Mountains, forests, hot springs, caldera lakes, and volcanoes are virtually in Sapporo's backyard, less than an hour's drive away. Route 230 passes the large hot-spring village of Jozankei, then the mountains close in and the road climbs 2,742 feet to Nakayama Pass. On a clear day the view from the top is classic Hokkaido: farmland with the majestic Mt. Yotei in its midst, and on the southern horizon lie Lake Toya's volcanic crater and Noboribetsu hot springs, where the earth steams, rumbles, and erupts. If you are unsure how to navigate Japan's bus system, rent a car to take this in.
Shikotsu-Tōya National Park, Japan