Release | nobu Kawashima
Going around Hokkaido (27) Niikappu to Tomakomai: Relax at a surfer’s beach and riverside with dandelion flowers
This is a series to go around the coastline of Hokkaido. I started from Otaru City, the terminal of the Sea of Japan route, and visited around northern and eastern Hokkaido. I finally arrived at the terminal of the Pacific Ocean route, Tomakomai City.
In this 27th article, I will leave “Tsubaki Salon Yuyake Branch” in Niikappu-Cho and drive to Tomakomai West Port Ferry Terminal in Tomakomai City. I will stop by Tanpopo Park in Mukawa-Cho and Hama-Atsuma Kaihin Park with a long beach in Atsuma-Cho, etc.
▲Tanpopo Park in Mukawa-Cho (Mukawa-Cho town hall provided the picture)
Table of Contents- About the series: Going around Hokkaido
- About the route: Tsubaki Salon Yuyake Branch in Niikappu-Cho to Tomakomai West Port Ferry Terminal in Tomakomai City
- Tsubaki Salon Yuyake Branch to Tanpopo Park: Visit the riverside near spring
- Tanpopo Park to Hama-Atsuma Kaihin Park: The sound of waves is music
- Hama-Atsuma Kaihin Park to Tomakomai East Port Ferry Terminal: The beach is right outside of the port
- Tomakomai East Port Ferry Terminal to Tomakomai West Port Ferry Terminal: West and east, sounds close but far
* 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 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 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: Michi-no-Eki Mitsuishi in Shin-Hidaka-Cho to Tsubaki Salon Yuyake Branch in Niikappu-Cho
▲The route of this article (Google My Maps)
Route: Tsubaki Salon Yuyake Branch in Niikappu-Cho to Tomakomai West Port Ferry Terminal in Tomakomai City
Mileage: Approx. 44 kilometers
The time required: Approx. 55 mins (except breaks, time to stop at sightseeing spots, and the detour)
Check the detailed map from the link below!
Going around Hokkaido (25) -
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 (26) Shin-Hidaka Mitsuishi to Niikappu: A beautiful drive at the hometown of thoroughbreds!
▲Going around Hokkaido has come this much! (Google My Maps)
Tsubaki Salon Yuyake Branch to Tanpopo Park: Visit the riverside near springTsubaki Salon Yuyake Branch to Tanpopo Park
Mileage: Approx. 42 kilometers
The time required: Approx. 55 mins
I will start from “Tsubaki Salon Yuyake Branch” in Niikappu-Cho. As the name suggests, this is a cafe where you can enjoy a beautiful sunset by the beach through huge windows.
▲The cafe is located on a hill that looks down the Pacific Ocean. Cubic buildings look cute.
I watched the sunset as I enjoyed parfait here in the last article. This time, I revisit the cafe in the morning and have brunch before heading to the next destination.
▲Today’s brunch was original chicken curry that made with over ten kinds of spices. They cook rice with Hidaka Kombu.
I had a cup of “Yuyake Blend” coffee with a flavorful aroma of coffee after the mild yet spicy chicken curry.
I felt like I am relaxing after a long day, but the day starts now. I made myself awake and started driving!
▲I left the hill, drove along the coastline, and again went up on a hill. Ups and downs continue.
I was in the next town, Hidaka-Cho, from Niikappu-Cho. I had a chance to drive along coastline sometimes, but there was not so much time that I could drive the oceanside. I mostly drove on uphills inland.
▲The Hidaka Mountain Range with snow on top continued on my right.
I saw a few racehorses ranch but could not stop by to take pictures. As I was thinking like that, I found small parking across a ranch. I decided to take a short break.
▲I took a picture using a zoom lens from the parking. I could capture horses grazing with white mountains in the back.
I started driving again and arrived at Tomikawa District from Monbetsu District in Hidaka-Cho. Tomikawa District has Saru River, a wide river that flows Nibutani Dam in Biratori-Cho, etc., from the spring in northern Hidaka Mountain Range.
▲I cross the Saru River with a long bridge.
It looks like I could go to the riverside by car. Let’s stop by a while.
▲Saru River took a long time to flow from the mountain we can see far away.
Looking at the ecosystem of nature makes me refreshed. My mind was fully eased, and I got power from nature. Let’s start driving again.
I got away from the National Route to get close to the coastline, but there were no roads besides the ocean. I entered to Mukawa-Cho, the next town, as I see grasslands and forests on uphills.
▲There were no oceans, but the number of traffic decreases suddenly as soon as I got away from the National Route.
I merged to the National Route again and crossed Mu River. I will soon be at the downtown of Mukawa-Cho. I decided to take a break at “Tanpopo Park,” a park located on the riverside of Mu River.
Mukawa-Cho is famous for its dandelion flowers. This place is one of the largest places that dandelions grow in colonies. Yellow flowers fill the ground completely around mid-May every year.
▲I visited in April, so there were no dandelion flowers yet… However, the spacious field makes me feel great!
▲There will be countless dandelion flowers in the best season! (Mukawa-Cho town hall provided the pictures)
You might be able to imagine the scenery of Tanpopo Park in early spring if you close your eyes! This is the place where you should schedule your visit!
