Saroma, Kitami, and Onneyu Area
Take the Golden Route and head for the sunset at Lake Saroma.
Highway 39 stretches from Asahikawa to Abashiri, and is known as the “golden route” of sightseeing. Along this highway, you’ll travel through both the Daisetsuzan National Park and Abashiri Quasi-National Park. Continue further, and you’ll reach Akan and Shiretoko.
Located along the way is the city of Kitami. Although its well known for peppermint and having the highest yield of onions in Japan, there are also numerous “yakiniku” barbecue restaurants, earning it the nickname “Yakiniku Town.”
Yama-no Aquarium, a popular aquarium in Onneto Hot Springs, features the “Four Seasons Tank.” This tank freezes during winter, mimicking the natural habitat of fish. You can also observe giant Japanese huchen in a large tank and other rare and unique fish as well. Definitely worth a stop!
Lake Saroma, known for its beautiful sunsets, is one of the largest salt lakes in Japan. The lake was formed by sedimentation, which caused a portion of the Sea of Okhotsk to be cut off from its body. Colonies of rare plants grow in the flower gardens, known in Japanese as “Gensei Kaen,” near the reef, making this the perfect spot for walking and cycling.
Lake Saroma is known as the “fever spring,” as it is a hot spring rich with iron that keeps heat from escaping. The spring flows from the bottom of the lake.