Soun Gorge is situated at the foot of Mt.
Daisetsu-zan, which is called the "roof of
Hokkaido." The giant gorge, bordered by
100-meter-high cliffs formed by the
erosion of tuff, stretches for 24
kilometers and forms the center of
Daisetsu-zan National Park. The hot spring
area boasts of magnificent scenery and
plentiful natural hot water, and attracts
three million visitors a year.
The gorge contains lots of waterfalls, of which the Ryusei-no-taki Falls (shooting star falls) and Ginga-no-taki Falls (Milky Way falls) are especially worth seeing. At both of these waterfalls, the water falls directly over the cliff, giving them a sense of great power. The Obako and Kobako rock formations are said to be the most beautiful places in the gorge. Obako features wide rock faces that resemble 'byobu' (folding screens), while Kobako has many fantastic crags. You can rent bicycles there.
If you change from the Daisetsu-zan Soun- kyo Ropeway to the Kuro-dake Lift, you can climb to a height of 1,700 meters and enjoy a magnificent view of Mt. Daisetsu- zan. The Soun-kyo-onsen Hot Spring is in the middle of the gorge, and is full of modern hotels. In summer the Soun-kyo Hi- matsuri (fire festival) takes place in the gorge, while in mid-winter there is the Hyobaku-matsuri Festival (ice waterfall festival).