April 17, 17 | Takako Chiba
Ishikari Hamamasu’s spring features “Horse Snow (Mayuki)”
When you drive the National Route 231, as known as Ororon Line, for about 1 hour and 40 to 50 minutes, you can find a point to view “Horse Snow (Mayuki)” in Ishikari City Hamamasu-ku. Horse Snow appears in early April!
The “Horse” which appears at the time of the melting snow that is “Horse Snow” in Hamamasu-ku Cape AikappuAt the time of melting snow, lingering snows on mountainsides or bare rocks sometimes look like animal or human. People call it “Snow Shape” in Japanese. It is same as clouds in the sky which look like vehicle or food. It must be common to all snowy areas including outside of Hokkaido, but the snow shape in Ishikari City Hamamasu-ku Cape Aikappu looks like a “horse”. Don’t you think this is very Hokkaido-like snow shape since Hokkaido is the great producer of horses?
▲When you head to north on the National Route 231 (Ororon Line), you will find the sign of “郷土資料館 (Kyodo Museum)”, which shows the viewpoint.
The best spot to view “Horse Snow” is “Hamanasu Kyodo Museum”. Drive to the north (to Hamamasu) on the National Route 231, and turn left right after you see the sign of “郷土資料館 (Kyodo Museum)”. Or, don’t turn left here and keep driving a little bit. You will see a building called “カフェガル (cafe gull)” on the left, park the car there. You can see “Horse Snow” from the parking of cafe gull or “Hamamsu Furusato Park” below cafe gull.
▲Hamamasu Furusato Park. Located below cafe gull.
▲It looks like this when you see Cape Aikappu from Hamamasu Furusato Park
The snow looks like a “horse” more and more as the weather changesHokkaido Likers team visited to cover on March 30th. Unfortunately, it was cloudy, but if it was sunny, we should have been able to see bright sea and cape. I can imagine it will be extremely beautiful.
Anyways, I searched for “Horse Snow”… and found it! It was at the tip of the cape, and I could recognize with the naked eye.
▲Do you notice “Horse Snow” on the tip of Cape Ainappu?
Let’s get closer.
▲Can you notice the shape of a horse? The head is on the right side.
Horse Snow is passed down by women in Hamamasu, where used to flourish with herring fishing so much that people came to work away from home, as the symbol of the end of the season of herring and the factor to call back the fishermen they loved.
▲When the snow melts more, we will be able to recognize horse’s legs, too.
The picture of “Horse Snow” is uploaded at the website of Ishikari Tourism Association every day, so you can check the best time to view the shape. According to the tourism association, it depends on the weather but about a week in early April is the best time to view “Horse Snow”. (The peak has already passed for 2017 according to the website of Ishikari Tourism Association) When Hokkaido Likers team visited, we could only recognize the head and the vague silhouette, but we should be able to recognize its legs when temperature rises and snow melts.
▲When the snow melts more, you should be able to see beautiful “Horse Snow” like the picture above! It seems like it will start running.
* The picture is provided by Ishikari City.
Snow is melting gradually, and it became easier to drive a car. Why don’t you visit Ishikari City to see the spring features when you go out for driving? But don’t look around while you drive, park the car at the viewpoints before you enjoy viewing “Snow Horse”.
Related Links- Ishikari Tourism Association
- Ishikari City
Hokkaido Likers writer Takako Chiba
Photo / Tomoya Suwa