* Hokkaido Travel Tips的部落格

*Hokkaido Travel Tips’ Blog
We compile information on “0 yen tourist spots” and “must-see paid spots with extra benefits” and then keep them in our blog as archives for your convenience. We also introduce the food of Hokkaido and interesting souvenirs to take home.



開陽丸 / Kaiyou Maru


Kaiyou Maru (Esashi Town) is a paid historical museum housed in an old battleship. Visitors can of course admire the vessel from outside for free, and also take in the view of the whole harbor. The boat was made in the Netherlands in 1866, but since being renovated has been moored in the harbor. The era when this ship was made was the Edo Period, when the Tokugawa Family governed as Shogun (General in English). Later, the Tokugawa Family ceded political power to the Emperor, seeing the beginning of the Meiji Period. In the early Meiji period, Tokugawa loyalists took this battleship and delivered it to Hokkaido, but the ship was sunk off Esashi Town. 

札幌賽馬場 / Sapporo Racecourse


Sapporo Racecourse (Sapporo City Chuo-ku) is one of 10 racecourses of the Japan Racing Association (JRA). Every year, Sapporo Racecourse holds horse racing meets every Saturday and Sunday from the end of July to the beginning of September, which makes for 12 days over six weeks. Admission is 100 yen, but is sometimes free on special days, such as the first Sunday of the month and so on. As Hokkaido is famous for breeding racehorses, some fans in Honshu enjoy traveling around horse ranches/studs as well as visiting Sapporo Racecourse. In Hokkaido, Hakodate is the other JRA racecourse.

天之川 / Amanogawa River


Amanogawa River (Kaminokuni Town) is a clean river running through the town. Amanogawa means Milky Way in English. In 1618, Angelis, a Italian Christian missionary, was deposited in the town by a storm. He was the first European person to set foot in Hokkaido. Later, he made a hand-drafted map of Hokkaido. He wrote Tsuga, which is a word that stands for Milky Way, for the point where he first arrived. This is the origin of the name of this river. At the bridge, there are 12 bronze reliefs of constellations, which are beautiful under the lights at night.

上國寺 / Jokoku-ji Temple


Jokoku-ji Temple (Kaminokuni Town) is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Hokkaido. According to historic records kept in the temple, its foundation was around 1560. Also, a wooden board on the ceiling of the main building writes that a re-construction of the main building was done in 1758. Because of this, the main building is one of the oldest wooden constructions still preserved in the modern day in Hokkaido. Over 2008 and 2009, a new renovation was carried out, making it possible to see the original design of the wooden building.

上之國八幡宮 / Kaminokuni Hachiman Shrine


Kaminokuni Hachiman Shrine (Kaminokuni Town) is one of the oldest shrines in Hokkaido. This shrine is designated as a tangible cultural property by Hokkaido government. The shrine was founded in 1473 by Takeda Nobuhiro, a lord who governed the southern part of Hokkaido. The main building was rebuilt in 1699, and is still in use now. This architecture is one of the oldest remaining shrine structures in Hokkaido. There are two Torii gates on the path to the shrine, and it’s beautiful to see the Sea of Japan, which is calm on a fine day.

勝山館跡 / The Site of Katsuyama Castle


The Site of Katsuyama Castle (Kaminokuni Town) is designated as a historic landmark of Japan, and an important cultural property which shows us historical events of medieval times in Hokkaido. Takeda Nobuhiro, a lord and a warrior, governed here, and the castle seemed to be commissioned by him in 1473. At the time, he changed his family name from Takeda to Kakizaki. Katsuyama Castle was used until the middle of the 16th century by Kakizaki Mitsuhiro, a son of Nobuhiro. Nobuhiro moved to another base and the place grew quiet, with the castle only being used sporadically.

夷王山 / Mt. Ioh and the Iohzan Shrine on the top of Mt. Ioh


Mt. Ioh and the Iohzan Shrine on the top of Mt. Ioh (Kaminokuni Town) can give a visitor solemn feelings. Mt. Ioh is 159 meters high and contains the ruins of a castle which flourished there in the 15th and 16th centuries. The window into the past that the ruins provide will doubtless impress the observer. At the shrine, visitors can admire the panoramic view of the town, coastline and ocean, as well as Okushiri and Ohshima Islands. The shrine is quite small, but the gate which stands there makes for a unique sight. There are about 500 kinds of plants there, with the Ezoyama Tsutsuji (azalea only seen in Hokkaido) is particularly famous.