* 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.



10月中旬 / From the middle to the end of October is the ideal time to see colored leaves


From the middle to the end of October is the ideal time to see colored leaves on the trees in Sapporo, both in downtown and in residential areas. The typical trees are the maple whose leaves turn to red, and the ginkgo tree, whose leaves turn to yellow. Sunlight works its magic, and the leaves take on a vermilion or golden hue. On a sunny day, if you are not in the shade, you will feel warm but if the weather is cloudy or rainy, you may feel chilly or cold. As such, when visiting, preparation of appropriate clothing is advised.


乙部町公民館 / Otobe Town’s Community Center


Otobe Town’s Community Center (Otobe Town) houses a small museum in the center building. In the building, old everyday goods are exhibited to teach how people lived back in the day, and specimens of animals and plants found in the town to teach about the local environment are on show. This place is perhaps intended for locals to learn about their town, not so much for tourists. On Saturday and Sunday, it seems there are almost no visitors. When we visited, the indoor light was off. Also, there is not a desk like a reception. But this small museum is free to enter, as Hokkaido Travel Tips always focuses on.



Arukotto (Shibecha Town) is another name of the Lake Touro Eco Museum Center, located on the southern shores of the lake. There are many information panels, models and specimens through which visitors can learn about nature in the Kushiro Shitsugen (marsh). In particular, Arukotto focuses on water, which is a very important element of the largest marsh land in Japan. Near Arukotto, there is a free historic museum and some other facilities. Also, there is a starting point for canoe activity, although it’s of course a paid service. Lake Touro is one of the key places to enjoy Kushiro Shitsugen - through viewing, walking and canoeing and the like.


Star Plaza蘆別 / Star Plaza Ashibetsu

Star Plaza蘆別(位於蘆別市)是在國道38號沿線上的道路休息站。建築物的各處都以星星來設計裝飾。從上空看的話停車場的公共廁所也設計成星形圖案。1988年時由日本環境省的「星空的街道大賽」中被認定為可以很清楚看到星空的城鎮。從餐廳可以遠眺到空知川。蘆別因曾經的煤礦產地而興盛。

Star Plaza Ashibetsu (Ashibetsu City) is a road station on route 38. As this station focuses on the constellations above us, star-shaped decorations and ornaments are seen in the building. Even the design of the public toilets building located in the car parking is star-shaped too when seen from the air. In 1988, the city of Ashibetsu was designated by the Ministry of Environment ,as the result of the ‘Star Towns’ contest, as one of the places where beautiful stars can be observed. From the restaurant on the second floor, diners can enjoy the view of the Sorachi River. Ashibetsu used to be a hub of the coal mining industry.

太陽花園 / Sun Garden

太陽花園(位於苫小牧市)是位在出光文化公園內的室內設施,裡面有圖書館和植物園。因為一年當中都有做溫度管理所以天氣不好的時候也可以在裡面度過。在2樓的溫室也有培育台灣香蕉。有約80種, 1400株的植物和靠近水邊十分舒服的空間。屋頂是玻璃做的所以可以看到天空。在這裡坐著吃便當的人也很多。

Sun Garden (Tomakomai City) is a building in Idemitsu Culture Park housing the city library and an indoor botanical garden. As the temperature is controlled through the year, it allows visitors to enjoy their spare time in comfort. In the hothouse on the second floor, bananas from Taiwan are grown. There are 80 kinds, with approximately 1,400 plants in total. Visitors can spend a relaxing time hearing the artificial water stream, and the sun light from the glass ceiling is comfortable also, when it’s sunny. There are some seats with tables, and people enjoy having lunch boxes or snacks in a picnic setting.

島牧認識館 / Shimamaki Shiroukan


Shimamaki Shiroukan (Shimamaki Village) is a small museum connected to the road station, Yotteke Shimamaki. Shimamaki Shiroukan literally means 'a museum to know about Shimamaki Village.' It features information about nature and the natural environment in the village. Garou Falls is the highlight of sightseeing there. It was selected as one of Japan’s top 100 Waterfalls in 1990, which was announced by the Ministry of Environment. Four photos of Garou Waterfalls taken in each season are on exhibit. Also, there is a big model to show the local geography, and specimens of wild mushrooms and wild edible plants. A big photo of a colony of dogtooth violet flowers welcomes visitors.



WithCommu (Suttsu Town) is a multiple use facility, which also houses exhibition rooms like those found in a small museum. It exhibits earthenware used some centuries ago discovered in the town, everyday goods or housewares from the era when the herring industry flourished, and fishing goods from said era. As WithCommu actually functions in the role of community center, it also houses a library, cooking room with cooking equipment, a meeting room and such. This is for people living in town, but the exhibition room is good to learn about changes of life style in history and geography.

佐呂間湖 / Lake Saroma


Lake Saroma, connected to the Sea of Okhotsk, is the biggest brackish-water lake in Japan. Given its connection to the sea, the salinity of the water in the lake is almost the same as the sea. This lake belongs to Kitami City, Saroma Town, and Yubetsu Town. It’s the third biggest lake in Japan, after Lakes Biwa and Kasumigaura. In Ainu language, Saroma means a river with reeds, Saru Oma Petsu. Farming of scallops and oysters in the lake is ongoing and Hokkai Shimaebi prawns are caught. There are some remains such as shell mounds or houses which show us that ancient people lived here even before Christ. The annual 100km Lake Saroma ultramarathon is an annual highlight of the area.

占冠物產館 / Shimukappu Bussankan


Shimukappu Bussankan (Shimukappu Village) literally means ‘local products’ house in English. It’s located on route 237, and is next to JR Shimukappu Station. Travelers by car and train are common, and it is a nice spot for passengers to wait for the next train. As both the two buildings are in a rural area, visitors may feel that time passes slowly. On the first floor, a space to have a rest and nursery room for infants are available, and on the second floor there is a local museum and a restaurant. This building is like a road station, but is not officially registered as one.

唐松站 / Former Toumatsu Station


Former Toumatsu Station (Mikasa City) is one of the stations on the former Horonai Line. This station was built in 1929 when the coal mines were active, but was decommissioned in 1987 as the coal mining and charcoal industries began a gradual but steady decline. Now, some people are active in preserving this station as their memory of history. They keep the surroundings clean, repair the old wooden building, exhibit old goods such as timetables and some signs. Railway fans who like to take photos of old stations sometimes visit here. Also, some local events are held here.



Nakagawa (Nakagawa Town) is a road station on route 40, located about 40 kilometers from Wakkanai City, the northernmost city in Japan. Nakagawa Town is famous for fossils, and a lot of ammonite fossils specifically have been discovered in the area. At the main hall, there is an ammonite fossil approximately 1 meter in width exhibited. Also, the shop sells small fossils decorated with transparent resin. There is a big iron fireplace which is lit during cold winter. The fire can make visitors warm and relaxed out of the cold. Moreover, wooden puzzles and pictures books at the kids’ space are nice.