• February 20th, 2016
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[Abashiri Okhotsk Ryuhyo Festival] Winter Festival Using Ice and Snow

Abashiri Okhotsk Ryuhyo Festival

Abashiri Okhotsk Ryuhyo Festival (あばしりオホーツク流氷まつり * The Ryuhyo means "Drift Ice" in Japanese) is a winter event held in Abashiri city located in the northeastern part of Kitami city, and has started since 1966. The festival is held at Abashiri Port Event Site (網走商港埠頭特設会場) during 3-4 days in mid February, and about 55,000 tourists come. It takes about 10 minutes on foot from Roadside Station "Ryuhyo kaido Abashiri (流氷街道網走)" to there. There are ice sculptures, snow sculptures, ice slides, food stalls, a public restroom at the site, and some events such as concerts are held, too. It is very cold, so you had better wear a warm outfit. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge. By the way, the roadside staion is a ferry terminal of Icebreaking Ship Aurora2 (流氷砕氷船オーロラ2), so it is crowded with tourists in a winter. A lot of sightseeing buses park at a parking lot.

Abashiri Okhotsk Ryuhyo Festival
Abashiri Okhotsk Ryuhyo Festival
Ice Sculpture Is Lit up
Abashiri Okhotsk Ryuhyo Festival
Roadside Station "Ryuhyo kaido Abashiri"
Abashiri Okhotsk Ryuhyo Festival
Icebreaking Ship Aurora2
Abashiri Okhotsk Ryuhyo Festival
Sightseeing Buses Line
Abashiri Okhotsk Ryuhyo Festival

Drift Ice and Aurirago Cruise in Abashiri

There are 2 sightseeing spots that tourists can enjoy the scheduled drift ice cruising in Japan. Abashiri in the northeast of the Hokkaido faces the Sea of Okhotsk, and is one of the sightseeing spots for drift ice cruising. Drift ice drifts to the offing of Abashiri around mid January. If common ships collide with the drift ice, those are broken, but Drift Ice Icebreaker Aurorago (流氷観光砕氷船おーろら号) and Aurorago2 (おーろらⅡ号) that can break the drift ice zone with the weight of themselves go into service. A lot of tourists visit here to see the drift ice from mid January to early April. The drift ice icebreaker Aurorago and Aurorago2 go into service from 2 to 5 each day, and cruising time is around 60 minutes. The tourists can get aboard a ship at the roadside station "Ryuhyo Kaido Abashiri (流氷街道網走)". Read More

Close to Drift Ice
Drift Ice and Aurirago Cruising in Abashiri

In addition, Okhotsk Ryuhyo Museum (オホーツク流氷館) that introduces about the drift ice on Mt. Tento (天都山) throughout the year is in the Abashiri, too. Abashiri-kohan Onsen (網走湖畔温泉) is at the foot of the Mt. Tento, so it is suitable for warming cold body with hot springs. Speaking of specialty foods in the Abashiri, Abashiri Zanki Rice Bowl (網走ザンギ丼) and Abashiri Zanki Rice Bowl are served by some local restaurants.

Okhotsk Ryuhyo Museum
Drift Ice and Aurirago Cruising in Abashiri
Look of Okhotsk Ryuhyo Museum
Drift Ice and Aurirago Cruising in Abashiri

Abashiri Zanki Rice Bowl

Kinemakan (キネマ館) is a restaurant in Abashiri city located in the northeast part of Kitami city. There is a restaurant on second floor of roadside station "Drift Ice Highway Abashiri (流氷街道網走)". I visited here to eat Abashiri Zanki Rice Bowl (網走ザンギ丼). The Abashiri Zanki Rice Bowl is a rice bowl topped with fishery products and vegetables harvested in Abashiri and is served at about 9 restaurants in Abashiri city. I did not know why interior decoration of a building was a movie theater style with the Showa period. I bought a meal ticket of the Abashiri zanki rice bowl via a ticket vendor at once. The price was JPY 880. Read More

Abashiri Zanki Rice Bowl
Abashiri Zanki Rice Bowl -Kinemakan-

Abashiri Chanpon

Grand Glacier (グラングラシェ) is a restaurant at Abashiri Central Hotel (網走セントラルホテル). There is a building in Abashiri Station side. I visited here to eat Abashiri Chanpon (網走ちゃんぽん). Abashiri Chanpon is a local speciality dish of Abashiri. They cooperated with Obama Chanpon (小浜ちゃんぽん) in Nagasaki, the home of Chanpon, and the Abashiri Chanpon was developed. The characteristic of the Obama Chanpon are light soup, abundantly vegetables and seafood, straight noodles. It is Abashiri Chanpon to have made from ingredients produced in Abashiri. Visitors can eat Abashiri Chanpon at 13 restraunts in the city. Read More

Ingredients Are Vegetables and Sea Foods
Abashiri Chanpon -Grand Glacier-

By the way, "Dreamint Okhotsk-go (ドリーミントオホーツク号)", an express bus, runs between the Sapporo and the Abashiri. Besides, Rent-a-car can be rented around Abashiri Station.

