9:00 AM ~ 7:00 PM (Tour: depart at 6:00 AM from June 1 to October 31)

Tour Participation Fee:
3,000 yen (adults)
1,800 yen (children)
700 yen (under 3-year old)

Phone: +81-(0)167-23-5910 (Reservation at Leisure Guide “Asobiya”)

Website: Tsubetsu Toge Out Look


You will be impressed by the magnificent scenery and luck to see the rare view when you see Unkai fortunately. It is worth to come up hills so far to see the unearthly view at least once in a lifetime because of the mysterious beauty in the early morning sun that is hard to think of as something of this world.


Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Most Popular