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Prison Museum, Common Glasswort Colony and Drift Ice Are Famous. Abashiri Suits White and Red

August 16th, 2016

ABASHIRI

Abashiri (網走) that about 40,000 people live is the 20th largest city in Hokkaido and is a regional hub city of the Northeastern Hokkaido area. As for 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. Abashiri may be said that it is overall warm climate in Hokkaido. Drift ice coming alongside the pier is famous, so it is known as a winter sightseeing spot. Abashiri city is roughly divided into 2 city areas, a former city area (a neighborhood of Abashiri River mouth) and a suburbs district on a hill. There are many more restauranta at the suburbs district than the restraunts at the former city area.

Fields
Abashiri

Abashiri Prison Museum (網走監獄) that former Abashiri prison was rebuilt is a symbolan of Abashiri. In addition, Okhotsk Ryuhyo Museum (オホーツク流氷館) with nice views from the mountaintop of Mt. Tento (天都山), Kitahama Station (北浜駅) that is famous for a shooting place and Common Glasswort Colony covering the bank of the lake in Lake Notoro (能取湖) are fascinating. Drift ice cruise sailing from roadside station "Ryuhokaido Abashiri (流氷街道網走)" is a sightseeing event on behalf of Hokkaido in a winter.

Sea of Okhotsk
Abashiri
Ponmoi Colummer Joint (ポンモイ柱状摂理)
Abashiri
Drift Ice from Mausuura View Point Parking (鱒浦ビューポイントパーキング)
Drift Ice from Mausuura View Point Parking in Abashiri

Nature

Abashiri has 5 lakes, Lake Abashiri (網走湖), Lake Notoro (能取湖), Lake Tofutsu (とうふつこ湖), Lake Mokoto (藻琴湖) and Lake Riyaushi (リヤウシ湖) and faces the Sea of Okhotsk, and aquatic plants such as Common Glasswort are famous.

Lake Abashiri

Lake Abashiri is a brackish lake located in the southwestern part of Abashiri city and is the 7th largest lake in Hokkaido. The perimeter of the lake is about 39.20 km. The lake of special characteristic is that Yobito Peninsula (呼人半島) runs out to the lake. There is Abashiri-Kohan Onsen (網走湖畔温泉) around the Yobito Peninsula, and skunk cabbages gorw in colony there in a spring. Especially, Memanbetsu Hygrophyte Community (女満別湿性植物群落) in Ozora town was desined as a natural monument in Japan. The lake is covered with ice in a winter and a lot of people enjoy fishing pond smelts.

Lake Abashiri
Lake Abashiri
Lake Abashiri
Lake Abashiri
Lake Abashiri
Lake Abashiri
Swans
Lake Abashiri

Skunk Cabbage Colony

Yobito Skunk Cabbage Colony (網走呼人水芭蕉群落) is a generic name for wetland of 52 ha dotted along Japanese national route 39, and it seems to be one of the largest skunk cabbage colony in Japan. A forest changes to the wetland flooded by meltwater, and innumerably skunk cabbages bloom from early April to mid April. The skunk cabbages can be admired along Yobito Nature Trail (呼人探鳥遊歩道), too. I visited a copse near Yobito Station (呼人駅), and a signboard written as Yobito Skunk Cabbage and Fireflya Glowfly Forest Trust is a mark. This scene is surely grand. I saw that many tourists stop their cars to see the skunk cabbages suddenly while driving. Because this place is not a sightseeing spot, there are no facilities such as a parking lot or a restroom. Article is here

Damp Ground on Forest
Yobito Skunk Cabbage Colony in Abashiri

Atmosphere of Abashiri Yobito Skunk Cabbage Colony Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Abashiri Yobuto Skunk Cabbage Colony

Lake Notoro

Lake Notoro is a brackish lake located in the nortewestern part of Abashiri city and is the 5th largest lake in Hokkaido. The perimeter of the lake is about 35 km. There is Cape Notoro (能取岬) on the sea side and are the Lake-side Park Notoro Auto Camping Site (レイクサイドパーク・のとろ) and common glasswort colony along the shore.

Lake Notoro
Lake Notoro
Lake Notoro
Lake Notoro
Lake Notoro
Lake Notoro

Coral Grass Colony in Ubaranai

Ubaranai Coral Grass Colony (卯原内のアッケシソウ群生地) is located in the south side of Lake Notoro (能取湖) and is known as the largest coral grass colony in Japan. It was on the verge of extinction in the past, but it is recovered now, so lakeshore is covered with red coral grass in early September. There are a restraunt and a restroom at a site. The coral grass are best viewed from early September to mid September. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge. Article is here

Common Glasswort
Ubaranai Coral Grass Colony in Abashiri

Atmosphere of Ubaranai Coral Grass Colony Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Ubaranai Coral Grass Colony

Lake Mokoto

Lake Mokoto is a brackish lake located in the southeastern part of Abashiri city. The perimeter of the lake is about 6 km. There is no facility. Freshwater clams are famous.

