Kutchan Shiba Sakura Mishima san Garden Spring 5

5 Mount Yotei Photo Spots You'll Wish You Had Found Sooner

Niseko is known for its fantastic powder snow and top-notch ski resorts. But if you've been lucky enough to see it, you know Mount Yotei steals the spotlight.

Mount Yotei (羊蹄山, Yōtei-zan) is an active volcano situated within Hokkaido's Shikotsu-Toya National Park. Often referred to as Ezo Fuji due to its conical shape reminiscent of Japan's iconic Mount Fuji, "Ezo" being an old name for Hokkaido, Mount Yotei is fundamentally the Mount Fuji of Hokkaido. It holds a special place as one of the "local Fujis" scattered across Japan.

With an elevation of 1,898 meters, Mount Yotei is among the 100 famous mountains of Japan. It draws hikers year-round, both in summer and winter. For sightseers, there are many towns from which to view Mount Yotei, including Kutchan, Niseko, Kyogoku, Kimobetsu, Makkari, Rusutsu, and Rankoshi, each offering a unique perspective and appearance of Mount Yotei.

Mount Yotei looks like a different world in summer compared to its snow-covered beauty in winter. As warm weather breathes life into the surrounding trees, the mountain sheds its white coat for a lush green gown. During summer, you'll discover many new scenes that winter hides.

Aikawa Viewpoint Parking Mt Yotei Straight Road Spring Drone 2

Here are the top 5 spots for summer (plus a bonus one) we have handpicked for our readers. These places are too special to keep to ourselves as locals. We wanted to share them with you so you can be inspired and fall in love with Mount Yotei and summer here just as we have.

1. Mount Yotei and Shibazakura at Mishima-san’s Garden, Kutchan Town

Mishima-san's garden is consistently a top recommended destination to visit during Niseko's green season. The captivating carpet of pink and white Shibazakura (also known as Shiba Sakura or pink moss) blankets the ground, creating a picturesque backdrop with Mount Yotei for unforgettable photos.

While this garden is privately owned, Mr. Mishima generously opens it to the public, with admission being free of charge.

  • Best time to visit: Late May to early June.
  • View location on Google Map: Click here.

2. Mount Yotei and its reflection at Nokanosobaya Yoteizan, Kutchan Town

This location is adored by photographers, travelers, and locals who appreciate the beauty of Mount Yotei. The serene image of the mountain mirrored in the water is both calming and breathtaking. For the most spectacular views, aim to visit during the golden hours—sunrise and sunset—when the warm light bathes the mountain and trees, enhancing the reflection's beauty.

Nokanosobaya Yoteizan is actually a popular soba restaurant located here, well worth a visit if you're in the area. Additionally, there's a tap where you can collect spring water from Mount Yotei.

  • Best time to visit: This photo spot is stunning year-round, but during peak winter, when the pond freezes over, you won't see the reflection of Mount Yotei. The clearest reflection is observed on windless days.
  • View location on Google Map: Click here.
Kutchan Mt Yotei Reflection in Water Spring Credit Pimsiri K 1

3. Mount Yotei and Potato Flowers Field, Route 478, Kutchan Town

Kutchan is renowned for its potatoes, celebrated not only for their delicious flavor but also for the enchanting sight of potato flowers fields in summer. These fields, scattered throughout the town, burst into bloom, painting the landscape in soft hues of pink and white. It's truly one of the most magical times of the year in Kutchan. If you're traveling from Sapporo to Kutchan via Route 478, which stretches between Kutchan and Kyogoku, you're bound to catch sight of this scenic beauty along the way.

Kutchan Potato Flowers Field Summer Mt Yotei Credit Pimsiri K 2

Given that the potato fields are privately owned and the plants are vulnerable to disease, it's vital to refrain from entering the fields or touching the flowers. Showing respect for the local farmers and helping preserve the flowers is essential, despite their beauty.

  • Best time to visit: Late June until mid July.

If you're curious about Kutchan's potatoes and Jagata-kun, we've got you covered

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4. Mount Yotei and the long straight road at Aikawa Viewpoint, Kimobetsu Town

This spot is no longer a secret between the locals, it has gained popularity and is now widely recognized on social media. Many renowned influencers have recently featured this location, and it's easy to see why.

The sight of the long, straight road leading towards Mount Yotei is irresistible to travelers and commuters alike. It's a perfect scene for capturing unforgettable moments, especially during sunset when the beauty seems almost surreal. This experience might just become one of your favorite memories in Hokkaido.

There's ample parking space at this viewpoint, so you can relax and enjoy the view worry-free. However, capturing the perfect photo of the road with Mount Yotei in the center can be tricky due to the busy traffic. Be sure to be cautious and watch out for passing cars!

  • Best time to visit: It's gorgeous year-round, but summer adds an extra burst of vibrancy.
  • View location on Google Map: Click here.
Aikawa Viewpoint Parking Mt Yotei Straight Road Spring 2

5. Mount Yotei and its reflection on the rice field, along Route 276 in Kutchan & Kyogoku Town

This view of Mount Yotei's reflection in the rice field water is only available for a short time, typically in June. While Kutchan may not be known for its rice cultivation, Route 276, between Kutchan and Kyogoku, offers ideal spots to capture this unique scene.

Similar sights can be found in Rankoshi Town, renowned both locally and nationally for its rice production, recognized with multiple awards.

  • Best time to visit: Around mid June is your best shot.
  • View location on Google Map: Click here.
Kutchan Rice Filed Mt Yotei Reflection in Water Spring Credit Pimsiri K

Bonus Spot: Mount Yotei and Paragliders at Annupuri Summer Gondola Station, Niseko Town

Riding the Annupuri Summer Gondola to the top station offers an opportunity to view Mount Yotei with the unique perspective that you wouldn't experience from ground level.

Around mid-September marks a special occasion with the Niseko Sky Rally. Paragliders from across Japan gather, bringing the skies above Niseko to life. It's a rare sight to behold, witnessing the gliders soar against the backdrop of Mount Yotei—a moment that doesn't come around every day.

  • Best time to visit: This 2-day event typically takes place in mid-September. Stay updated with Niseko Annupuri Resort for the latest information.
  • View location on Google Map: Click here.

Don't wait until it's too late—start planning your summer getaway now! Explore the accommodations we have to offer, tailored to different types of travelers or group sizes!

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Pimsiri Kanjanakaroon

Pimsiri Kanjanakaroon

Pimsiri works as our Japan Assistant Marketing Manager and has been part of the team since winter 2018. While she enjoys shredding powder snow, she finds herself slightly more drawn to spending time outdoors during the green season.

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