Release | Yuki Konishi
Take a Flower Road Trip in Okhotsk Area - Part 1
Hokkaido will welcome the real flower season after the Golden Week holidays. Why don’t you take a road trip to see flowers in full bloom? Tulips and moss phlox in Okhotsk area will be in full bloom approximately from May 20th.
This area is a perfect course to take a one-night road trip: Yubestu Town to enjoy tulip and Lake Saroma, Takinoue Town to see moss phlox in the famous park known throughout Japan, and Monbestu Town to enjoy the delicious food freshly caught from the Sea of Okhotsk. In part one, I will introduce Yubetsu Town and food from Monbetsu.
The colorful tulips brightly shine in the Okhotsk blue colorIn Yubetsu Town, which faces the Sea of Okhotsk, there is “Kamuyubetsu Tulip Park” where visitors can enjoy over 200 kinds of tulips.
▲You can get the whole figure of the tulip farm from the symbol of the park “The Windmill Shaped Observation Deck”
When it becomes in full bloom from mid-May to late May, colorful tulips all over the huge 7 hectares (1.5 times bigger than Tokyo Dome) farm amaze all visitors. The local residents plant bulbs and change the design every year, so we can all enjoy the totally different sceneries each year.
The park hosts “2017 Kamiyubetsu Tulip Fair” at the time of blooming. Various events will be running during the festival.
In 2017 fair, they added 53 new tulip breeds, and they will prepare the first photo props such as photo frames. Also on weekends, there will be various events such as “tulip nail art workshop” and “hanajo (flower girl) camera workshop”.
▲If you get on the sightseeing but called “Tupit Go”, the guide will explain about the park.
Check the drone video, too!
* During “2017 Kamiyubetsu Tulip Fair”, the park requires visitors to pay entrance fees. Check the data at the bottom of this article for details.
More flower spots in Yubetsu Town▲Sakura cherry blossom flowers start blooming from early May to mid-May every year in Okhotsk area. Why don’t you experience the second Hanami of the year together with tulip? Major cherry blossom viewing spots in Yubetsu Town is “Gokazan Park” and “Kamiyubetsu Shrine Park”.
▲The above picture is “Okhotsk Lila Road”. About 600 Lila = Lilac trees align for 2.2 kilometers. It becomes in full bloom from the end of tulip season.
Stop by the restaurant in Michi No Eki (Roadside Station) to enjoy the local flavor for lunchVisit “Michi No Eki (Roadside Station) Kamiyubetsu Tulip Onsen” for lunch. It is about 5 minutes drive from “Kamiyubetsu Tulip Park”. It is very rare for a Michi No Eki to have a real onsen facility in it. This place is best for a little break from your road trip.
Dishes using local ingredients from sea, mountain, and land is very popular at the “Restaurant Tulip”. The most popular dish is “thick udon noodles”. The udon noodle has Kishimen noodle like texture, using flours from Hokkaido and onsen water as ingredients! The soup is based on chicken broth and uses salt from the Sea of Okhotsk. The light soup with full of umami flavor mixes so well with the chewy noodles.
▲The side dish is attractive, too! Locally produced onion tempura, stewed scallop, and slow-boiled egg.
For those who are hungrier, I recommend trying “Yushu Beef Steak Set”. Yushu Beef combines Japanese Black cattle and Holstein, and people can enjoy not only the light flavor of lean but also juicy and sweet flavor of fat. The onion sauce come with the set but I recommend to eat with salt from the Sea of Okhotsk.
▲There is also beef rice bowl using Yushu Beef. They will also provide local scallop from the coming season.
Other must-stop places in Yubestsu Town▲You can enjoy the great view at “Ryumiyadai Observation Deck”. The Sea of Okhotsk is in the back of the picture, and Lake Saroma is in front. You can get the whole view from the observation deck, and it is also said that you get cleaned by special mystical energy from the wind coming from the sea and the lake.
▲The northernmost Ferris wheel in Japan. You can get the whole view of Lake Saroma from the Ferris wheel in “Ai Land You”. Not only the whole blue view during the day is beautiful but also the time around sunset is very romantic.
▲The beautiful view around the sunset is another attraction of Yubetsu Town.
Enjoy various seafood in Monbetsu to taste the fresh seafood from the Sea of Okhotsk!If you come to Okhotsk area, you should not miss seafood! “Kaisen Shokudo Yotteke Marutomi” in Monbetsu City, which is about 40 minutes drive from Yubetsu Town, is operated directly by a fish processing company. They have sharp eyes for fresh seafood caught in Monbetsu to provide as small dishes and meal sets.
The most popular dish for lunch and also for dinner is “sashimi rice bowl”. 9 kinds of huge pieces of sashimi are put in a rice bowl and costs only 1,600 yen! The content may be different depending on the fishing situation on the day, but when I went there, there were spot shrimp, scallop, salmon, etc., which satisfied me more than enough. Since the restaurant is operated directly by a fish processing company, they can provide fresh seafood at reasonable prices, which is a good point, too.
▲Snow crab sashimi caught in the local sea is sweet and tender. Enjoy the sashimi with Sapporo Classic Draft Beer.
In part 2, I will introduce beautiful moss phlox, like a pink carpet, in Takinoue Town and popular restaurants in Monbetsu.
Photo cooperation / Yubetsu Town Hal
Text / Hokkaido Likers writer Yuki Konishi
Photo / Hokkaido Likers photographer Minako Takada
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