• February 20th, 2016
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  • TouristSpots
  • EasternArea

[Monbetsu Ryuhyo Festival] Winter Festival Using Ice

Monbetsu Ryuhyo Festival

Monbetsu Ryuhyo Festival (もんべつ流氷まつり * The Ryuhyo means "Drift Ice" in Japanese) is a winter event held in Monbetsu city located in the eastern part of Asahikawa city, and has started since 1963. The festival is held at the side of Kaiyo-Koryukan (海洋交流館) during 3-4 days in mid February, and about 60,000 tourists come. There are ice 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.

Monbetsu Ryuhyo Festival
Monbetsu Ryuhyo Festival
Kaiyo-Koryukan
Monbetsu Ryuhyo Festival
Garinkogo2 Is in Service
Monbetsu Ryuhyo Festival

Okhotsk Tower (オホーツクタワー), Okhotsk Tokkari Center (オホーツクとっかりセンター * The Tokkari means "Earless seal" in a local Hokkaido dialect) and Okhotsk Sea Ice Museum of Hokkaido GIZA (北海道立オホーツク流氷科学センター) is built near the Kaiyokoryukan Boarding Point, and Clione that is famous as a cruel angel and the earless seal can be enjoyed. In the center of the Monbetsu, Seafood Rice bowl at Marutomi Shokudo (まるとみ食堂) and Deep‐fried Minced Fish and Vegetables at Dezuka Suisan (出塚水産) were eaten, and those were tasty.

Okhotsk Tower
Drift Ice and Garinkogo2 in Monbetsu
Okhotsk Tokkari Center
Drift Ice and Garinkogo2 in Monbetsu
Okhotsk Sea Ice Museum of Hokkaido GIZA
Drift Ice and Garinkogo2 in Monbetsu

Movie of Clione

Movie of Okhotsk Tokkari Center

Drift Ice and Garinkogo2 Cruise in Monbetsu

There are 2 sightseeing spots that tourists can enjoy the scheduled drift ice cruising in Japan. Monbetsu 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 Monbetsu around mid January. If common ships collide with the drift ice, those are broken, but Drift Ice Icebreaker Garinkogo2 (流氷砕氷船ガリンコ号Ⅱ) that can break the drift ice zone goes into service. A lot of tourists visit here to see the drift ice from early January to late March. The drift ice icebreaker Garinkogo2 goes into service from 5 to 7 each day, and cruising time is around 60 minutes. The tourists can get aboard a ship at Kaiyokoryukan boarding point (海洋交流館). Read More

Sea Is Covered with Drift Ice
Drift Ice and Garinkogo2 in Monbetsu

Seafood Rice Bowl

Marutomi Shokudo (まるとみ食堂) is a popular restaurant in Monbetsu city located in the eastern part of Asahikawa city. Marutomi Watanabe fishery runs it, and there is a fishery store at same building, too. Tasty seafood has high reputation, and it was recommended by my friend. Read More

Seafood Rice Bowl
Seafood Rice Bowl -Marutomi Shokudo in Monbetsu-

Deep‐fried Minced Fish and Vegetables

Dezuka Suisan (出塚水産) is a long-established kamaboko (かまぼこ * deep‐fried minced fish and vegetables) factory near Monbetsu port in Monbetsu city and was founded in 1930. There is kamaboko store at the head factory, and customers can buy fresh deep‐fried minced fish and vegetables. There is a place for the customers to enjoy foods and drinks on 2nd Floor. By the way, the customers can enter the rooftop freely and can look over the Monbetsu port. Read More

Deep‐Fried Minced Fish and Scallop, Deep‐Fried Minced Fish and Vegetables, Deep‐Fried Minced Fish and Corn, Deep‐Fried Minced Fish and Dried Small Fish
Deep‐Fried Minced Fish and Vegetables -Dezuka Suisan in Monbetsu-

By the way, an express bus "Ryuhyo Monbetsu-go (流氷もんべつ号)" runs between the Sapporo and the Monbetsu.

