Release | nobu Kawashima
Going around Hokkaido (29) Shiraoi to Muroran: Toward the beautiful views of Muroran where cities and nature sit next to each other
Going around the coastline of Hokkaido!
In the 29th article of the series, I will leave Ayoro Onsen of Kojohama Onsen in Shiraoi-Cho to Michi-no-Eki Mitara Muroran in Muroran City.
I will stop by "Cape Chikyu,” the famous scenic view spot, and “Miyakoshiya Coffee MUTEKIROU,” a famous picturesque cafe.
▲I took a break at “Miyakoshiya Coffee MUTEKIROU” as I enjoyed a beautiful view from the window.
Table of Contents- About the series: Going around Hokkaido
- About the route: Ayoro Onsen in Shiraoi-Cho to Michi-no-Eki Mitara Muroran in Muroran City
- Ayoro Onsen to Itanki Beach: Visiting Ainu’s traditional places
- Itanki Beach to Miyakoshiya Coffee MUTEKIROU: Visiting around scenic places in Muroran such as Cape Chikyu
- Have a delicious cup of coffee and ciabatta sandwich at a scenic cafe
- Miyakoshiya Coffee MUTEKIROU to Michi-no-Eki Mitara Muroran: Michi-no-Eki near Hakucho Bridge
* 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: Ayoro Onsen in Shiraoi-Cho to Michi-no-Eki Mitara Muroran in Muroran City
▲The route of this article (Google My Maps)
Route: Ayoro Onsen in Shiraoi-Cho to Michi-no-Eki Mitara Muroran in Muroran City
Mileage: Approx. 47 kilometers
The time required: Approx. 1 hour 35 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 (28) Tomakomai to Shiraoi: Enjoyed nature, a local dish, and onsen at Shiraoi-Cho
▲Going around Hokkaido has come this much! (Google My Maps)
Ayoro Onsen to Itanki Beach: Visiting Ainu’s traditional placesAyoro Onsen to Itanki Beach
Mileage: Approx. 25 kilometers
The time required: Approx. 40 mins
I will start at “Ayoro Onsen” in the west district of Shiraoi-Cho. It’s an onsen facility that accepts visitors without staying a night, located near the beach in Kojohama Onsen District.
▲This place allows us to use 100% onsen from morning till night at a Sento price! This facility is popular with locals.
This day’s weather was unpleasant. I left as I hope to see a blue sky sometime today.
▲Let’s head to Muroran!
I will first stop by “Ayoro Beach” near here. This is a beach around small inlets between cliffs. People have excavated many ruins of Ainu culture here.
▲I left the paved road and took the unpaved road towards the beach.
The unpaved road continues to go downhill. “Ayoro Beach” is at the end of the hill.
▲“Ayoro Beach” is at the mouth of Ponayoro River. I felt some sacred aura at the top of a small hill. Is it only me that feels like that?
I heard that there are ruins of people in ancient times, such as Ponayoro ruins and Afunruparo. Also, it’s a great place to see the sunrise on a sunny day!
▲There is “Ayoro nose-shaped lighthouse” on the cliff, but you are not allowed to go near.
I imagined the lives of ancient times and beautiful sunset and left Ayoro Beach.
I went up the unpaved hill and turned left when I arrived at the paved road. I entered to Noboribetsu City from Shiraoi-Cho after a while.
▲I kept driving the road along JR Noboribetsu Station and the back of Marin Park Nixe.
I thought my day was pleasant, but I started to notice a few signs to say the road is closed. I have a bad feeling about this…
It seems like the tunnel is closed. Unfortunately, I have to leave the coastline and use the National Route that goes inland. Although the road became to be near the coastline after a while.
▲Caution for overtopping… It’s proof that I am driving near the coastline.
I kept to drive along the coastline for a while, and the number of houses and apartments increased. The traffic started to increase, too.
As I entered to Muroran City from Noboribetsu City, the road became two lanes, and the view turned into a city. I left the big street a little and drove towards the beach. I now then arrived at the first destination, “Itanki Beach.”
▲Itanki Beach is popular by surfers. I saw many cars parked along the road.
“Itanki Beach” was called “Fumuushiota (sound beach)” or “Hawanota (beach with voices)” by Ainu people.
As the name is like that, the sand here is singing sand.
Let’s go to the beach, then! However, I don’t know because it was rainy and the sand was wet, but I could not hear any sounds.
▲I was walking the beach with my camera and a bird was looking at me.
How does the sound like? I spent a moment at the beach as I imagined.
Itanki Beach to Miyakoshiya Coffee MUTEKIROU: Visiting around scenic places in Muroran such as Cape ChikyuItanki Beach to Miyakoshiya Coffee MUTEKIROU
Mileage: Approx. 22 kilometers
The time required: Approx. 50 mins
I will now go visit scenic views in Muroran City, such as Cape Chikyu. A part of these beautiful spots is called “8 scenic sights of Muroran” and well-known as picturesque places.
You may also find this article interesting:
Visit 8 scenic sights of Muroran! It’s not only night views and Cape Chikyu
Muroran City includes the key-shaped peninsula, called Etomo Peninsula, that sticks out to the Pacific Ocean and surrounding areas. Muroran Port spreads inside of the curved peninsula and cliffs continue on the outer side of the peninsula faces the Pacific Ocean.
In this article, I will drive by the road on cliffs and mountains. I will drive the road along Muroran Port in the next article.
