Top things to do

Top Choice Cafe in Asahikawa

Tirol

Tirol may have only opened a few years ago, but the owner has kept the 70-year-old building lovingly intact, with a suitably vintage interior and jazzy soundtrack. The coffee (¥550), roasted in-house, is fantastic. …
Museum in Asahikawa

Kawamura Kaneto Ainu Memorial Hall

Recently celebrating its 100th anniversary, this museum is less a collection of artefacts (though it has those too) and more the story of a local Ainu family desperate to keep the old ways alive; there are many fasc…
Ramen in Asahikawa

Ramen Aoba

The city's oldest ramen shop (70 years and counting!) serves delicious al dente noodles in a shōyu (soy sauce) seasoned, assari (light) broth – classic Asahikawa-style. The elderly proprietor truly loves foreign cus…
Japanese in Asahikawa

Furarīto Alley

This rambling collection of 18 tiny restaurants runs the length of an alley between 4-jō-dōri and 5-jō-dōri about a 10-minute walk north of the train station. Wander along (loosely translated, furarīto means wander)…
Cultural in Asahikawa

Kotan Matsuri

Held on the autumn equinox in September on the banks of the Chubestu-gawa, south of the city. There are traditional Ainu dances, music and prayer ceremonies offered to the deities of fire, the river, kotan (the vill…
Cultural in Asahikawa

Asahikawa Winter Matsuri

Held every February and into its sixth decade, Asahikawa's winter festival is second only to Sapporo's. The International Ice Sculpture Competition is a highlight, along with local food and fun events.
Brewery in Asahikawa

Otokoyama Sake Brewery Museum

Otokoyama, one of Japan's oldest and most esteemed breweries, was founded in Hyōgo prefecture centuries ago but since 1899 its sake has been made here in Asahikawa – all the better to take advantage of that mountain…
Zoo in Asahikawa

Asahiyama Zoo

Known Japan-wide, the country's northernmost zoo attracts visitors with its stars from cold climates: polar bears and penguins. More interesting to travellers might be the enclosures featuring Hokkaidō native specie…
Brewery in Asahikawa

Taisetsu Ji-bīru-kan

To try the local brew, walk east of JR Asahikawa Station for five minutes to this red-brick warehouse turned beer hall. You can drink it, buy it, try the curious 'beer jelly' or pair it with a plate of jingisukan (a…