    List of Means of Transportation

    Highway buses run between the Abashiri and the Sapporo. Refer to following the means of the transportation in the Abashiri. As for car rental comparison websites, you can compare vehicle rental prices on Tabi-Plaza Rental Car Reservation (旅ぷらざレンタカー予約), Jalan Rental Car (じゃらんレンタカー) and Rakutem Travel Rental Car (楽天トラベルレンタカー).

    (Chuo Bus)中央バス From Sapporo to Abashiri
    (Chuo Bus)中央バス From Abashiri to Sapporo
    Nippon Rent-a-car(ニッポンレンタカー) Their office is near the Abashiri Station.
    Times Car Rental(タイムズカーレンタル) Their office is near the Abashiri Station.
    Toyota Rental Lease(トヨタレンタリース) Their office is in Omagari.
    Jalan
    Station Rent-a-car(駅レンタカー) Their office is near the Abashiri Station.
    Ones Rent-a-car(ワンズレンタカー) Their office is near the Abashiri Station.

    ABASHIRI

    Abashiri (網走) that about 40,000 people live is the 20th largest tourist city in Hokkaido, and is one of regional hub cities of the Northeastern Hokkaido area. It is also a fisheries city facing the Sea of Okhotsk, and Crab, Idiot Fish, Whale and Salmon are famous as a local specialty. As for a climate, it is chilly that temperature rises to nearly 25 degrees in a summer, and it is cold that temperature falls to nearly -5 degrees in a winter, and it does not snow hard, too. It may be said that the Abashiri is relativelly warm climate in the Hokkaido. The Abashiri is well-known for drift ice reaching to the coast, and is famous as a winter tourist spot, too, and is roughly divided into 2 areas, a old city area (a neighborhood of Abashiri River mouth) and a new suburbs area. The new suburbs area is more developed than the old city area, and has more restaurants than the old city area. Read More

    Drift Ice of Abashiri
    Drift Ice from Mausuura View Point Parking in Abashiri

    Winter Festivals in Hokkaido

    Snow often begins to fall around Christmas season, and Hokkaido is covered with the snow until late March that snow begins to melt, the ground turns into the white world in a winter. The snow falls in silence, and the temperature falls, too, and its peak is February, and various winter events that snow, ice and coldness can be enjoyed are held all over Hokkaido around the February. Read More

    Sapporo Snow Festival
    Sapporo Snow Festival

    Look of Venue

    About 30 snow sculptures and ice sculptures, ice slides and a snow maze of various sizes are made at the venue. Unlike Monbetsu Ryuhyo Festival (もんべつ流氷まつり), there are not only ice sculptures as a motif but also snow sculptures. As for the ice sculptures, I felt that its qualities were high generally as well as Sapporo Snow Festival (札幌雪まつり) and Asahikawa Winter Festival (旭川冬まつり). Large and small ice slides are built to make children fun. A main ice sculpture was Abashiri Prison when I visited here in 2016 because it was designated as the important national cultural property in 2015. A motif of the main ice sculpture is changed every year. The ice sculptures and snow sculptures are lit up in the evening, and those look beautiful. The venue is not so large, so it takes about 60 minutes to look around carefully.

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    Entrance of Venue
    Abashiri Okhotsk Ryuhyo Festival
    Main Snow Sculpture like Abashiri Prison
    Abashiri Okhotsk Ryuhyo Festival
    Look of Venue
    Abashiri Okhotsk Ryuhyo Festival
    Many Snow Sculptures
    Abashiri Okhotsk Ryuhyo Festival
    Snow Sculptures like Snufkin and Moomintroll
    Abashiri Okhotsk Ryuhyo Festival
    Snow Sculpture like Mouse
    Abashiri Okhotsk Ryuhyo Festival
    Look of Event Site
    Abashiri Okhotsk Ryuhyo Festival
    Ice Sculpture
    Abashiri Okhotsk Ryuhyo Festival
    Large Ice Slide
    Abashiri Okhotsk Ryuhyo Festival
    Children Are Enjoying
    Abashiri Okhotsk Ryuhyo Festival
    View from Large Ice Slide
    Abashiri Okhotsk Ryuhyo Festival
    View from Large Ice Slide
    Abashiri Okhotsk Ryuhyo Festival
    Snow Slide
    Abashiri Okhotsk Ryuhyo Festival
    Snow Maze
    Abashiri Okhotsk Ryuhyo Festival
    Maze
    Abashiri Okhotsk Ryuhyo Festival

    Except enjoying the snow sculptures and the ice sculptures, events such as a playing large quoits that people may win king crabs or a cash JPY 10,000 were held, too, and it looked fun. In addtion, a lot of food stalls open, and seafood of the Abashiri can be eaten, too and a lot of tourists gathered.

