Release | nobu Kawashima
Going around Hokkaido (31) Toyoura to Yakumo: Towards Oka-no-Eki while visiting hidden places to get views of the ocean
Going around the coastline of Hokkaido in clockwise!
In this 31st article of the series, I will start from “Michi-no-Eki Toyoura” in Toyoura-Cho and drive to “Oka-no-Eki” in “Funka Bay Panorama Park” in Yakumo-Cho.
There are many hidden places to get amazing views when I drive the road away from the National Route. I will take a detour to Rebunge District in Toyoura-Cho, Shizukari District in Oshamanbe-Cho, etc., on the way to “Oka-no-Eki.” Oh, don’t forget to have the famous ekiben of Oshamanbe Station, “Kanimeshi Bento”!
Table of Contents- About the series: Going around Hokkaido
- About the route: Michi-no-Eki Toyoura in Toyoura-Cho to Oka-no-Eki in Yakumo-Cho
- Michi-no-Eki Toyoura to Kamuichashi Historical Park: A fantastic view appears after climbing up the steep stairs!
- Kamuichashi Historical Park to Shizukari Beach: From the coastline with cliffs to singing sands
- Shizukari Beach to Kunnui Port: Enjoy the famous ekiben “Kanimeshi Bento”
- Kunnui Port to Oka-no-Eki: A beautiful place to get the view of Funka Bay
* 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 Toyoura in Toyoura-Cho to Oka-no-Eki in Yakumo-Cho
▲The route of this article (Google My Maps)
Route: Michi-no-Eki Toyoura in Toyoura-Cho to Oka-no-Eki in Yakumo-Cho
Mileage: Approx. 84 kilometers
The time required: Approx. 1 hour 50 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) -
You can find the previous article of the series here:
Going around Hokkaido (30) Muroran to Toyoura: drive along Funka Bay with the view of Mt. Usu
▲Going around Hokkaido has come this much! (Google My Maps)
Michi-no-Eki Toyoura to Kamuichashi Historical Park: A fantastic view appears after climbing up the steep stairs!Michi-no-Eki Toyoura to Kamuichashi Historical Park
Mileage: Approx. 13 kilometers
The time required: Approx. 20 mins
I started from “Michi-no-Eki Toyoura” in Toyoura-Cho.
This Michi-no-Eki is on the way to Hakodate City from Muroran and Hakodate City from Sapporo City via Nakayama Pass. It’s a very convenient place to take a break.
I left the Michi-no-Eki and drove the National Route no. 37 for a while towards Oshamanbe-Cho.
▲I got away from the coastline and kept driving in the forests.
I took a left turn before the Toyoura Interchange for the expressway. I am going to get away from the National Route and take a detour along the coastline.
After driving in the woods for a few minutes, houses started to appear, and I arrived at the beach after passing the village.
I drove through the tunnel to go under the cliff in the front as I see the ocean on the left. The ocean appeared again. But it looks like it’s also a camping field. Let me stop by a little.
▲I found parking on the right side of the road, so I parked the car to take a walk.
It was “Kamuichashi Historical Park” and “Okishi Seaside Camping Field” in the Rebunge District of Toyoura-Cho.
▲I visited here in the mid-summer. Many people were enjoying camping!
▲It looks amazing!
I almost got seduced by the smell of BBQ from the camping site but kept walking the beach. I was only looking at the ocean for a while, but when I looked at the mountainside, I noticed long steps.
▲135 steps! I thought for a while if I should go up or not.
After going up the steps, I found a beautiful park on the hill! “Kamuichashi Historical Park” is this park on the hill.
▲The view was fascinating! The tunnel I passed that go through the cliff goes right under the park.
“Kamuichashi” means “god’s fort” in the Ainu language. It’s a sacred place worshipped by Ainu people.
▲There is a wooden path in the park, and you can walk along.
▲I could see the ocean under the cliff from the wooden path. It was quite high, and I felt a little scared.
I could get a fantastic view of the ocean from the cliff that sticks out to the sea! I felt a sacred atmosphere as trees surrounded it. I thought it’s a precious spiritual place that feels like I visited a hidden spot.
Kamuichashi Historical Park to Shizukari Beach: From the coastline with cliffs to singing sandsKamuichashi Historical Park to Shizukari Beach
Mileage: Approx. 22 kilometers
The time required: Approx. 35 mins
I feel like my body and mind got purified and left the place. However, I am up on the cliff. I need to go down the long stairs down to go.
▲The steps were quite steep and felt a little scary! Although the landscape I got to view once in a while I stopped was terrific and I felt lovely.
I could go down all the stairs by using handrails. I took off after recovering my breath. I parked a car for a short break soon after. A fantastic scenery appeared after passing the first tunnel.
▲Bungakuhi Park. The park has stone monuments of writers such as Mokichi Saito, Sei Ito, Akiko and Yosano Tekkan, etc., who praised the beauty of this beach.
I parked the car at Bungakuhi Park and went out of the car. I could hear the sound of waves and feel an ocean smell. This landscape of the ocean in mid-summer makes me feel at ease.
I was surprised to see the wild ocean scenery soon after! The road got narrow suddenly, and I kept driving the curvy road along the cliffs that stick out to the sea.
▲I was amazed at how people made a road in such a steep landscape.
▲There were many reefs on the left.
▲I found an old railroad of Muroran Honsen Line by the road. Part of the former railroad has been turned into roads.
After I pass the narrow and steep road, I entered the village of Rebunka District. Koboro Beach, which is known as an unexplored region, will be beyond this point. However, there is no road along the coastline until Oshamanbe-Cho, so I will drive inland with the National Route no. 37.
