Asahikawa

Asahikawa, Hokkaido's second-largest city, is the principal entrance to Daisetsuzan National Park. It is not terribly cosmopolitan; daytime life centers around a pedestrian shopping area and at night the entertainment district is raucously full of men from the farming hinterland. Travelers pass through its station, bus terminal, or airport on their way to more beautiful places, but a small Ainu museum and a winter festival in February are worthwhile if your schedule dictates a one-night stay.

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