Release | nobu Kawashima
Going around Hokkaido (32) Yakumo to Shikabe: Learn the history and enjoy nature in southern Hokkaido
This is a series to go around the coastline of Hokkaido in clockwise. In the 32nd article, I will keep driving as I see Mt. Komagatake on my right and front.
I will start from “Oka-no-Eki” in the “Funka Bay Panorama Park” in Yakumo-Cho and drive to “Michi-no-Eki Shikabe Kanketsusen Park.”
I will stop by “Landing Point of Enomoto Army in Washinoki,” “Sunazaki Lighthouse,” etc. Hydrangeas in “Hyotannuma Park” in Shikabe-Cho was in full bloom!
▲Shikabe-Cho’s “Hyotannuma Park.” The scenery of Mt. Komagatake with hydrangeas was terrific!
Table of Contents- About the series: Going around Hokkaido
- About the route: Oka-no-Eki in Yakumo-Cho to Michi-no-Eki Shikabe Kanketsusen Park in Shikabe-Cho
- Funka Bay Panorama Park Oka-no-Eki to Landing Point of Enomoto Army in Washinoki: Mt. Komagatake got closer!
- Landing Point of Enomoto Army in Washinoki to Sunazaki Lighthouse: Visited around the historical sites of the Meiji Restoration
- Sunazaki Lighthouse to Shikabe Hyotannuma Park: Lighthouse surrounded by sands
- Shikabe Hyotannuma Park to Michi-no-Eki Shikabe Kanketsusen Park: Hydrangeas were in full bloom!
* 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: Oka-no-Eki in Yakumo-Cho to Michi-no-Eki Shikabe Kanketsusen Park in Shikabe-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. 63 kilometers
The time required: Approx. 1 hour 40 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 (31) Toyoura to Yakumo: Towards Oka-no-Eki while visiting hidden places to get views of the ocean
▲Going around Hokkaido has come this much! (Google My Maps)
Funka Bay Panorama Park Oka-no-Eki to Landing Point of Enomoto Army in Washinoki: Mt. Komagatake got closer!Funka Bay Panorama Park Oka-no-Eki to Landing Point of Enomoto Army in Washinoki
Mileage: Approx. 26 kilometers
The time required: Approx. 30 mins
I will start from “Funka Bay Panorama Park” in Yakumo-Cho today.
▲It’s a scenic place on a hill where people can look down Funka Bay.
There are many facilities such as “Oka-no-Eki” where you can purchase local specialties of Yakumo-Cho and surrounding areas, cafe & restaurant, a camping field, etc.
▲I started my day by enjoying foods I bought at Oka-no-Eki, such as “Salty caramel pudding.”
▲You can visit Oka-no-Eki both from the general road and Yakumo Service Area of the expressway.
I turned left from the parking and discovered a beautiful street with birch trees!
▲The birch trees continue as if it’s leading us to the ocean.
The beautiful hill continues for approximately 1 kilometer.
When I finished going down as I enjoy the view, I will reach to the National Route no. 5, which goes near the coastline. I took a right turn here.
I noticed something Japanese on my right after a while.
▲I noticed the sign for the ruins of Yamagoshi Sekisho (barrier) on the right.
The northernmost Sekisho (barrier) existed here in the late Edo Period. It was a significant barrier to watch the traffic of people and things as it was the border of the Ezo region and the Japanese region. They don’t regulate traffic now, but they might catch you speeding!
▲There are no ruins of buildings, etc., but they rebuilt a well from information on the resources.
I did not get caught by either officials and samurais and could pass the Sekisho without any troubles. After a while, Funka Bay started to appear sometimes on my left and Mt. Komagatake in my front.
▲I took a short break at the parking to look down the ocean. I could see Mt. Komagatake slightly over the coastline.
National Route no.5 is one of the major national routes in Hokkaido, and there was much traffic. I could not park the car except parking, so there are not many places to get scenic views and take pictures.
