Distinct history and culture characterises the most northern prefecture of Japan, Hokkaido. Among the various destinations in Hokkaido is Do-To, meaning the eastern Hokkaido region, where the culture of the region is hugely influenced by the indigenous Ainu people of Hokkaido.
The hub cities in the area are Kushiro, the biggest city in eastern Hokkaido, Nemuro, the most eastern city of Japan with never-ending roads along the coast, Abashiri, a small city facing the Sea of Okhotsk, Shiretoko, a gem of natural beauties, and Tokachi, a region filled with beautiful farmland. The following 10 locations are filled with scenery and natural monuments that are bound to amaze you!
1. Lake hopping at Shiretoko
2. Oshinkoshin no Taki: waterfall of twin beauty
Kushiro Prince Hotel is conveniently located just a 7-minute walk away from the Japan Railway Kushiro Station. Part of the 4-star Prince Hotel chain, Kushiro Prince Hotel is known for its gorgeous buffet-style breakfast and is also popular due to its proximity to Kushiro Fisherman’s Wharf MOO, one of the must-visit sites in Kushiro.
Kushiro Prince Hotel
Address:71-, Sawaicho, Kushiro-city, Hokkaido (see map)
Access info: 10-minute walk from JR Kushiro Station
Contact: +81 154-31-1111
Kushiro Prince Hotel
Address: Sawaicho 7-1
Price: from 69 USD
Restaurant Bar Vending Machine (drinks) Massage Car Rental 24-Hour Front Desk Safe Currency Exchange
4. Kushiro Wetland - a wildlife haven
Although there are numerous hotels in Abashiri, many of them are concentrated in the city area. Auberge Kita no Dandan, on the other hand, is an inn located near to Lake Abashiri. Despite being surrounded by vast greenery, it is located only a 3-minute car ride from Abashiri Station, allowing you to have the best of both worlds: convenience and serenity. The retro inn also has a natural open-air onsen that provides a splendid view of Lake Abashiri.
Auberge Kitano Dan Dan
Address:39-17, Oomagari, Abashiri-city, Hokkaido (see map)
Access: 5-minute taxi ride from JR Abashiri Station
Contact: +81 152-45-5963
Auberge Kita No Dan Dan
Address: Oomagari 39-17
Price: from 143 USD
Special Diet Meals (upon request) Vending Machine (drinks) Massage Hot Spring Bath Baggage Storage Grounds Non-smoking Rooms Family Rooms
6. Experience prison life at the former Abashiri Prison Museum!
Abashiri Prison Museum is an open-air museum in the renovated buildings of the former Abashiri Prison. Abashiri Prison was built in 1890 and was used for almost 100 years, and a total of 10 tangible cultural properties are registered there. Apart from viewing the exhibits on display, there are also activities where you can try out the former prison foods and attempt carrying the heavy equipment that the prisoners used for construction.
Abashiri Prison Museum
Address: 1-1 Yobito, Abashiri-city, Hokkaido
Access info: 10-minute bus ride from JR Abashiri Station
Opening hours: 9am - 5pm
Fixed holiday: nil
Contact: +81 152-45-2411
Entrance fee: 1,080 JPY (9.80 USD)
On a small hill near Abashiri Lake lies Hokuten No Oka, Abashiriko Tsuruga Resort. The hotel has various artwork with the theme “Okhotsk Culture”, such as sculptures and oldern Japanese pottery. You can listen to the locals speak about the culture and history of the region. Abashiriko Tsuruga Resort also has several natural onsens with different healing effects, rejuvenating not just your skin but also your body.
Abashiriko Tsuruga Resort
Address: 159 Yobito, Abashiri-city, Hokkaido (see map)
Access: 15 minutes’ drive from JR Yobito Station
Contact: +81 152-48-3211
Hokuten no Oka Abashiriko Tsuruga Resort
Address: Yobito 159
Price: from 266 USD
WiFi Available in All Areas Golf Course (within 2 miles) Skiing Canoeing Restaurant Bar Snack Bar Special Diet Meals (upon request)
8. True beauty of summer at Koshimizu Wild Flower Garden!
Koshimizu is a town that is only five stations away from the Japan Railway Abashiri Station. Located there is the Koshimizu Genseikaen (Koshimizu Wild Flower Garden), a flower garden that is best visited from mid-June to the end of August. The flower garden cultivates a diverse range of flowers, including chocolate lilies in mid-June, Siberian lilies in July, and various types of Japanese parsley in August. You can also have a 360-degree view of the Sea of Okhotsk and Lake Tofutsu together with the vibrant flowers.
Koshimizu Wild Flower Garden
Address: Aza-Hamakoshimizu, Koshimizu Town, Shari County, Hokkaido
Access info: Near Gensei Kaen Station, Kushiro Honsen Line (between May and October) or 10-minute car ride from Hamakoshimizu Station of Kushiro Honsen Line
Opening hours: all day
Opening dates: from late April to the end of October
Contact: +81 152-62-4481
Entrance fee: free
9. Cape Bihoro, the landscape of the north
10. Perfect for a jump shot! The long straight road of Shari, Shiretoko
Here are the directions:
Travel along National Route 244 from Abashiri towards Shiretoko Peninsula and bypass the road leading to National Route 334. (This is actually the stretch of road in the photo). At the foot of the Shiretoko Peninsula, there will be a side road facing north that leads to the coast. Do not turn, and exit the National Route by continuing to go straight. As you keep travelling up the gentle slope, you will pass by an observatory on the left and eventually reach a T-junction, finally reaching your destination.
Hokkaido, nature’s artwork from the Ice Age
With UNESCO World Heritage Sites like Shiretoko and Natural Monuments such as the red-crowned crane, eastern Hokkaido is filled with nature that will capture your heart. Photographs are not powerful enough to explain the beauty of this place, so make sure you visit as many of the places mentioned as possible to experience the magnificent nature of Hokkaido!
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