    List of Means of Transportation

    A highway bus services between the Monbetsu and the Sapporo. Refer to following the means of the transportation. 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 Monbetsu
    Chuo Bus(中央バス) From Monbetsu to Sapporo
    Nippon Rent-a-car(ニッポンレンタカー) Their office is at Monbetsu Airport.
    Toyota Rental Lease(トヨタレンタリース) Their office is at the Monbetsu Airport.
    Jalan
    Ones Rent-a-car(ワンズレンタカー) Their office is in the Monbetsu.
    Jalan
    Rakuten
    Rent-a-car Hiraoka(レンタカー平岡) Their office is in the Monbetsu.
    Jalan
    Rakuten

    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

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    Sapporo Snow Festival
    Sapporo Snow Festival

    Look of Venue

    About 30 ice sculptures and ice slides of various sizes are made every year. The Monbetsu is famous for drift ice, so the sculptures seem to be uesd ice not snow. Unlike the ice sculptures of Sapporo Snow Festival (札幌雪まつり) and Asahikawa Winter Festival (旭川冬まつり), those are not art but heartwarming. 3-4 ice slides are built to make children and adults fun. A main ice sculpture was Old Hakodate Public Hall (旧函館区公会堂) when I visited here in 2016. A motif of the main ice sculpture is changed every year. The ice 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.

    Main Ice Sculpture Is Old Public Hall of Hakodate
    Monbetsu Ryuhyo Festival
    Okhotsk Tower Can Be Seen
    Monbetsu Ryuhyo Festival
    Look of Venue
    Monbetsu Ryuhyo Festival
    Ice Sculptures
    Monbetsu Ryuhyo Festival
    Ice Sculpture with 3 M in Height
    Monbetsu Ryuhyo Festival
    Ice Paint of Monta (Costumed Mascot Character of Monbetsu)
    Monbetsu Ryuhyo Festival
    Nekobus like Ice Slide
    Monbetsu Ryuhyo Festival
    Fur Seal like Ice Slide
    Monbetsu Ryuhyo Festival
    Doraemon Ice slide
    Monbetsu Ryuhyo Festival
    Large Ice slide
    Monbetsu Ryuhyo Festival
    View from Large Ice slide
    Monbetsu Ryuhyo Festival

    Except enjoying the ice sculptures, events such as a contest that people have to put up with throwing an ice column (氷柱ガマン抱きつき大会) are held, too, and a lot of food stalls open, and seafood of Monbetsu can be eaten, too.

    Human Curling ?
    Monbetsu Ryuhyo Festival

    Atmosphere of Monbetsu Ryuhyo Festival Can Be Watched on Youtube

    Movie of Monbetsu Ryuhyo Festival

    Admission fee Free of charge
    Parking lot Free parking is provided (100 cars)
    Business hour 10:00-22:00
    Regular closing day From late February to early February
    Telephone number +81-158-24-3900
    Home page Home page is here
    Mapcode 801 585 677*17

    List of Accommodations

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

      Monbetsu Prince Hotel(紋別プリンスホテル)
      Monbetsu Central Hotel(紋別セントラルホテル)
      Booking
      Hotel Okhotsk Palace(ホテルオホーツクパレス)
      Minshuku Sakura House Annex(民宿さくらハウス別館)
      HP
      Booking
      Jalan
      Minshuku Sakura House Main Building(民宿さくらハウス本館)
      HP
      Booking
      Jalan
      Kibarashikan(気晴館)
      Booking
      Jalan
      Tabi-no-Yado Karamatsu(旅の宿からまつ)
      Booking
      Jalan
      Rakuten
      Business Hotel Stage(ビジネスホテルステージ)
      Booking
      Jalan
      Rakuten
      Pension LOOP(ペンション LOOP)
      Booking
      Jalan
      Rakuten
      Minshuku Marutake(民宿まるたけ)
      Booking
      Jalan
      Rakuten
      Monbetsu Bay Area Automobile Campsite(紋別ベイエリアオートサイト)
      Booking
      Jalan
      Rakuten
      Mt. Oyama Mountaintop Park(大山山頂園)
      Booking
      Jalan
      Rakuten
      Komuke International Campsite(コムケ国際キャンプ場)
      Booking
      Jalan
      Rakuten
      Booking.com
      Booking.com

      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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