▲Another great parking to look down the ocean.
I entered to Mori-Cho from Yakumo-Cho and Mt. Komagatake in my front got bigger!
▲There was no parking on the ocean side, but there was one on the mountainside. I walked a little from the parking to take pictures.
I went into a tunnel when Mt. Komagatake got pretty close, and when I got out of it, the scenery changed from the oceanside to the mountainside.
I am not at the Washinoki District of Mori-Cho. People who know a lot about history, especially those who like Shinsengumi, might have heard of this place name.
Let me drive.
▲I drove a narrow road on the side of the national route to the ocean
Landing Point of Enomoto Army in Washinoki to Sunazaki Lighthouse: Visited around the historical sites of the Meiji RestorationLanding Point of Enomoto Army in Washinoki to Sunazaki Lighthouse
Mileage: Approx. 17 kilometers
The time required: Approx. 35 mins
I came to “Landing Point of Enomoto Army in Washinoki.”
It’s the place where Takeaki Enomoto, Toshizo Hijikata, etc., from former Shogunate forces, landed in 1868.
▲Enomoto and Hijikata dreamed of creating a new country and landed on Hokkaido. I was impressed when I realized I see the same scenery.
The Battle of Hakodate started soon after the former Shogunate forces landed.
Washinoki Village, at that time, was back the position of Enomoto forces until the end of the war. It was a resting place for injured and sick people. Fallen soldiers were buried with respect.
Enomoto force’s war dead rest at the cemetery in the neighborhood until now. There is a stone monument about landing and cenotaphs in Washinoki Park, which is very close to the Landing Point.
▲There is no parking at “Landing Point of Enomoto Army in Washinoki,” so you have to go back to the national route and park at Washinoki Park along the national route.
▲You can walk to the cenotaphs and landing point from here.
▲You can look down the ocean near the landing point as it’s located on the hill. I can’t believe warships came here approximately 150 years ago.
After I learned the history, I went away from the national route again and passed in front of the landing point and kept driving along the coastline.
▲Mt. Komagatake got bigger, and it’s impressive.
The number of buildings started to increase. I was close to the center of Mori-Cho. I arrived at the center of Mori-Cho and passed in front of JR Mori Station.
▲Mori Station is famous for its ekiben “Ikameshi”! There are no shops on the station platform, so they are sold at Shibata Shouten in front of the station.
You may also find this article interesting:
Discover the secret of “Ikameshi” - the famous Ekiben from Mori-machi
I decided to take a look at some more historical sites in the middle of shops and restaurants after passing the station. The next place I visited was “Site of Mori Pier.”
▲The stone monument of “Site of Mori Pier” is quietly located in between buildings. (It’s behind the cars)
After the end of the Battle of Hakodate, people started building “Sapporo Hondo,” the road to connect Hakodate and Sapporo in 1872. And they also decided to connect Mori and Muroran with a sea route crossing Funka Bay.
This is where the pier used for the sea route existed.
The liner operated from here to Muroran until the early Showa Period, although they stopped for a period of time in the late Meiji Period.
▲The railroad of JR is just behind, and the ocean is right next to the railroad. You can’t see it, but I heard that parts of the pier are still left near the sea.
Chestnut trees, etc., in the neighborhood, was used to build the pier. They used oils that gushed out in Washinoki Village at that time for preservatives on the pier.
According to the story, it was Takeaki Enomoto, who supervised people to put on oils from Washinoki. He was rescued by Kiyotaka Kurota’s tolerance and worked as Kaitakushi after the Battle of Hakodate. I feel the magic of history here.
▲There is also a monument to tell that Meiji Emperor used this pier when he visited Hokkaido.
I left Mori-Cho after enjoying the historical sites of the late Edo Period and Meiji Restoration. I will now start enjoying nature views.
▲I drove curvy roads, away from the national route, for a while.
