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Release | nobu Kawashima

Going around Hokkaido (21) Akkeshi to Kushiro: Drive through difficult-to-read place names towards Nusamai Bridge with a beautiful sunset in Kushiro City

Going around the coastline of Hokkaido from Otaru City! 
In the 21st article of the series, I will drive from Akkeshi-Cho to Kushiro City in east Hokkaido.

I first will enjoy oysters at Conchiglie in Akkeshi-Cho, drive through a lot of difficult-to-read place names such as Chippomanai and Sekineppu, towards Nusamai Bridge at twilight, the famous tourist destination in Kushiro City.

“知方学,” “老者舞,” “賤夫向,” “冬窓床,” “浦雲泊,” “来止臥.”
These are all place names in Kushiro-Cho. Can you read any of them? I will tell you the answer later! 

ぱっと見ると何と読むのか一瞬戸惑う、なかなか難解な道路標識▲It is difficult to read this sign at first sight. 


Table of Contents

- About the series: Going around Hokkaido
- About the route: Conchiglie in Akkeshi-Cho to Nusamai Bridge in Kushiro City
- Conchiglie to Akkeshi Boyodai: Get the view of the ocean, the home of oysters
- Akkeshi Boyodai to Chippomanai: Can you read this place name? 
- Chippomanai to Takayama Parking: Many difficult-to-read place names appeared
- Takayama Parking to Nusamai Bridge: Watch the twilight show at Nusamai Bridge, the famous place for watching the sunset

* I used pictures taken on different days in this article. Therefore, the colors of the sky and weather look different. 


About the series: Going around Hokkaido

This 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 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: Conchiglie in Akkeshi-Cho to Nusamai Bridge in Kushiro City

ぐるり北海道一周21 今回のルートはこちら(Google My Maps)▲The route of this article (Google My Maps) 

Route: Conchiglie in Akkeshi-Cho to Nusamai Bridge in Kushiro City
Mileage: Approx. 68 kilometers
The time required: Approx. 1 hour 20 mins (except breaks, time to stop at sightseeing spots, and the detour)

Check the detailed map from the link below! 
Going around Hokkaido (19) -
Going around Hokkaido (11) -
Going around Hokkaido (1) - (10)

You can find the previous article of the series here:
Going around Hokkaido (20) Hamanaka to Akkeshi: From majestic Kiritappu to Akkeshi, the home of oysters

ぐるり北海道一周、ここまで通りました!(Google My Maps)▲Going around Hokkaido has come this much! (Google My Maps) 


Conchiglie to Akkeshi Boyodai: Get the view of the ocean, the home of oysters

Conchiglie to Akkeshi Boyodai
Mileage: Approx. 6 kilometers
The time required: Approx. 15 mins

I started from Conchiglie in Akkeshi-Cho.
It’s a facility in “Michi No Eki Akkeshi Gourmet Park” and called “Akkeshi Mikaku Terminal Conchiglie.” 

This place is famous for being the facility to enjoy the local specialty of Akkeshi-Cho, oysters. I left Conchiglie after enjoying plenty of raw, steamed, grilled, and deep-fried oysters. 

「あっけし牡蠣ステーキ丼」。このメニューだけで厚岸産牡蠣を生、揚げ、ソテーで楽しめる!▲“Akkeshi Oyster Steak rice bowl.” You can enjoy oysters sourced in Akkeshi with raw, deep-fried, and grilled in just one dish! 

You may also find this article interesting:
Have as many oysters as you want at “Conchiglie” in Akkeshi!

I drove down the uphill, where the facility is located, to the town near the ocean, and passed Akkeshi Station. I merged to National Route no. 44 after driving the coastline for a while. 

I drove an uphill for a while, then Akkeshi Bay appeared on my left. It was a great spot to look down the bay. I wanted to take some pictures, but it was difficult to park the car for a while along the national route, where traffic is a lot. However, I could find parking! 

国道沿いの駐車帯。目の前に厚岸湾が広がります▲A small parking zone along the national route. You can look down Akkeshi Bay. 

柵越しに爽快な眺めを楽しめます▲Enjoy the magnificent view over the fence. 

This area is called “Akkeshi Boyodai.” 
There are larger parking and restrooms on the other side of the road. This is a great place to get the view of Akkeshi Bay, where many kinds of seafood grow, such as oysters. I recommend you to take a short break here and watch the ocean for a while.