Lake Mokoto
Lake Mokoto
Lake Mokoto
Lake Mokoto
Lake Mokoto
Lake Mokoto

Lake Tofustu

Lake Tofutsu (濤沸湖) is a brackish lake in the southeastern of Abashiri city and was designed as a wetland under the Ramsar Convention in 2005. The perimeter of the lake is about 9.25 km. There is Hakucho Park (白鳥公園) in the west side of the lake, and there are Tofutsu-ko Hakucho Park Birdwatching Building (濤沸湖白鳥公園野鳥観察舎), Tofutsu-ko Waterwole and Wetland Center (濤沸湖水鳥・湿地センター) and wooden path with around 10 m in total length in the site. There is a wooden path in the north side of the lake next to Koshimizu Primeval Flower Garden (小清水原生花園), too. This lake is known as a rest place for waterfowl and about 40 kinds of water birds can be watched. Whooper swan is especially famous in a winter. Japanese pond smelt can be caught in the winter, too. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge. Restrooms are provided at the buildings. Article is here

Lake Tofustu
Lake Tofustu in Abashiri

Atmosphere of Lake Tofustu Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Lake Tofustu

Tasty Foods

Seafood is famous because Abashiri faces the Sea of Okhotsk. In addition, local speciality dishes are Abashiri Zanki Rice Bowl (網走ザンギ丼) and Abashiri Chanpon (網走ちゃんぽん).

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. Article is here

Abashiri Zanki Rice Bowl
Abashiri Zanki Rice Bowl -Kinemakan-

Abashiri Zanki Rice Bowl and Atmosphere of Restaurant Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Abashiri Zanki Rice Bowl

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. Article is here

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

Abashiri Chanpon and Atmosphere of Restaurant Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Abashiri Chanpon

Conveyor Belt Sushi

There are some local conveyor belt sushi restraunts in Abashiri city. I visited Tsuki (鮨ダイニング月) that is famous for large raw sliced fish and Kanigen (かに源) that is famous for having a wide variety.

Atmosphere of Tsuki and Kanigen Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Tsuki

Movie of Kanigen

Darumaya Abashiri Branch

Darumaya Ramen (だるまやラーメン) is a chain ramen restraunt in the suburbs of Sapporo. Abashiri Branch started a business in 2010. I decided to visit here because this ramen restraunt received a high evaluation on the Tabelog (食べログ). There is a building near Abashiri Civic Hall (網走市民会館). I visited here around 13:00 on weekdays. The ramen restraunt was almost full. There are some tables and family customers seem to enjoy. I sat at a counter seat and read a menu. I found the Doro Ramen, and this seems to be best recommended specialty. It is a strange name (Doro means mud in English), and I am curious about this menu. I ordered the Doro Ramen with a large serving of noodles. The price was JPY 830. While wainig for the ramen, some customers came to the ramen restraunt one after another. They are really popular. Article is here

Doro Ramen
Doro Ramen -Darumaya Abashiri Branch-

Doro Ramen and Atmosphere of Ramen Restaurant Can Be Watched on Youtube.

Movie of Doro Ramen

Other Sightseeing Spots

Except Nature and tasty foods, Abashiri has sightseeing spots, too. Abashiri Prison Museum is famous in particular. Cape Notoro, Okhotsk Ryuhyo Museum and Kitahama station are famous, too.

Abashiri Prison Museum

Abashiri Prison Museum (博物館網走監獄) is one of popular sightseeing spots of Abashiri city and was opend in 1983. About 200,000 tourists come. Buildings of former Abashiri prison (旧網走刑務所) that many movies and novels were set in were removed, and rebuilt at large land of 169,264m2. There are all 38 buildings, and 4 buildings among those were designated as a national important cultural property. By the way, real iwax dolls of prisoners and guards are weird. Those sad expression and device to sometimes work were so amazing it gave me goosebumps. They carry out a free guided tour. Because there is an atmosphere that you do not know if you do not visit here, please visit here. Article is here

Abashiri Prison Museum
Abashiri Prison Museum in Abashiri

Atmosphere of Abashiri Prison Museum Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Abashiri Prison Museum

Cape Notoro

Cape Notoro (能取岬) is located near Lake Notoro in Abashiri city. Notoromisaki Lighthouse (能取岬灯台) and a monument called Tower of Okhotsk (オホーツクの塔) are built on a cliff with 50 m in height, and there is no outstanding thing other than those. Green of grass and the blue Sea of Okhotsk spread over in front of eyes, and a sense of openness is very good. The monument is far from an entrance, and it takes about 10 minutes on foot. Article is here

Cape Notoro
Cape Notoro in Abashiri

Atmosphere of Cape Notoro Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Cape Notoro

Okhotsk Ryuhyo Museum

Okhotsk Ryuhyo Museum with a panoramic view is built on Mt. Tento in 2015. Okhotsk Ryuhyo Museum on 1st basement floor is charged, but other floors are free of charge. Especially, a rooftop is an observation deck, and Lake Abashiri and the Sea of Okhotsk can be seen. Visitors can enjoy nice views.

