Release | nobu Kawashima
Going around Hokkaido (8) Kitami Kamui Misaki Park to Cape Hinode: Enjoy sea urchin and scallop from Esashi
Drive around the coastline of Hokkaido!
In the eighth article, I will drive from Kitami Kamui Misaki Park in the port town by the Sea of Okhotsk Esashi-Cho to Cape Hinode in Oumu-Cho. I found delicious light meals to enjoy sea urchin and scallops, the seafood specialty from Esashi-Cho.
Table of Contents- About the series: Going around Hokkaido
- About the route: From Kitami Kamui Misaki Park in Esashi-Cho to Cape Hinode in Oumu-Cho
- Kitami Kamui Misaki Park to the North latitude 45-degree International Square: You may be able to see the world if you imagine!
- The North latitude 45-degree International Square to Usutaibe Senjoiwa: The sea breeze of Okhotsk felt refreshing
- Usutaibe Senjoiwa to Michi No Eki Marine Island Okashima
- Enjoy the seafood specialty of Esashi at Michi No Eki casually!
- Michi No Eki Marine Island Okashima to Cape Hinode
▲These foods were incredibly delicious! What do you think it is? Find out the answer later in this article. (^^)
About the series: Going around HokkaidoThis is a part of the series of articles to introduce my journey to go around Hokkaido. I will introduce my relaxing trip about visiting cities and towns, enjoying beautiful views, having delicious foods, and encountering to fascinating people.
Below are the basic rules about the project:
- Basically, drive only National Routes or Hokkaido Roads along coastlines.
- I can use municipal roads near central towns, promontories, etc. However, I try not to use community roads and private roads.
- I only drive the mainland of Hokkaido. (I’m sorry to those live in islands!)
- I drive from the sunrise to the sunset to enjoy the views.
- I divide my journey into a few times according to the coverage schedule.
ルート紹介：枝幸町 北見神威岬公園 → 雄武町 日の出岬About the route: From Cape Soya in Wakkanai City to Kitami Kamui Misaki Park in Esashi-Cho
▲The route of this article (Google My Maps)
Kitami Kamui Cape to Cape Hinode
Mileage: Approx. 83 kilometers (Except the detour)
The time required: Approx. 1 hour 55 mins (except breaks, time to stop at sightseeing spots, and the detour)
Check the detailed map from the link below!
Going around Hokkaido
You can find the previous article of the series here:
Going around Hokkaido (7) Cape Soya to Kitami Kamui Misaki Park: Esanuka Line was the most scenic road ever!
Kitami Kamui Misaki Park to the North latitude 45-degree International Square: You may be able to see the world if you imagine!Kitami Kamui Misaki Park to the North latitude 45-degree International Square
Mileage: Approx. 6 kilometers
The time required: Approx. 10 mins
The starting point today is Kitami Kamui Misaki Park in Esashi-Cho. I left the cape behind and started to drive south along the National Route 238.
▲At Kitami Kamui Misaki Park, you can get the views of the cliff towards the Sea of Okhotsk from the south of Kitami Kamui Cape.
The next destination is only 10 mins away.
I turned left from the National Route and arrived at “the North latitude 45-degree International Square,” located on the left side of the road, looks like a former National Route.
This square is located at the North latitude 45-degree point, which is the midpoint of the North Pole and the equator.
▲There were a wooden sign, restrooms, and a grass field. The name is International Square, but I did not notice anything international.
According to Google, the North latitude 45-degree passes Minneapolis in the United States and near Turin in Italy.
Close your eyes. You might be able to imagine the stars and stripes when you face the east cheers of people from the Turin Winter Olympics when you face the west.
Everyone has their own way of feeling. If you think about the world, you can say it’s “international.” (๑˃̵ᴗ˂̵)
By the way, we passed the North latitude 45-degrees point in the past during this project.
○You may find this article useful:
Going around Hokkaido (5) Teshio to Wakkanai Cape Noshapu: Getting close to Mt. Rishiri, driving further than uncultivated fields
The North latitude 45-degree International Square to Usutaibe Senjoiwa: The sea breeze of Okhotsk felt refreshingThe North latitude 45-degrees International Square to Usutaibe Senjoiwa
Mileage: Approx. 7 kilometers
The time required: Approx. 10 mins
The next destination is also about 10 mins drive.
Turn left after driving a while along the National Route down south. You have reached “Usutaibe Senjoiwa” when you see the camping site by the beach.
▲I visited there a while after the Obon holidays, so there were many people enjoying camping and motorcycle touring.
This is a scenic spot with strangely shaped rocks spread all over like tatami mats. This is one of the recommended natural sites to stop by while driving.
▲You can get the view of the direction of Kitami Kamui Misaki Park, which I was there just a while ago, from the hill where parking and camping site is located.
▲You can go down to the Senjoiwa by the ocean.
It’s about one or two mins walk from the parking to Senjoiwa. It’s very close!
▲Numbers of square rugged rocks are spread all over.
▲I could see the town of Esashi-Cho and the coastline which I am heading to, towards the south.
You can even walk towards Senjoiwa towards very close points from the sea, although it’s bad footing. I walked towards the sea as I paid attention to steps and wet, slippery places.
Waves were pretty high when I visited there, so I did not go to the tip of Senjojiki and looked there from a big rock.
▲I stopped about here because waves were high.