Tanpopo Park to Hama-Atsuma Kaihin Park: The sound of waves is musicTanpopo Park to Hama-Atsuma Kaihin Park
Mileage: Approx. 10 kilometers
The time required: Approx. 15 mins
I left Tanpopo Park and passed the downtown with restaurants and commercial facilities. When buildings disappeared, a grassland appeared on both sides.
▲The traffic was pretty much at this National Route, but the landscape seemed magnificent when cars disappear.
As the National Route gets in Atsuma-Cho from Mukawa-Cho, it changes direction towards the inland. So I decided to get away from the National Route to the coastline. I will head to Hama-Atsuma District on the ocean side of Atsuma-Cho.
▲I passed the Hama-Atsuma Station of JR Hidaka-Honsen Line. The station building looked cute with the painting of waves.
I noticed a sign to show Hama-Atsuma Kaihin Park as soon as I passed Hama-Atsuma Station.
▲This sign was pretty nice.
Hama-Atsuma is one of the most famous surfing destinations in Hokkaido. Among them, Hama-Atsuma Kaihin Park is said to be the best surf spot, and many surfers visit here during the season.
▲Hama-Atsuma Kaihin Park had a long, long beach. There were no surfers on the day I visited.
This place allows marine sports, paragliding, buggies, etc. You can also get to the beach in your own car. However, sands catch tires sometimes, so be careful to drive.
▲It feels like the ocean and beach continue forever.
I decided to park the car at the beach for a while to enjoy the beach before the season.
▲When I stopped the engine, I could only hear the sound of waves.
▲Driftwoods create the art of nature.
I could forget about the time. This is the best place to forget everyday life and relax.
Hama-Atsuma Kaihin Park to Tomakomai East Port Ferry Terminal: The beach is right outside of the portHama-Atsuma Kaihin Park to Tomakomai East Port Ferry Terminal
Mileage: Approx. 2 kilometers
The time required: Approx. 5 mins
Tomakomai is a terminal of car ferries that connect Hokkaido and various places in the Honshu region. There are two ferry terminals.
Tomakomai East Port Terminal is the terminal for the Sea of Japan side such as Akita, Niigata, Tsuruga, etc.
Tomakomai West Port Ferry Terminal is the terminal for the Pacific Ocean side, such as Sendai, Oarai, and Nagoya.
East Port is close to Hama-Atsuma Kaihin Park. It’s located in Atsuma-Cho, not Tomakomai City.
▲I found the sign of East Port in a few minutes from the beach.
▲I feel like I want to travel somewhere with a ferry when I see it closely.
I arrived at the East Port in a few minutes after leaving the beach. It seems like you can make it on time, even if you are at the beach a few minutes before the boarding time.
It would be a huge trouble if you mixed up West Port and East Port. Because they are so much apart from each other.
Well, let’s head to the West Port now.
Tomakomai East Port Ferry Terminal to Tomakomai West Port Ferry Terminal: West and east, sounds close but farTomakomai East Port Ferry Terminal to Tomakomai West Port Ferry Terminal
Mileage: Approx. 33 kilometers
The time required: Approx. 45 mins
West Port is located near the downtown of Tomakomai City. It’s a port that was built by cutting the land, so you have to go to the inland first and go around the bay.
▲It takes approximately 30 minutes in the shortest by Google Maps.
This series has to drive the coastline as much as I can. I decided to drive as much as I can to the ocean, turn around, and go around the port to the West Port.
▲I will take this route. (Google Maps)
I left the East Port and drove towards the stop sign by the side of the ocean.
▲I could see Tomato-Atsuma Power Plant on the left.
▲I saw a group of Ezo deer after a while. I was surprised to find them in the area with many factories and port facilities.
I noticed the number of storages and factories has increased. The cars are more likely to be trucks and trailers than passenger cars.
▲Fields with Ezo deer and factories and storages are located across the road. This is a strange landscape.
There were many factories and oil tanks after I passed the Yufutsu District, where many houses are located. This is one of the places where people never stop by if it’s a normal drive.
▲I kept driving between oil tanks.
▲This is the end of the road. I took a U-turn here.
▲I could see a ferry at the West Port. It looks very close, but it takes a long time to get there.
I went back to the same road and drove around the port to go to the other side. I was driving around the port, but I could not drive the coastline. Factories and storages continued on my left.
I reached to Rinkai Kita-Dori Street with four lanes on one side. Many cars and trucks were driving this road as it’s a port town. I drove for a while and noticed the sign to turn left towards the West Port. I followed the sign.
▲I noticed a ferry in front after driving a while.
▲I arrived at the West Port!
I arrived at the ferry terminal, so this is the end of the article for today.
The scenery was early spring since Kushiro City until here. It will turn into early summer from the next article.
I will travel by ferry and drive the Honshu Region in the next article. Oh, no, I was just kidding. I will start from the West Port and drive to Kojohama Onsen in Shiraoi-Cho. Please look forward to further articles about Going Around Hokkaido!
Text, photo/Hokkaido Likers photo writer nobu Kawashima