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Going around Hokkaido (24) Hiroo to Erimo: Drive through the Golden Road to the southernmost place of Hidaka Region, Cape Erimo

This is a series of articles to travel around the coastline of Hokkaido. I started from Otaru City, reached Cape Soya in Wakkanai City in the sixth article and Cape Nosappu in Nemuro City in the 18th article. I will arrive at Cape Erimo in Erimo-Cho in this 24th article. 

I will start from Hiroo Santaland in Hiroo-Cho of the Tokachi Region. I drive through the Golden Road, where steep coastline continues, through Hyakuninhama Beach, where tree planting continues, towards Cape Erimo, a place with the feeling of the end of the world. 

北海道の背骨といわれる日高山脈を背に襟裳岬を目指します▲I will drive towards Cape Erimo, looking back the Hidaka Mountain Range, which is called the backbone of Hokkaido


Table of Contents

- About the series: Going around Hokkaido
- About the route: Hiroo Santaland in Hiroo-Cho to Cape Erimo in Erimo-Cho
- Hiroo Santaland to Funbe Waterfall: Drive towards the Golden Road, the coastline with cliffs
- Funbe Waterfall to Mori-to-Mizunumi-no-Sato-Furuai-kan: Take a break at the oasis in the Golden Road
- Mori-to-Mizuumi-no-Sato-Fureai-kan to Hyakunihama Beach: The green land that revived from a desert. 
- Hyakunihama Beach to Cape Erimo: I finally arrived at Cape Erimo! The cape has a feeling of the end of the world! 

* 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: Hiroo Santaland in Hiroo-Cho to Cape Erimo in Erimo-Cho

今回のルートはこちら(Google My Maps)ぐるり北海道一周24▲The route of this article (Google My Maps) 

Route: Hiroo Santaland in Hiroo-Cho to Cape Erimo in Erimo-Cho
Mileage: Approx. 49 kilometers
The time required: Approx. 1 hour (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 (23) Toyokoro to Hiroo: Visit the origin of Tokachi and the village of Santa Claus located at the foot of Hidaka Mountain Range

ぐるり北海道一周24、ここまで通りました!(Google My Maps)▲Going around Hokkaido has come this much! (Google My Maps) 


Hiroo Santaland to Funbe Waterfall: Drive towards the Golden Road, the coastline with cliffs

Hiroo Santaland to Funbe Waterfall
Mileage: Approx. 5 kilometers
The time required: Approx. 10 mins

I will start from Hiroo Santaland in Hiroo-Cho. The snow had melted, and flowers are about to start blooming at the time I visited. 

広尾サンタランドがある大丸山森林公園は知る人ぞ知る花の名所(写真提供:広尾町役場)▲Omaruyama Forest Park, where Hiroo Santaland is located, is a hidden gem for flowers. (Hiroo-Cho Townhall provided the picture) 

Although there were no flowers nor snows, every day is Christmas here! I get excited just by hearing that. 

You may also find this article interesting:
"Hiroo Santa Land Illumination" - Hiroo Town A Santa town lit with the gentle glow of Christmas lights.

Be careful to drive even if you get excited. Let’s head to Cape Erimo! 

街中を通り抜け海辺の道へ▲I drove through the town and got to the coastline. 

広尾町の港、十勝港を見下ろす展望台から大樹町方面を望みます▲I got the view of Taiki-Cho’s direction from the observatory to look down Tokachi Port, the port in Hiroo-Cho.

I drove through the town with port facilities and houses to get to the National Route no. 336. 

The approximately 33.5 kilometers area from here Hiroo-Cho to Shoya District in Erimo-Cho is commonly called “Golden Road.” 

The coastline had many cliffs, and it was uneasy about building roads. They needed a massive amount of budget to build the road that they could spread gold all over the way. That is why the road is also called “Golden Road.” 

広尾町内にある石碑。この付近から先が黄金道路です▲“Golden Road” is written on the stone monument in Hiroo-Cho. Golden Road starts from here. 

The road runs as if it’s tracing the steep coastlines, so there are many curves. Many tunnels go through cliffs. 

I arrived at the first point in a few minutes after I entered Golden Road. It’s Funbe Waterfall. 

国道脇にあるフンベの滝。車数台停められる駐車帯があります▲Funbe Waterfall is along the side of the National Route. Parking for a few cars is near the waterfall. 

Funbe means whales in the Ainu language. Whales used to be washed up on the shore in the past. They named the waterfall-like that because it was a beach where they could hunt whales. 

滝の水は川から流れ落ちるのではなく、地下水が岩盤から染み出てきて流れ落ちています▲The waterfall does not fall from rivers. Underground water soaks out from the bedrock. 

A countless small waterfall flows from the bedrock. It was as if a natural mist shower. 