▲I kept driving between mountains and drove through the mountain pass.
A large plain that continues to the coast appeared in the front after a long downhill. I took a left turn in the middle of the hill and got away from the national route. I went down all at once and arrived at Shizukari District.
I should turn right after driving the coastline. Let’s try to go as far as I can in the left direction.
▲There was Shizukari Port at the end. There will be no roads along the coastline beyond this point to Rebunka District.
I checked there was a dead end, so I took a U-turn.
My next destination is Shizukari Beach, which is beyond JR Shizukari Station. It’s also called a beach with singing sands.
▲JR Shizukari Station. I really like the nostalgic atmosphere of this building. It feels as if it came out of a movie!
▲This wooden sign is the only sign. I could not find this beach on Google Maps. (As of September 2019)
I parked the car and walked to the beach.
▲The beach was very beautiful! The coastline continues to Kohoro Beach.
Singing sand is a kind of sand that makes noise when grains of quartz hit each other. I could not hear the sound but still felt eased by sounds of waves and a nice sea breeze.
I heard that a lot of marine debris gets washed up on this beach because of the topography and tide. Oshamanbe-Cho spends so much budget to clean the wastes on the beach. Thanks to them, we can enjoy this beautiful view of the beach.
Shizukari Beach to Kunnui Port: Enjoy the famous ekiben “Kanimeshi Bento”Shizukari Beach to Kunnui Port
Mileage: Approx. 22 kilometers
The time required: Approx. 25 mins
I left Shizukari Beach and merged to the National Route. I kept driving straight in the middle of the field and arrived at the center of Oshamanbe-Cho.
Oshamanbe is famous for Kanimeshi! (rice with crabs) Kanaya’s Kanimeshi is so famous that many people imagine it with Oshamanbe.
▲Kanaya’s flagship store is in front of Oshamanbe Station. There is a small eating area next to the shop (on the right in this picture) called “unreserved seat,” as the shop is next to the station.
▲I got Kanimeshi Bento for my lunch!
You may also find this article interesting:
“Kanimeshi Bento” is the most popular ekiben from Oshamanbe
Although I am not on a train journey, I guess ekiben is also great for a road trip. Of course, I can’t enjoy it with the view of trains, but I could feel I am traveling when I have it at a place with beautiful views or parks.
I drove for about 10 mins to Kunnui Port.
▲The port is attached to an artificial island that looks like a wine glass. You can visit there from the land by crossing the bridge.
▲The view from the bridge was also nice!
▲When I looked down from the breakwater, I felt a little awkward because I felt like I was looking at the land from the sea.
Many people were enjoying fishing at the port. I thought it would be nice to have my bento box while enjoying the view. However, it was a little windy, and seagulls and crows were watching my foods.
I wasn’t thinking enough. I went back to my car and enjoyed the bento box.
Kunnui Port to Oka-no-Eki: A beautiful place to get the view of Funka BayKunnui Port to Oka-no-Eki
Mileage: Approx. 27 kilometers
The time required: Approx. 30 mins
I will almost arrive at the final destination of the day, Oka-no-Eki in Yakumo-Cho.
▲I kept driving the flat road of National Route no. 5.
As I get near the center of Yakumo-Cho, the road became two lanes on one side. Many shopping facilities started to appear.
The road got one lane on one side again, and I found the sign of “Funka Bay Panorama Park” soon after. I took a right turn here.
▲I drove a beautiful hill with birch trees on both sides of the road.
▲I noticed I could see the ocean at the back.
Funka Bay Panorama Park is an enormous facility that is located on the hill to look down the sea.
▲Oka-no-Eki sells local specialties of Yakumo-Cho and neighboring towns and cities.
Funka Bay Panorama Park has various facilities such as Oka-no-Eki that I will visit today, cafe and restaurant, a camping field, park golf field, etc. You can visit here either from the general road and Yakumo Service Area of the expressway, which makes it a perfect place to take a break while driving the southern Hokkaido area.
▲The view of Funka Bay from the hill. It’s an amazing place to get a view of this beautiful landscape.
I found many local products that are perfect for souvenirs!
▲One of the largest industries in Yakumo-Cho is dairy farming. Oka-no-Eki offers various dairy products such as locally sourced milk, yogurt drinks, and puddings, etc.
▲There is also different cheese made in Yakumo-Cho and other neighborhood cities/towns!
▲There are many seafood products, too. Some products would match great with alcohols such as smoked scallops, etc.
I bought two things today.
▲The first one is “Nikai Curry-Pan” (Curry bun from two seas).
Yakumo-Cho faces two seas: the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan.
This curry bun uses the local curry “Nikai Curry,” which is made with locally sourced ingredients in Yakumo-Cho, which is located in between two seas.
The bun contains white-colored curry made with milk, as Yakumo-Cho is a dairy farming industry town. They put scallops, which is their local specialty, in the curry.
▲It doesn’t look pretty but looks like this when I cut it into half.
It was quite spicy and had a strong flavor. I felt delighted!
▲The second one is “Salty Caramel Pudding.” I never miss the dessert after a meal!
The pudding was incredibly creamy but was not heavy at all. The texture was great, too. The sweet caramel sauce and the light texture of the pudding match really well.
I ate so much while enjoying beautiful views this time. I had the dessert, so I’d like to end this article today.
I will leave Oka-no-Eki and drive to “Michi-no-Eki Shikabe Kanketsusen Park” in Shikabe-Cho in the next article.
Text, photo/Hokkaido Likers photo writer nobu Kawashima