Akkeshi Boyodai to Chippomanai: Can you read this place name? 

Akkeshi Boyodai to Chippomanai
Mileage: Approx. 22 kilometers
The time required: Approx. 25 mins

I left Akkeshi-Cho after a short break and headed to Kushiro-Cho. 
I drove a while in the middle of grasslands, after leaving the coastline, and took a left turn at Oboro. I got apart from National Route no. 44 and drove Hokkaido Road no. 142. 

I could get the view of the ocean again at Senposhi in Kushiro-Cho, another famous place for oysters together with Akkeshi-Cho. 

仙鳳趾の港付近の風景。ここで厚岸湾の眺めはお別れです▲The landscape near the port in Senposhi. I said goodbye to Akkeshi Bay here. 

Well, my next destination is Chippomanai in Kushiro-Cho. 

For those who couldn’t read “知方学,” the answer was Chippomanai! 

知方学=チッポマナイ(チポマナイと呼ぶこともあります)。釧路市から厚岸町へ向かう際に目にする道路標識です▲“知方学” reads Chippomanai. (It’s sometimes called Chipomanai) You will encounter this sign when you go to Akkeshi-Cho from Kushiro City. 

Chippomanai comes from Ainu language and means “where many fish gather near the mouth of a river.” It goes like this: Chepu-(fish)-O(mouth of a rive)-Ma(swim)-Nai(river). 

知方学にある道路標識。尻羽岬の読み方はシリハネ岬でもシリハ岬でもなく、シレパ岬です▲Above is a sign in Chippomanai. “尻羽岬” is not Cape Shirihane or Cape Shiriha, it read Cape Shirepa. 

Chippomanai is a district on the way to Cape Shirepa, which divides Akkeshi Bay and the Pacific Ocean. You will arrive at Chippomanai in about one to two minutes after leaving Hokkaido Road no. 142. I turned left near the elementary school and headed to Cape Shirepa. 

The road had some snow left. 
I gradually lost control of the handle, and I had a bad feeling that I might not be able to come back if I kept going. 

尻羽岬へ向かう道路。はじめは大丈夫かと思いきや、この先積雪がもっさり!▲The road to Cape Shirepa looked okay at first, but there was so much snow on the way! 

It’s a little dangerous! 
We need the courage to stop. I decided not to go to Cape Shirepa and drove back. 

I was heading to Cape Shirepa, but my destination changed to Chippomanai. Safety is first! 


Chippomanai to Takayama Parking: Many difficult-to-read place names appeared

Chioppomanai to Takayama Parking
Mileage: Approx. 28 kilometers
The time required: Approx. 35 mins

I came back to Hokkaido Road no. 142 and drove towards Kushiro City. 

There were many curves and hills. I drove in the forest most of the time but was able to get some views of the ocean on my left. 

海面からかなり高い場所に道路があり、眼下に海を見渡せます▲The road is pretty higher than the surface of the ocean. I could look down the sea. 

This district is called “賤夫向.” Can you read this Kanji?  

The answer is Sekineppu! 

賤夫向=セキネップ。この界隈は難読地名が多く、このような地名を紹介する看板が随所に出ています▲“賤夫向” reads Sekineppu. There are many difficult-to-read places names in this area, and signs like this to introduce place names appear a lot.

Sekineppu means “a mountain with little trees and where rocks fall” in the Ainu language. 
Japanese people used to live in this district. However, people moved out because of a landslide that occurred due to heavy rain in the early Showa Era and coastal erosion later. 
It became one of the best view spots in the district. 

賤夫向には、冬季は閉鎖されていますが春から秋は駐車場が利用できます▲Visitors can use the parking from spring to autumn in Sekinepppu. 

なかなか快適、爽快なドライブルートです▲It felt quite nice. I liked this driving route. 

More and more difficult-to-read place names appeared from here. 

冬窓床=ブイマ。アイヌ語で「海の中に立っている岩」という意味が由来▲“冬窓床” reads Buima. It means “a rock standing in the ocean” in the Ainu language. 

跡永賀=アトエカ。アイヌ語で「昔、海であったところ」という意味が由来▲“跡永賀” reads Atoeka. It means “the place where it was ocean a long time ago.” in Ainu language. 

浦雲泊=ポントマリ。アイヌ語で「小さな入り江、小さな港」という意味が由来▲“浦雲泊” reads Pontomari. It means “small bay, small port” in the Ainu language. 