I passed Sunahara District in Mori-Cho. My next destination is “Sunazaki Lighthouse.” It’s a unique lighthouse built on sands.
▲I went straight after going on a narrow road and noticed the sign of Sunazaki Lighthouse.
Well, how will the road like from here?
Sunazaki Lighthouse to Shikabe Hyotannuma Park: Lighthouse surrounded by sandsSunazaki Lighthouse to Shikabe Hyotannuma Park
Mileage: Approx. 14 kilometers
The time required: Approx. 25 mins
The road was like that beyond the sign.
▲The paved road ended, and an extremely narrow, unpaved road appeared…
I decided to drive slowly and carefully.
▲I see the lighthouse far away. The road was not earth; it was sand. I was here with a normal passenger car, so I was worried if I could drive here.
The road was filled with sands. Grass fields surrounded me.
I would not be able to figure out anything if I went away from the road. Will it be sands, earth, or wetlands? Is the road flat or bumpy? I had no idea.
I first thought the height of grasses wouldn’t be tall, but I was sometimes surrounded by grasses much taller than me. I kept driving carefully not to make scars on cars and not to go off the track.
▲It was not a great road, but the view was great. Mt. Komagatake was on my right, sitting beyond the grass fields.
The road was fully sand after a few minutes from the paved road. It was very hard to drive. I realized this is not a great idea to continue.
▲I could come near the lighthouse, but I decided to go back from here.
I took a U-turn at a place with a little space. I enjoyed a scenic landscape, although I could not arrive at the lighthouse.
▲Mt. Komagatake is so beautiful!
▲I took a look at the ocean side. I could see the land of Date City and Muroran City far away.
▲I drove carefully again to go back.
I could arrive at the paved road and be relieved. I will head to Shikabe-Cho now.
▲I kept driving along the National Route no. 278, as I see Mt. Komagatake on the right.
▲I kept driving the straight road between forests after entering Shikabe-Cho.
The next destination is “Hyotannuma Park.” I should be there in approximately 15 to 20 minutes from the paved road.
Shikabe Hyotannuma Park to Michi-no-Eki Shikabe Kanketsusen Park: Hydrangeas were in full bloom!Shikabe Hyotannuma Park to Michi-no-Eki Shikabe Kanketsusen Park
Mileage: Approx. 6 kilometers
The time required: Approx. 10 mins
As the name suggests, there is a Hyotan-shaped pond in this park. You can enjoy the waterfront scenery, Mt. Komagatake, and beautiful flowers here.
▲There is a promenade to walk around the pond and multi-purpose field, etc.
▲You can get a beautiful view of the pond and Mt. Komagatake at the observatory in the park.
You can enjoy various flowers depending on the season, such as water lily, azalea, hydrangea, etc.
I visited the park in early August. It was the best time to see hydrangeas!
There were also Hamanasu flowers along with hydrangeas.
This park is the best place to take a light walk. Flowers were beautiful, and I felt amazing!
I found this bench in the park.
▲Do you understand the meaning?
“Nematte Ikeba Ijo!”
Hmm, what does it say?
It means “just sit down and relax awhile,” in the dialect of southern Hokkaido, etc.
Well, if the bench says. I left the park after sitting on the bench for a while and resting.
▲I drove the coastline again.
▲I kept driving the coastline towards the downtown of Shikabe-Cho.
The last stop of today is “Michi-no-Eki Shikabe Kanketsusen Park.” I arrived soon after passing the downtown of Shikabe-Cho.
▲I arrived at Michi-no-Eki! The ocean was in front of me.
This is it for today.
After enjoying local dishes at “Michi-no-Eki Kanketsusen Park,” I will drive to Mt. Esan Kakogen Parking Lot” at the starting point of a trail up Mt. Esan in the next article. I will also stop by Mizunashikaihin Hot Spring, which is a famous hot spring sinking in the seawater, on the way.
Text, photo/Hokkaido Likers photo writer nobu Kawashima