Eastern Hokkaido is typically devided into different geographical regions. Each region differs slightly in respect of culture and landscape, but all are uniquely Eastern Hokkaido. Find your favorite part of Eastern Hokkaido.
Asahikawa, Sounkyo area
The Sounkyo nestled in the midst of Daisetsuzan National Park is known for the spectacular beauty of its autumnal leaves. The Waterfall of Ginga and the Waterfall of Meteor which steadily cascade down through the columnar joints of the 200 meter high sheer cliffs is certainly a splendid vista to behold. If one ascends to the seventh station of Mount Kuro by taking the ropeway followed by a lift、there is no doubt that you will be overwhelmed by the full panorama of the mountain range suspended in a sea of clouds. The Tenninkyo Hot Springs are known for having the Hagoromo waterfall nearby and are recommended if you seeking rustic ambience.
Mombetsu, Abashiri area
This area has always coexisted with the Sea of Okhotsk Even as each ten thousand years pass, the aspect of the Okhotsk sea doesn’t change, the winter sea still gets cut off by drift ice and the majestic summer sea glistens marine blue. Every Year, this sea promises an abundant catch and produces dramatic drift ice in winter. In the 7th century the history of the Okhotsk culture was brought to East Hokkaido by the mythical people, “”the Okhotsk people””. In some respects, it feel almost like a place separated from Japan.
Shiretoko, Rausu, Nakashibetsu area
Shiretoko was named a national park in 1964 and in 2005 was designated a UNESCO World National Heritage Site. The highest peak of Mount Rausu traverses the mountain range leading to a coastline of precipitous cliffs which have been eroded by the sea. For sure, this desolate terrain is what has protected Shiretoko raw natural beauty. Steller’s sea eagles and white-tailed eagles in the sky, brown bears and shika deer on the ground and dolphins and whales in the Okhotsk sea. I want you to experience this wild kingdom with your whole body.
Mashu, Kawayu, Akan area
With successive caldera lakes formed due to volcanic activity in this area, this whole area is designated Akan National Park. Lake Mashu is deep having an impressive deep-blue velvet lake surface and boasts the clearest water in the world. Colonies of Marimo, which are regarded as a special national treasure grow in Lake Akan. Also, the resort town of Akanko hot spring has an Ainu settlement (Ainu kotan) where it is possible to experience the traditional life and culture of the Ainu people. There is no doubt that your journey will become one where you can contemplate the harmonious coexistence of the people and the world.
Saroma, Kitami, On’neyu area
The highlight of this area is the sun setting on Lake Saroma. Which covers everything in a red hue, the unobstructed panoramic views are a magnificent sight. Saroma lake is a mix of sea water and fresh water making it Japan’s biggest brackish lake, it became a lake after one part of the Sea of Okhotsk got cut off by a buildup of sedimentation. The “Wakka hot water” gushing forth from the bottom of the lake has a strong thermal effect, it is referred to as “fire hot spring water”. Immersed in the hot water while watching the sunset, there is no doubt that this is what I would call a moment of bliss.
Kushiro, Nemuro, Akkeshi area
This area is a sacred place for bird watchers. Protected by the Ramsar Convention in 1980 and incorporated into Kushiro National Park in 1987, 170 species of wild birds such as ducks and the white-tailed eagle inhabit Kushiro including the Red-crowned Crane which is a special protected species. On the other hand, a certain paradise for birds is Shunkunitai in Nemuro City where about 280 species of bird have been identified. In 2005, along with Lake Furen, this area was also designated a Ramsar site.
Tokachigawa, Obihiro, Shikaribetsu area
Following the “”Hokkaido Garden Road”” from Kamikawa to Obhiro through Furano, this route is about 270km long and is dotted with 8 tourist gardens. Looking at the Hidaka mountain range in the distance and strolling through an English Garden where the flowers are in full bloom; such elegant travel is splendid. If you get tired from walking, I would recommend the “Moor Hot spring” at the Tokachigawa hot spring. This is a popular hot spring with women as it results in smooth skin due to ancient layers of botanical sediment which the water springs up through.
Furano, Biei area
Couples taking pictures on the hills of field flowers. Standing in Furano’s lavender fields being enveloped in the sweet sour fragrance brings me joy. Furano has become famous from being the setting for a popular television drama with many fans even now visiting the set locations. On the other hand, the hills of Biei have gathered popularity for the patchwork of primary colors which paint the countryside such as the golden colored wheat fields. The names of these photo spots are also “Patchwork Road” and “Panorama Road