Okhotsk Ryuhyo Museum
Okhotsk Ryuhyo Museum Abashiri
Look of 1st Floor
Okhotsk Ryuhyo Museum Abashiri
Look of Rooftop Observation Deck
Okhotsk Ryuhyo Museum Abashiri
View from Rooftop Observation Deck
Okhotsk Ryuhyo Museum Abashiri
View from Rooftop Observation Deck
Okhotsk Ryuhyo Museum Abashiri
Sunset
Okhotsk Ryuhyo Museum Abashiri
Admission fee Free of charge
Parking lot Free parking is provided (150 cars)
Business hour Summer season 08:30-18:00. Winter season 09:00-16:30.
Regular closing day Open all year round
Telephone number +81-152-43-5951
Home page Home page is here

245-1 Tentosan, Abashiri City

Abashiri bus terminal (網走駅) --> (Approximately 15 minutes by Abashiri bus [Around Sightseeing Tour (網走バス「市内観光施設めぐり」)) --> Tentosan bus stop (天都山停留所)

Kitahama Station

Kitahama Station (北浜駅) is a small unmanned train station along the Senmo line (釧網線). A lot of visitors put their business cards on walls of the station, so I was surprised at the view. In addition, there is the popular cafe "Teishaba" (軽食喫茶「停車場」) at the station, too. This station was used as a shooting place for Chinese movie "If you are the one (狙った恋の落とし方)", so many foreign tourists have came. An observatory deck is built next to the station. Admission free. A free parking is provided. Article is here

Drift Ice and Local Train
Drift Ice and Winter Kitahama Station in Abashiri

Atmosphere of Drift Ice and Kitahama Station in Winter Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Drift Ice and Kitahama Station in Winter

Onsen

Abashiri-Kohan Onsen on the shore of Lake Abashiri is famous. Inatomi Onsen seems to be closed, so I hope they restart their business.

Abashiri-Kohan Onsen

Abashiri-Kohan Onsen (網走湖畔温泉) facing Lake Abashiri is a hot spring resort located in the south side of Abashiri city. Hot springs gushed out in 1981. The feature is that a history is new and hot springs facilities are new. There are 5 accommodations. Tourists can take a day trip bath at Motoyoshi Onsen Ryokan (温泉旅館もとよし), 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) and Hotel Abashirikoso (ホテル網走湖荘). By the way, A large skunk cabbage colony appears around the Lake Abashiri in a spring. Article is here

Motoyoshi Onsen Ryokan
Abashiri-Kohan Onsen, Motoyoshi Onsen Ryokan

Atmosphere of Motoyoshi Onsen Ryokan Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Motoyoshi Onsen Ryokan

Events

Abshiri is famous for seeing drift ice, so an event using ice is held.

Abashiri Okhotsk Ryuhyo Festival

Abashiri Okhotsk Ryuhyo Festival (あばしりオホーツク流氷まつり) is a winter event held in Abashiri city located in the northeastern part of Kitami city and started in 1966. The festival is held at Abashiri port event site that it takes about 10 minutes on foot from Roadside Station "Ryuhyo kaido Abashiri (流氷街道網走)" during 3-4 days in mid February. By the way, the roadside staion is a ferry terminal of Icebreaking Ship Aurora2 (流氷砕氷船オーロラ2), it is crowded in a winter. Many sightseeing buses parked at a parking lot. Article is here

Main Snow Sculpture like Abashiri Prison
Abashiri Okhotsk Ryuhyo Festival

Atmosphere of Abashiri Okhotsk Ryuhyo Festival Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Abashiri Okhotsk Ryuhyo Festival

Drift Ice and Aurirago Cruising

There are 2 sightseeing spots that tourists can enjoy the scheduled drift ice cruising in Japan. Abashiri is one of the sightseeing spots. 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)". Article is here

Frozen World
Drift Ice and Aurirago Cruising in Abashiri

Atmosphere of Drift Ice and Aurirago Cruising Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Drift Ice and Aurirago Cruising

Accommodations

Refer to following websites for the accommodations in 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)  
Abashiri Hotel Okhotsk Inn(網走ホテル オホーツク・イン)  
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)  
Abashiri Ryuhyou-no-Oka Youth Hostel(網走流氷の丘ユースホステル)  
Hotel Sun Abashiri(ホテルサンアバシリ)
Minshuku Lamp(民宿ランプ)  
Onsen Ryokan Motoyoshi(温泉旅館もとよし)  
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)
Notoronoso Kagariya(能取の荘 かがり屋)  
Washi-no-Tomarigi(わしのとまり木)    
Booking.com

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