The only way to reach Sounkyo Onsen by public transportation is by bus. If you're coming from Sapporo, take the JR train 2 1/2 hours to Kamikawa (four departures daily; ¥6,180 one-way), transferring there for the 30-minute bus ride (¥800) directly to Sounkyo Onsen. Buses depart about 11 times a day and generally connect with train arrivals, but it's always wise to check ahead with the JR counter in Sapporo Station's Hokkaido-Sapporo Tourist Information Center (or, have a Japanese call the Kamikawa bus terminal at tel. 01658/2-1316).
There are two buses a day -- called the Sunrise Asahikawa-Kushiro-go -- connecting Sounkyo Onsen with Akanko Onsen in Akan National Park, with the one-way fare costing ¥3,260 for the 3 1/2-hour trip. Reservations are required; call tel. 01658/5-3321 in Sounkyo, or 0154/67-2205 in Akan; or drop by the bus terminal in either town. All bus fares are half-price for children.
Visitor Information & Orientation
The tourist information office (tel. 01658/5-3350; daily 10:30am-5pm) is located in front of the bus stop, next to the post office. The staff's English is limited but they have maps and can point you in the direction of your lodging or even make reservations for you. In any case, the village is so tiny that you won't have any difficulty getting around; it's basically two streets leading up to the ropeway, and a pedestrian lane, called Canyon Mall Street, that wanders through the center of town.