    A Lot of food Stalls Open
    Abashiri Okhotsk Ryuhyo Festival
    Playing Large Quoits
    Abashiri Okhotsk Ryuhyo Festival

    Atmosphere of Abashiri Okhotsk Ryuhyo Festival Can Be Watched on Youtube

    Movie of Abashiri Okhotsk Ryuhyo Festival

    Admission fee Free of charge
    Parking lot Free parking is provided (400 cars)
    Business hour 10:00-19:00
    Regular closing day From late February to early February
    Telephone number +81-152-43-0334
    Home page Home page is here
    Mapcode 305 679 074*01

    List of Accommodations

    Refer to following websites for the accommodations in the Abashiri. You can get information regarding online reviews and photos.

    ABASHIRI

      Abashiri Royal Hotel(網走ロイヤルホテル)
      Hotel Route-Inn Abashiri Ekimae(ホテルルートイン網走駅前)
      Abashiri Central Hotel(網走セントラルホテル)
      Dormy Inn Abashiri(ドーミーイン網走)
      Hokkai Hotel(北海ホテル)
      Booking
      Abashiri Hotel Okhotsk Inn(網走ホテル オホーツク・イン)
      Booking
      Toyoko Inn Hokkaido Okhotsk Abashiri Ekimae(東横インオホーツク・網走駅前)
      Abashiri Green Hotel(網走グリーンホテル)
      Jalan
      Abashiri Ryuhyou-no-Oka Youth Hostel(網走流氷の丘ユースホステル)
      Jalan
      Rakuten
      Hotel Sun Abashiri(ホテルサンアバシリ)
      Minshuku Lamp(民宿ランプ)
      Notoronoso Kagariya(能取の荘 かがり屋)
      Washi-no-Tomarigi(わしのとまり木)
      Booking
      Jalan
      Business Hotel Family(ビジネスホテル ファミリー)
      Booking
      Jalan
      Rakuten
      Chiba Ryokan(千葉旅館)
      Booking
      Jalan
      Rakuten
      Business Ryokan Miyuki(ビジネス旅館 みゆき)
      Booking
      Jalan
      Rakuten
      Minshuku Kamome-so(民宿 かもめ荘)
      Booking
      Jalan
      Rakuten
      Yasuragi-no-Yado B&B Abashiri(やすらぎの宿 B&B あばしり)
      Booking
      Jalan
      Sea Side Stay(Sea Side Stay)
      Jalan
      Arawashi(あら鷲)
      Booking
      Imodango Village(いもだんご村)
      Tent Land(北海道立オホーツク公園 てんとらんど)
      Booking
      Jalan
      Rakuten
      Lakeside Park Notoro(レイクサイドパーク・のとろ)
      Booking
      Jalan
      Rakuten

      Abashiri Kohan Onsen

        Onsen Ryokan Motoyoshi(温泉旅館もとよし)
        Booking
        Abashiri Kanko Hotel(網走観光ホテル)
        Hokuten-no-Oka Abashiriko Tsuruga Resort(北天の丘 あばしり湖 鶴雅リゾート)
        Hotel Abashirikoso(ホテル網走湖荘)
        Auberge Kita-no-Dan-Dan(オーベルジュ 北の暖暖)
        Tento-no-Sato Hotel Honjin Abashiriko(天都の郷 ホテル本陣網走湖)
        Pension Wani-no-Ie(ペンション わにの家)
        Business Hotel Koraku(ビジネスホテル 幸楽)
        Booking
        Anima-no-Sato(アニマの里)
        Rakuten
        Techan&Tetsuko-no-Yado(旧国鉄保養所 鉄ちゃん&鉄子の宿)
        Booking
        Yobito Ryokan(呼人旅館)
        HP
        Booking
        Yobitoura Campsite(呼人浦キャンプ場)
        Booking
        Jalan
        Rakuten
        Booking.com

        A page of Abashiri is here

        Abashiri

        By the way, Club Tourism (クラブツーリズム), a Japanese tour travel agency, provides various types of tours such as day trip tours or ordinary tours. In the case of bus tours, tourists do not drive their cars themselves, so they can savor alcohol. Choosen tourist attractions are national parks such as Rishiri and Rebun, Shiretoko, and popular tourist places such as Furano and Biei, and some activities such as hiking and fruit picking are also enjoyed depending on seasons. If you are interested in tour trips, you should visit the club tourism's website for details.

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