Release | nobu Kawashima
Going around Hokkaido (18) Nemuro Station to Higashi-Nemuro Station: I am finally at the eastmost point of Hokkaido! I watched the sunrise on New Year’s Day at Cape Nosappu
This is the 18th article of the series to travel around the coastline of Hokkaido. I will reach to the eastmost tip of Japan’s mainland; Cape Nosappu!
In this article, I will visit the eastmost human-crewed station in Japan and Cape Nosappu from Nemuro Station, then to the eastmost train station in Japan, Higashi-Nemuro Station.
I traveled around Nemuro City on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. I could watch the beautiful sunrise on New Year’s Day at Cape Nosappu.
Table of Contents- About the series: Going around Hokkaido
- About the route: From Nemuro Station in Nemuro City to Higashi-Nemuro Station in Nemuro City
- Nemuro Station to Nemuro Kotohira Shrine: I told all my gratitude of this year to Konpira-san
- Nemuro Kotohira Shrine to Cape Nosappu: I reached the eastmost point of Japan’s mainland!
- I watched the sunrise on New Year’s Day at a secret spot in Cape Nosappu
- Cape Nosappu to Meiji Park: Everything is eastmost
- Meiji Park to Higashi-Nemuro Station: I encountered the first train of this year
▲The statue of Kahei Takataya at Nemuro Kotohira Shrine
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.
About the route: From Nemuro Station in Nemuro City to Higashi-Nemuro Station
▲The route of this article (Google My Maps)
Route: From Nemuro Station in Nemuro City to Higashi-Nemuro Station in Nemuro City
Mileage: Approx. 49 kilometers
The time required: Approx. 1 hour 15 mins (except breaks, time to stop at sightseeing spots, and the detour)
Check the detailed map from the link below!
Going around Hokkaido (11) -
Going around Hokkaido (1) - (10)
You can find the previous article of the series here:
Going around Hokkaido (17) Former Okuyukiusu Station to Nemuro Station: Enjoy Hanasaki crab and beautiful views of Lake Furen and Shunkunitai
▲Going around Hokkaido has come this much! (Google My Maps)
Nemuro Station to Nemuro Kotohira Shrine: I told all my gratitude of this year to Konpira-sanNemuro Station to Nemuro Kotohira Shrine
Mileage: Approx. 3 kilometers
The time required: Approx. 10 mins
December 31, 2018.
While everyone is busy to shop for New Year’s Day and clean their houses, I started my journey from JR Nemuro Station.
▲The eastmost human-crewed station in Japan, JR Nemuro Station.
I will drive to the eastern tip of Nemuro Peninsula, which spreads from west to east, Cape Nosappu. I will drive the northern part of the peninsula to the cape on my way and the southern part on the way back to the downtown.
By the way, it is less than three kilometers if I drove from Nemuro Station to Higashi-Nemuro Station straight. I would only take 10 mins. My drive today would be a round trip from Nemuro’s downtown to Cape Nosappu.
▲I drove Nemuro’s downtown, where many buildings and houses appear. I used the road near a port to Cape Nosappu.
It was not snowing, but it was cloudy. The sky was not clear, but I wanted to at least clear my mind and decided to stop by a shrine.
I visited the Nemuro Kotohira Shrine. The shrine was built by Kahei Takataya in 1806 to pray for the safety of voyages. It was moved to the current place in 1881.
▲It seems like they just finished the end-of-year “Susu-Barai (end-of-year cleaning ceremony).” Many people were gathering at the main shrine.
▲I found the statue of Kaheiya Takataya at the shrine. He dedicated for trading in the northern area in the late Edo Period.
▲There is also an observation deck in the shrine. You can get the view of Benten Island offshore and Ichikishima Shrine on the island.
I took a look at the shrine and prayed in the end. I thanked gods that I could finish the year without any troubles.
You may also find this article interesting:
Local fortune slips “Ezo Mikuji” is limited in Hokkaido - from Hokkaido and first in Japan!