I felt refreshed by seeing the water. I decided to continue my journey in a relaxed mood. 


Funbe Waterfall to Mori-to-Mizunumi-no-Sato-Furuai-kan: Take a break at the oasis in the Golden Road

Funbe Waterfall to Mori-to-Mizuumi-no-Sato-Fureai-kan
Mileage: Approx. 18 kilometers
The time required: Approx. 20 mins

Because the road was built along the coastline with cliffs, sheds, and tunnels to avoid rock falls continue. 

フンベの滝付近の駐車帯にて▲The picture at the parking near Funbe Waterfall. 

The road improved in the past few years, and roads with many curves and a risk of high waves have turned into long tunnels. The attractions of sights are decreased compared to the past, but we can drive more safely now. 

Although it has changed, the view of the ocean in between pillars of sheds looked as if I was looking at a flipbook cartoon. The blue sky after a long dark tunnel seemed like a scene from TV series after commercials. The beautiful view continues that I had to be careful to not look at it too much while driving. 

今まで通ってきた道を遠望。荒々しい地形ながらも波は思いのほか穏やか▲I looked at the road I had driven far away. The waves were calm, although the landscape is steep. 

As I passed many sheds, tunnels, and coastlines, I had entered to Erimo-Cho from Hiroo-Cho and arrived at the village of Meguro District. 

I decided to take a detour. 
I will stop by “Mori-to-Mizuumi-no-Sato-Fureai-kan” located at two to three minutes' drive after taking a right turn from the National Route. 

旧目黒小中学校の校舎などを再利用した「森と湖の里ふれ愛館」▲“Mori-to-Mizuumi-no-Sato-Fureai-kan” uses the building of the former Meguro Elementary and Middle School. 

There are no convenience stores and only a few shops and restaurants along Golden Road. This place is one of the precious resting area and a restaurant in the area. 

This facility uses a former school, and visitors can enjoy lunch and light meals using locally sourced ingredients at the restaurant, formally a faculty’s room. 

黒板の前で食事をすると気分は給食♪▲I feel like I am having a school lunch when I had the meal in front of the blackboard. 

They offer various delicious dishes, including “Erimo Tankaku Beef” Menchi-katsu from Takahashi Farm, croquette made with black hair wagyu Hanako, etc. 

They also offer curry and pasta using Erimo-Cho sources whelk and surf clams, set meals such as deep-fried salmon or Atka mackerel, etc. 

I enjoyed the nostalgic atmosphere of the old school while having local dishes. 

You may also find this article interesting:
The best place to have lunch while visiting Lake Toyomi and Cape Erimo: Mori-to-Mizunumi-no-Sato-Furuai-kan which turned the former school into a rest area


Mori-to-Mizuumi-no-Sato-Fureai-kan to Hyakunihama Beach: The green land that revived from a desert

Mori-to-Mizuumi-no-Sato-Fureai-kan to Hyakuninhama Beach
Mileage: Approx. 18 kilometers
The time required: Approx. 20 mins

After I left Meguro District, I drove approximately 5 kilometers long, “Erimo Golden Tunnel.” It’s the longest tunnel in Hokkaido as of 2019. Golden Road ends after the long tunnel and two to three short tunnels. 

えりも町庶野地区にある展望広場「望洋台」で、今まで通ってきた黄金道路を振り返ります。なかなか絶景!▲I looked back at Golden Road, where I had been driving at the observatory square “Boyodai” in Shoya District in Erimo-Cho. The view was amazing! 

庶野地区で国道を左折し、襟裳岬へと向かう道道34号に入ります▲I took a left turn from the National Route at Shoya District and merged to Hokkaido Road no. 34, which goes to Cape Erimo. 

The road with steep coastline landscape changed to wide straight roads. 

進行方向右手後方には日高山脈が連なります▲I could view Hidaka Mountain Range at the right back. 

左手は少し離れたところに太平洋が続きます▲The Pacific Ocean continued on the left side. 

I drove a few minutes in this magnificent view and noticed the parking of Hyakuninhama Beach on the right side. I decided to walk around a little. 

周囲にはオートキャンプ場などもあります▲There is also a camping site near the beach. 

The name Hyakuninhama comes from a history in the Edo Period. A large ship of Nanbu-Han met with a disaster near this area, and approximately 100 people (hyakunin) were killed. 

Although this tragedy, the beach offered a great view. 

You can get the view of Hiren-numa Marsh from the mountainside of the parking. There is a trail between black pine woods on the other side of the road, which is on the ocean side, and you can walk to the shore of the marsh.

駐車場の一角から悲恋沼へ続く散策路があります▲There is a trail from the parking to Hiren- numa Marsh. 