This scenic place makes me really relaxed. I would like to walk towards the tip of Senjojiki on a sunny day with calm waves.
Usutaibe Senjoiwa to Michi No Eki Marine Island Okashima: Drive along the coastline and head towards seafoodUsutaibe Senjoiwa to Michi No Eki Marine Island Okashima
Mileage: Approx. 13 kilometers
The time required: Approx. 25 mins
After enjoying views of the ocean, I headed to have a light meal.
I headed to “Marine Island Okashima,” the Michi No Eki in Okashima district of Esashi-Cho. By the way, it’s pronounced “Okashima” not “Okajima.”
The National Route goes through the bypass on the mountainside instead of passing the town of Esashi-Cho. To stick to my rule, I wanted to drive the coastline as much as I can, so I did not use the National Route and drove through the town and the coast.
▲I passed Esashi Port.
There were many traffic lights and stop signs, so it took time, although the distance was less than 13 kilometers. However, it was nice for me because I could enjoy the scenery of the town and the port.
After passing the town, the road merged to the National Route again, and I went down south. I arrived Michi No Eki Marine Island Okashima after a while.
▲This Michi No Eki looks like a ship. It’s not a renovated real ship though. It’s just a ship-shaped building.
▲The deck of a ship? No, no, it’s a rooftop of the building. I could see the ocean far away.
▲There is also a camping site at the back of Michi No Eki.
Enjoy the seafood specialty of Esashi at Michi No Eki casually!You can shop souvenirs and have meals and snacks using local specialties at Michi No Eki Marine Island Okashima.
Esashi-Cho is famous for the amount of catching hairy crabs and scallops. There are many souvenirs made with seafood such as ingredients of crab rice, etc.
▲There are many processed foods using scallops.
You can enjoy seafood ramen and seafood curry, which contain crabs and scallops or salmon and ikura oyako-don, etc., in the restaurant.
I recommend stopping by here if you are looking for a place to have lunch or dinner using local specialties!
I recommend these light meal for those who feel ramen and curry are too much.
▲“Sea urchin Onigiri” (260 yen/piece) and “Crab and scallop fish cake” (260 yen/1 skewer)
They use Ezo horse-dung sea urchin which grew in the local sea eating Rishiri kelp for uni onigiri.
They make the onigiri every morning using salted Ezo horse-dung sea urchin and “Yumepirika,” rice from Hokkaido.
Therefore, uni onigiri is limited to 10 pieces per day. And they are planning to finish selling the onigiri for this season when the stock of sea urchin is out.
▲I found plenty of sea urchins when I cut the onigiri! The texture is like cheese, and the flavor is strong. Even a bite made my mouth filled with sea urchin.
By the way, the fishing season of Ezo horse-dung sea urchin in Esashi-Cho is approximately from after Golden Week holidays to the end of June. They also provide fresh sea urchin rice bowl during the season.
On the other hand, crab and scallop fish cake is a local snack available throughout the year. The scallop fish cake is made into the shape of scallops, and it contains adductor muscle of scallops.
▲The texture of the scallops was very strong! I felt the delicious flavor of scallops more and more as I chewed.
They also offer crab-shaped fishcake, and it contains snow crab parts in it. This is a perfect snack to fill your stomach a little bit! Well, it’s instead a luxurious snack.
Don’t forget desserts.
My recommendation is sundae using local hascap and wild berries.
▲I enjoyed my Hascap sundae (400 yen) with the view of the ocean.
The refreshing flavor of Hascap sundae was perfect to have after the meal! I could refresh after having strong flavors of sea urchins and scallops.
I enjoyed the seafood of Esashi very much. Let’s start driving again.
Michi No Eki Marine Island Okashima to Cape Hinode: Countless seagulls around the inhabited islandMichi No Eki Marine Island Okashima to Cape Hinode
Mileage: Approx. 57 kilometers
The time required: Approx. 1 hour 10 mins
I stopped by many places in Esashi-Cho. I will keep driving for a while from here.
I went down south along the National Route after leaving Michi No Eki. It was a seaside driving with the view of the Sa of Okhotsk on my left.
I passed many small villages.
▲There is Cape Otoshibe in the Otoshibe district in the south of Esashi-Cho. I stopped by a little.
Cape Otoshibe is not a tourist destination; it’s a port for locals. It was more like a breakwater.
After leaving Cape Otoshibe, I noticed an island on the ocean.
“Was there an island along the coastline of the Sea of Okhotsk?”
Those who thought like that, you never know there is an island, right?
▲An inhabited island with about 1 kilometer around is located at 700 meters south-east from Cape Otoshibe.
The name of the island is “Gome Island.”
“Gome” means “seagull” in the language of port towns in Hokkaido.
▲I could notice white dots looked like seagulls when I zoomed my camera.
After seeing Gome Island, I entered Oumu-Cho from Easashi-Cho. I turned left from the National Route near the town of Oumu-Cho after driving the National Route a while.
I merged to the National Route again after passing the town and driving along the sea.
▲There was the entrance of Cape Hinode driving a few minutes after merging to the National Route. I will reach to Cape Hinode in two to three minutes from here.
This is the end of this article.
In the next article, I will visit Cape Hinode Lookout La Lina and reach to Ryugudai Observatory on the south of Lake Saloma in Yubetsu-Cho, via Okoppe-Cho and Monbetsu City.
Text, photo/Hokkaido Likers photo-writer nobu Kawashima
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