The Daisetsuzan Mountains are a group of ranges in central Hokkaidō defined by their proximity in the Daisetsuzan National Park and a common volcanic origin.
The classification of the mountains is complicated. The main section in the northwest of the park is known as the Ishikari Mountains (Ishikari Sanchi). Within that range is Daisetsuzan proper centring on the Ohachidaira Caldera (お鉢平カルデラ) with the Tomuraushi group to the south. The Tokachi Mountains are further to the southwest, joined to the Ishikari range by a narrow ridge.
To the east there is a another range, confusingly also called the Ishikari Mountains (Ishikari yama), located around Mount Ishikari (Ishikaridake). (Although the kanji in the names are the same, the large group in the northwest are called Ishikari Sanchi, while those in the southeast are called Ishikari Yama.) Other groups of hills lie to the south, on the west side of Nukabira and Shikaribetsu Lakes.
Ishikari Mountains (石狩山地 Ishikari Sanchi)
Zone of stratovolcanoes and lava domes  including:
- Mount Asahi (旭岳 Asahidake), 2,290 m Highest peak In the Daisetsuzan National Park. Stratovolcano with fumaroles.
- Mount Mamiya (間宮岳 Mamiyadake) 2,185 m
- Mount Naka (中岳 Nakadake) 2,113 m
- Mount Hokuchin (北鎮岳 Hokuchindake) 2,244 m
- Mount Nokogiri (鋸岳 Nokogiridake) 2,142 m
- Mount Pippu (比布岳 Pippudake) 2,197 m
- Mount Ryōun (凌雲岳 Ryōundake) 2,125 m
- Mount Keigetsu (桂月岳 Keigetsudake) 1,938 m
- Mount Kuro (黒岳 Kurodake) 1,984 m
- Mount Hokkai (北海岳 Hokkaidake) 2,149 m
- Mount Matsuda (松田岳 Matsudadake) 2,136 m
- Mount Eboshi (烏帽子岳 Eboshidake) 2,072 m
- Mount Aka (赤岳 Akadake) 2,078 m
- Mount Goshiki (五色岳 Goshikidake) 2,038 m
- Mount Koizumi (小泉岳 Koizumidake) 2,158 m
- Mount Hakuun (白雲岳 Hakuundake) 2,229 m
- Mount Midori (緑岳 Midoridake) 2,019 m
- Mount Taira (平ヶ岳 Tairagadake) 1,752 m
- Mount Bonchūbetsu (凡忠別岳 Bonchūbetsudake) 1,821 m
- Mount Chubetsu (忠別岳 Chubetsudake) 1,963 m
- Mount Goshiki (五色岳 Goshikidake) 1,868 m
- Mount Kaun (化雲岳 Kaundake) 1,954 m
- Mount Tomuraushi (トムラウシ山 Tomuraushiyama) 2,141 m
- Mount Tsurigane (釣鐘山 Tsuriganeyama) 1,708 m
Tokachi Mountains (十勝連峰 Tokachi Renpō)
Named after Mount Tokachi, mainly stratovolcanoes which have been active in recent times . They form the border between Kamikawa and Tokachi.
- Mount Oputateshike (オプタテシケ山 Oputateshikeyama) 2,013 m
- Mount Bebetsu (ベベツ岳 Bebetsudake) 1,860 m
- Mount Ishigaki (石垣山 Ishigakiyama) 1,822 m
- Mount Biei Fuji (美瑛富士 Biei Fuji) 1,888 m
- Mount Biei (美瑛岳 Bieidake) 2.052 m
- Mount Tokachi (十勝岳 Tokachidake), 2,077m
- Mount Sandan (三段山 Sandanyama) 1,748 m
- Mount Kamihorokamettoku (上ホロカメットク山 Kamihorokamettokuyama) 1,920 m
- Mount Kamifurano (上富良野岳 Kamifuranodake) 1,893 m
- Mount Sanpō (三峰山 Sanpōsan) 1,866 m
- Mount Furano (富良野岳 Furanodake) 1,912 m
Ishikari Group (石狩山 Ishikari yama)
- Mount Ishikari (石狩岳, Ishikaridake) 1,962 m
- Mount Otofuke (音更山 Otofukeyama) 1,932 m
- Mount Yuniishikari (ユニ石狩岳 Yuniishikaridake) 1,756 m
- Mount Mikuni (三国山 Mikuniyama) 1,541 m
- Mount Nipesotsu (ニペソツ山 Nipesotsuyama) 2,013 m lava dome
- Mount Maru (丸山 Maruyama) 1,692 m lava dome.
- Mount Upepesanke (ウペペサンケ山 Upepesankeyama) 1,836 m lava dome
Lava domes located to the west and south of Lake Shikaribetsu :
- Mount Kita Petoutoru (北ペトウトル山 Kita Petoutoruyama) 1,401 m
- Mount Minami Petoutoru (南ペトウトル山 Minami Petoutoruyama) 1,348 m
- Mount Naitai (ナイタイ山 Naitaiyama) 1,332 m
- Mount Tenbo (天望山 Tenbozan) 1,174 m
- Mount Hakuun (白雲山 Hakuunzan) 1,187 m
- Mount Higashinupukaushinupuri (東ヌプカウシヌプリ Higashinupukaushinupuri) 1,252m lava dome
- Mount Nishinupukaushinupuri (西ヌプカウシヌプリ Nishinupukaushinupuri) 1,240m
The permafrost, which is only found elsewhere in Japan on the tops of Mount Fuji (3,776 m) and Mount Tateyama (3,015 m), begins in Daisetsuzan at about 2,000 m. The park has at least 19 peaks that go over this level so the extent of the permafrost is considerable. Mean annual temperature at the Mount Hakuun Mountain Hut (Hakuundake hinangoya) is -3.8 degrees C.
Daisetsuzan is best known for over 200 species of alpine plant which flower on the peaks in July and August, however there are different vegetation zones on the mountains according to altitude and in the foothills there are other flowers that emerge when the snows melt in May and June. In mid September the hillsides change colour with the turning of the leaves on the trees.
The mountains contain many animals including the brown bear (Ursus arctos yesoensis), Hokkaidō deer (Cervus nippon yesoensis), Hokkaidō fox (Vulpes vulpes schrencki), northern pika (Ochotona hyperborea yesoensis), Ezo sable (Martes zibellina), Siberian chipmunk (Tamias sibiricus) and Eurasian red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris orientis). There are no wolves, the Hokkaidō species (Canis lupus hattai) became extinct during the 19th century.
Daisetsuzan Grand Traverse
The 'hard' five day, 55 kilometre walk through the Ishikari and Tokachi Mountains on the west side of Daisetsuzan National Park is described in detail in the Lonely Planet Hiking in Japan guide (see sources below). The trek starts at Asahidake Onsen, below Mount Asahi, and finishes at Tokachidake Onsen, below Mount Tokachi. The walk is normally undertaken between July and October.
There are a number of entry/exit points on the route so it is possible to do the 'traverse' in separate sections at different times.
- Florence, M et al. (2001) Hiking in Japan Lonely Planet Publications, Victoria