悲恋沼。日高山脈をバックに青々とした湖が印象的♪▲Hiren-numa Marsh. The blue lake was impressive with Hidaka Mountain Range on the back. 

This area offers magnificent views. However, the area from Hyakuninhama before Cape Erimo was a desert until the mid-Showa Period! 

クロマツ林の中を進む散策路。この周囲がかつて砂漠だったなんて…▲The trail continues between black pine woods. I can’t believe this area was a desert. 

People deforested to use for fuels and overgrazed livestock during the development period of Hokkaido, which started in the Meiji Period. The area lost plants gradually, and it turned to desert in the Showa Period that it was once called “Erimo Desert.” Sands blew into houses and drinking waters. Sands flowed into the ocean, and people lost the catch of fish and kombu. It became a huge problem and scared the lives of people and regional industries.  

草木が広がるこの一帯、一時期は砂漠でした▲This area with trees and grasses was once a desert. 

The local government and fishers started the tree planting project from 1953. The project faced many difficulties as the area often have strong winds, but they managed to make grasslands by using miscellaneous seaweeds called Gota, planted black pine trees which grow well, and continued planting. 

Green lands came back from the desert in the late Showa Period, and the environment of the ocean and their life improved dramatically. 

緑化事業は今でも進行中。クロマツのほか、かつてこの地にあった広葉樹も植えられているそうです▲The planting project still continues. Other than black pine trees, they plant broad-leaved trees that used to grow here. 

百人浜展望台に上ると、緑化した大地を見渡せます▲You can view the green land from Hyakuninhama Observatory. 

百人浜展望台から眺めた様子。植樹活動が進んでいます(写真提供:えりも町役場)▲The view from Hyakuninhama Observatory; I can see the planting project has quite a progress. (Erimo-Cho townhall provided the picture) 

▲百人浜展望台から眺めた様子。森が再生!(写真提供:えりも町役場)▲The view from Hyakuninhama Observatory; the forest came back! (Erimo-Cho townhall provided the picture) 


Hyakunihama Beach to Cape Erimo: I finally arrived at Cape Erimo! The cape has a feeling of the end of the world! 

Hyakuninhama Beach to Cape Erimo
Mileage: Approx. 8 kilometers
The time required: Approx. 10 mins

I am almost at today’s goal, Cape Erimo. I drove between the green lands that came back towards the southernmost point of the Hidaka Region. 

左右はクロマツ林、ミラー越しに後ろを眺めると日高山脈が!▲Black pine tree forests continued on both sides. The Hidaka Mountain Range was at my back! 

背後の景色があまりによいので、車を停車して後ろをパシャリ▲I parked the car for a while to take a picture of the back. It was too beautiful! 

The number of houses increased gradually from the forest area. It means I arrived at the Cape Erimo district. 

There was “Cape Erimo Youth Hostel” in this district, and it was popular from motorcycle riders and travelers. They changed the facility into B&B in the latter year; however, people who visited the accommodation to meet “the famous singing and dancing mother” never went away. 

残念ながら2017年の春に閉館。現在は更地になっています▲Unfortunately, the B&B closed in the spring of 2017. Now it’s just a vacant plot. 

Some of you might have visited here in the past and sang and danced with the mother. 

I will arrive at Cape Erimo finally after passing the downtown of Cape Erimo district. 

陸地に沿って右にカーブしていく道路。この先左手が襟裳岬です▲The road curves to right along with the land. Cape Erimo will appear on the left side. 

夕刻、襟裳岬の駐車場へ到着!▲I arrived at the parking of Cape Erimo in the evening! 

There were only a few tourists as I arrived there around 5:00 PM. It was quite late, so I decided to take a glimpse of the cape at the observatory, which is three to four minutes' walk from the parking. 

海に点々と続く岩礁。ここが陸地の果てだということがよくわかる岬。さいはて感と、ここまでやってきたという到達感いっぱい!▲There were many reefs on the ocean. The cape shows well that this is the end of the land. I felt the feeling of the end of the world and achievement that I drove all the way! 

I will stay at “Farm Inn Maburitto,” which is approximately 5 mins away from Cape Erimo. I will spend a relaxing night while enjoying Erimo Tankaku beef yakiniku, etc. 

You may also find this article interesting:
I stayed at “Farm Inn Maburitto” near Cape Erimo: Dinner at the ranch was Tankaku Wagyu Beef Yakiniku!
Cape Erimo and Kaze No Yakata are places that everyone should visit once in a lifetime

This is it for today.
In the next article, I will visit Cape Erimo and the surrounding area and drive to “Michi No Eki Mitsuishi” in Shin-Hidaka-Cho. 
  • Going around Hokkaido (24) Hiroo to Erimo: Drive through the Golden Road to the southernmost place of Hidaka Region, Cape Erimo