Nemuro Kotohira Shrine to Cape Nosappu: I reached the eastmost point of Japan’s mainland!Nemuro Kotohira Shrine to Cape Nosappu
Mileage: Approx. 22 kilometers
The time required: Approx. 30 mins
Let’s go to the last destination in 2018, Cape Nosappu.
I left the shrine and drove for a while. Buildings along roads disappeared gradually and the landscape changed to vast fields after a few minutes.
▲It was cloudy, but my sights were clear. The road was a little icy. I drove carefully.
I passed by Northern Nature Flower Garden after driving for 10 to 15 mins.
▲I was a bit far but found ponies! I used my zoom lens to watch them.
There are no mountains or hills. The vast scenery continued.
▲7.5 kilometers to Cape Nosappu. I am almost there!
I passed Lake Tosanporo. Houses and fishery facilities started to appear. Then I saw Aurora Tower, which is located near Cape Nosappu far away.
▲I am entering the Nosappu District.
I finally arrived at the eastmost point of Japan’s mainland!
▲I took a memorial picture at the standard spot: the sign of Cape Nosappu and the lighthouse.
I thought all tourists who visit Cape Nosappu would take a picture here, so I moved my car right after taking one photo. I parked the car at a different place and took the time to walk around the cape.
▲The view from the road to the lighthouse. I could see the Habomai Islands clearly.
▲The monument of “Shima-No-Kakehashi” at Boukyo-no-Misaki Park.
It is said that because Cape Nosappu is the eastmost point of Japan’s mainland, it is the place where the earliest sunrise happens. Therefore, many people visit the cape every year to watch the sunrise on New Year’s Day.
* Approximately 55 days in the year, including the New Year’s Day, the sun rises earlier at Cape Inuboe in Chiba Prefecture than Cape Nossapu due to inclination of the earth’s axis.
I am here at Cape Nosappu on New Year’s Eve. I want to watch the sunrise on New Year’s Day, too! I ended my drive of the day here and decided to start again after watching the sunrise at Cape Nosappu.
▲Lastly, I took a picture of the certificate of reaching the eastmost point of Japan’s mainland, which I bought at the shop.
I stayed at a ryokan in Nemuro City and slept right away for the next day.
I watched the sunrise on New Year’s Day at a secret spot in Cape NosappuJanuary 1, 2019.
The time of sunrise at Cape Nosappu was 6:49 AM. The weather forecast was sunny. It looks like I can expect to see the sunrise on New Year’s Day!
From what I heard from locals in the neighborhood, many cars and busses gather at Cape Nosappu before the sunrise when the weather forecast was sunny. They said cars start to gather after 5:00 AM and it gets incredibly crowded with cars trying to get to the parking at 6:00 AM.
I decided to leave early, just in case. I left the ryokan in Nemuro’s downtown at 4:00 AM.
I arrived at completely dark Cape Nosappu at 4:50 AM. Many cars were already here.
It was below zero degrees near the cape. I wore many warm clothes and started to explore the cape.
▲Nemuro City Northern Territories Resource Center, where tourist information is located, opens from 5:00 AM. You can warm your body here.
▲They offered Hanasaki crab soup (not free) inside! It gets freezing when we stay outside for a long time, so this is an excellent service!
▲I warmed my body from inside. Itadakimasu!
I went outside again after warming my body.
▲Many cars were waiting to get in the parking at past 6:00 AM.
Cars keep coming. The number of people around the cape increased soon.
▲They offered Nemuro Drum (Japanese Drums) performance when the sky got bright. The atmosphere got lively! It’s approximately 30 minutes to the sunrise.
The standard view spot for the sunrise at Cape Nosappu is near the lighthouse. You can watch the sunrise from the horizon.
▲Approximately 10 mins to the sunrise. Many people were gathering around the lighthouse.
It is difficult to take a picture together with icons of Cape Nosappu, such as the lighthouse, without going outer sea with a boat.
I can’t go to the outer sea, but I can go up! So I visited Aurora Tower.
▲There is an observation deck in Aurora Tower with approximately 96 meters in height.