▲I kept driving on mountains and steeps as I looked down factories.
I left Itanki Beach and merged to the road towards Cape Misaki after a while.
Curves and up and downs continue from here, and the road gets narrow. My speed went down drastically.
After more than 10 minutes, I arrived at the first scenic spot, “Tokkarisho.”
▲I could see Itanki Beach far away.
In 1-2 mins, after leaving Tokkarisho, you will find “Kinbyobu.”
▲It is said the cliffs shine like gold on a sunny day by getting bright sunlight.
I arrived at “Cape Chikyu” in just a few minutes after leaving Kinbyobu. Cape Chikyu is one of the most famous view spots in Muroran.
▲I found “Murostagram,” not Instagram. You could take a picture with Oshima Peninsula over the Uchiura Bay and the cape by adjusting the angle.
▲I recommend taking a picture here with your friends and families using Murostagram.
▲Looking down at a lighthouse is something uncommon. You can look down it from the observatory at approximately 100 meters height.
▲The cape looks this amazing on a sunny day! (Muroran Tourism Association provided the picture)
By the way, Cape Chikyu is famous for “Honoo-no-Doku-Manju.”
It’s a six pieces manju box containing one with extremely spicy peppers! You can’t tell which one
I once had the spicy one, and it suffered me a lot. I did not get one this time.
▲I kept driving a narrow road after Cape Chikyu,
After driving down a steep downhill, it merged to a wide road, and I was suddenly in the middle of a town. There are large shopping malls and town halls around. I cannot believe I was looking at the beautiful views of nature and ocean at Cape Chikyu just a few minutes ago.
Cities and nature are next to each other in Muroran City. That is a huge attraction.
▲I kept driving the shopping street and took a left turn at the traffic light.
▲I found a cute whale on a grit bin.
The cityscape ended, and I entered into a mountain. The road got narrow again.
A branch to go to the summit of Mt. Sokuryo appeared, and I arrived at an observatory to look “Masuichi Beach” in a few minutes.
▲I looked down the rough sea.
Although it’s called a “beach,” there are no sands, and it’s more like a cliff.
It was quite wild.
▲I could see the Oshima Peninsula clearly over Uchiura Bay. I got excited to think that I will be driving there soon!
A few sights such as Candle Rock appears after Masuichi Beach. The observatory of Cape Etomo appears on the left when the road gets a little wider.
▲The view from Cape Etomo is like this. The sky is so blue! The water was clear as I could see the bottom of the sea. This is really a fantastic view.
As I am at Cape Etomo, I am almost at the next destination. That is “Miyakoshiya Coffee MUTEKIROU,” which is known as the cafe with a scenic view. It’s about two to three mins from Cape Etomo.
Have a delicious cup of coffee and ciabatta sandwich at a scenic cafe
▲Miyakoshiya Coffee MUTEKIROU has a unique exterior.
I was surprised when I went inside! Huge windows covered three sides, and we could see views of the ocean, including Shiratori Bridge!
▲From the front right to front: City of Muroran, including Shiratori Bridge over the ocean.
▲From the front left to front: Uchiura Bay.
▲Terrace seats feel fantastic on a sunny day! It’s a special seat.
In this shop, you can listen to jazz music played with high-quality speakers, which cost over 10,000,000 yen as you enjoy freshly dripped coffee.
▲I can imagine how delicious this coffee could be just by looking at it!
▲I had a French blend with WEDGWOOD’s cup.
They also offer light meals with coffee such as ciabatta sand, etc. I asked Naito, the manager of the shop who made coffee for me, for her recommended ciabatta sandwich.
▲Herb chicken, brie cheese, apples, and mango jam ciabatta sandwich.
The slight sweetness of mango wraps slight saltiness of cheese like honey and make the juiciness of chewy chicken stand out. The crispy texture of apples adds an accent.
This sandwich was delicious. It was served as a light meal, but I felt quite full.
The atmosphere was cozy, and their coffee and ciabatta sandwich was delicious. More than anything, the view is fantastic!
I would like to revisit the cafe.
Miyakoshiya Coffee MUTEKIROU to Michi-no-Eki Mitara Muroran: Michi-no-Eki near Hakucho BridgeMiyakoshiya Coffee MUTEKIROU to Michi-no-Eki Mitara Muroran
Mileage: Approx. 2 kilometers
The time required: Approx. 5 mins
I left the cafe as I put the comfortableness of the cafe in my memory. I will head to the last destination for today, Michi-no-Eki Mitara Muroran. I only had to drive less than five minutes along the coastline, though.
▲There were many cars.
I decided to take a walk around the parking.
▲I rang this bell alone. I was a little embarrassed.
▲There was a park golf field at the back of the building. Shiratori Bridge is over there.
There are restaurants where you can enjoy local dishes in the Michi-no-Eki. I might have had something here if I hadn’t eaten a ciabatta sandwich at the cafe. I knew I would visit here again, so I left the fun thing to the future.
You may also find this article interesting:
“Michi No Eki Mitara Muroran” re-opened in April 2019, it changed like this!
This is it for today.
I will drive to “Michi-no-Eki Toyoura” in Toyoura-Cho in the next article. I will stop by Koibito Beach and Cape Arutori in Date City, and take a walk at Usu Zenkoji Temple Nature Park.
Text, photo/Hokkaido Likers photo writer nobu Kawashima