来止臥=キトウシ。アイヌ語で「キトビル(行者ニンニク)の群生している所」という意味が由来▲“来止臥” reads Kitoushi. It means “the place where many Kitobiru (alpine leek)” in the Ainu language. 

There were many many more difficult-to-read place names, but I will stop here. (lol) How many Kanji could you read? 

Many place names came from the Ainu language in Hokkaido. However, place names in this area are much more difficult to read than other places. 
I wonder why people in old times used those Kanji. 
難読地名のラストは、又飯時=マタイトキ。アイヌ語で「海の瀬の荒い所」という意味です▲The last difficult-to-read place name is “又飯時,” which reads Mataitoki. It means “rough beach” in the Ainu language. 

I entered to Kushiro City from Kushiro-Cho after passing Mataitoki. 
The foresty area continued for a while, but it looked like a city gradually as buildings started to appear. I decided to take a break at “Takayama Parking” on the left side of the road. 

遠くに釧路市街地を望む駐車スペース。夜景もよさそう♪▲You can look down Kushiro City from this parking. It might look beautiful at night, too. 

The sun started to go down. I have to get to Nusamai Bridge before the sunset! I got back to the car and headed to downtown Kushiro after a short break. 


Takayama Parking to Nusamai Bridge: Watch the twilight show at Nusamai Bridge, the famous place for watching the sunset

Takayama Parking to Nusamai Bridge
Mileage: Approx. 12 kilometers
The time required: Approx. 25 mins

I felt like I arrived at a city after going down the long downhill. 

住宅や団地が並ぶ中を進みます▲I kept driving the area with houses and apartments. 

The number of traffic signs and cars increased. 
As I kept driving, I started to see shops and supermarkets, adding to houses. The number of buildings increased after passing Lake Harutori. 
I felt like I came to a big city! 

I passed Kushiro Itsukushima Shrine and arrived near the bank of Kushiro River. Nusamai Bridge is almost there. 

釧路川を挟んだ向かいには、大型商業施設「釧路フィッシャーマンズワーフMOO」が見えます▲I saw a large shopping complex, “Kushiro Fisherman’s Wharf MOO,” on the other side of Kushiro River. 

I arrived at Nusamai Bridge after turning left after passing a roundabout, which is rare to see in Japan. However, I could not park the car on the bridge. I left my car near parking and walked to the bridge. 

釧路河畔駐車場に駐車。夕日、間に合いました~!▲I parked the car at Kushiro Riverside Parking. I could be here by sunset! 

Nusamai Bridge is the bridge at the most downstream part of the Kushiro River. It is one of the three greatest bridges in Hokkaido, together with Toyohira Bridge in Sapporo City and Asahi Bridge in Asahikawa City. 

幣舞橋の欄干越しに撮影。釧路フィッシャーマンズワーフMOOと薄氷が浮かぶ釧路川がオレンジ色に輝いていました▲I took a picture over the handrail of Nusamai Bridge. Kushiro Fisherman’s Wharf MOO and Kushiro River with thin ice were shining orange. 

川面をよーく見てみると水鳥がいました♪▲I found water birds on the river. 

Nusamai Bridge is known for the sunset and night view with city lights. There are bronze statues near the supports of the handrail, which symbolizes four seasons. The bridge is also famous for being a European bridge with statues. 

Let me show the scenery of Nusamai Bridge around the sunset. 






I stayed in Kushiro City after enjoying the twilight show at Nusamai Bridge. 
Robata-yaki, Zangi, Spakatsu…
Kushiro has so many local specialties, and it is tough to choose. What would you have if you were me? 

You may also find these articles interesting: 
Enjoy Robata, Kushiro’s local food, at “Ganpeki Robata”
Robata Renga, enjoy Kushiro’s local cuisine Robata Yaki and Salmon Ikura
Torimatsu, the birthplace of Zangi provides bone-in chicken with special sauce!
"Restaurant Izumiya, Head Office" - Spaghetti Tonkatsu

This is it for today. 
It was a winter drive until this one, and the season turns to early spring from the next article.
In the 22nd article, I will leave Nusamai Bridge in Kushiro City and drive to Otsu Beach in Toyokoro-Cho, where is famous for its jewelry ice. 
  • Going around Hokkaido (21) Akkeshi to Kushiro: Drive through difficult-to-read place names towards Nusamai Bridge with a beautiful sunset in Kushiro City