I can look down the cape and at the same time, watch the sunrise from the horizon. And I can avoid getting cold by being outside because I can watch from inside of the building.
The observation deck consists of two floors, and some people were waiting for the sunrise like me on the upper floor. However, there was no one on the first floor.
▲It was my private observatory! I watched the sunset alone from the start to the end.
▲I could see the lighthouse of Cape Nosappu and Habumai Islands from the observatory.
There was a notice that the views might be unclear because windows got dirty from sea breezes. I did not notice dirt, though.
▲6:43 AM - the surface of the ocean started to become red.
▲6:46 AM - I don’t know because I was at a higher place, but I could see the tip of the sun before the expected time!
▲Upper left - 6:47 AM, Upper right - 6:49 AM, Bottom left - 6:51 AM, Bottom right - 6:54 AM
▲6:56 AM, it was a magnificent sunrise on New Year’s Day!
It was a magnificent sunrise on New Year’s Day.
I felt like something good is going to happen this year!
▲7:00 AM - people who finished watching the sunrise was going back to the parking.
▲7:05 AM - Many cars are leaving the cape right after the sunrise.
I left the observatory and got ready for the day to start my drive again.
Cape Nosappu to Meiji Park: Everything is eastmostCape Nosappu to Meiji Park
Mileage: Approx. 22 kilometers
The time required: Approx. 30 mins
▲I drove on the south side of the peninsula to Nemuro’s downtown. I still could see the morning sun on my left.
There are more fishing ports, houses, and public facilities on the south side than the north side of the peninsula. Most of them are probably eastmost something.
▲The eastmost former elementary school: Former Goyoumai Elementary School.
▲The eastmost post office: Goyoumai Post Office.
▲The eastmost convenience store (probably?).
I felt like I am having a memorial trip when I listed above.
▲The sign to warn for deers. This is not the eastmost sign; I saw this sign several times already. I have a bad feeling about this…
▲My feeling was right. An Ezo deer was walking the sidewalk. It’s not probably the eastmost Ezo deer. I think.
It seems like they don’t have New Year Holidays. I appreciate your hard work.
I entered in the downtown and took a right turn. I drove in the residential area and stopped by Meiji Park.
Meiji Park is formally the second oldest farm in Hokkaido. I recommend this place for a picture spot!
▲Silos are impressive! They stand out in the snowy field.
I took a few pictures here and headed to the last stop of today, Higashi-Nemuro Station.
Meiji Park to Higashi-Nemuro Station: I encountered the first train of this yearMeiji Park to Higashi-Nemuro Station
Mileage: Approx. 2 kilometers
The time required: Approx. 5 mins
Higashi-Nemuro Station of JR Hanasaki Line (Nemuro Honsen Line) is the eastmost train station in Japan.
The last stop of Hanasaki Line, which stretches to east from Kushiro Station, is Nemuro Station. However, the railroad curves to the northwest near Higashi-Nemuro Station, which makes Higashi-Nemuro Station the eastmost train station.
You can reach to Higashi Nemuro Station by passing a residential area from the bus route. There are no signs on roads, so you have to rely on navigation systems.
▲I passed streets from Meiji Park and arrived at Higashi-Nemuro Station.
A train arrived as I was taking pictures. It was the first train of the year which left from Kushiro Station to Nemuro Station.
▲The first train of the day means the first train of 2019. The car was red on one side, and I felt I was lucky!
▲The train stopped at Higashi-Nemuro Station. Its seems like no one got in or out at this station on this day.
▲It left quietly to the last stop, Nemuro Station.
I watched the first train leave, and I will end this article here.
In the next article, I will stop by Nemuro Kuruma Stone near Hanasaki Lighthouse and beach near Cape Ochiishi and drive to Cape Kiritappu in Hamanaka-Cho.
▲I visited Nemuro Kotohira Shrine for as my first shrine visit of the year on my way back to the ryokan. I hope everyone will have a great year!
Text, photo/Hokkaido Likers photo writer nobu Kawashima