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A Little-Known Sightseeing Spots without Becoming Tourist Attraction -North Okhotsk Prefectural Natural Park in Hamatonbetsu and Sarufutsu-

June 11th, 2014

North Okhotsk Prefectural Natural Park

North Okhotsk Prefectural Natural Park (北オホーツク自然公園) is a natural park of 3,927 ha along the Sea of Okhotsk (オホーツク海) in the northern part of Hokkaido, and tourists can observe wetland groups such as Lake Kutcharo (クッチャロ湖), Beniya Nature Flower Garden (ベニヤ原生花園) and wild birds such as Motacilla Flava or Swan. There are not so many tourists. A straight road that spread out a long way off without signals is one of the pleasures, too. Everybody can enjoy the nature of typical Hokkaido without being crowded. I think that it is a little-known sightseeing spot in the northern of Hokkaido.

Lake Kutcharo

Lake Kutcharo is a brackish water lake in Hamatonbetsu. The perimeter of the lake is about 27 km. This lake comprises 2 lakes, Lake Small Kutcharo (クッチャロ小沼) and Lake Big Kutcharo (クッチャロ大沼). Lake Kutcharo is designed as the Ramsar Convention Wetland and is famous as a coming flying place for Whistling Swan. About 5,000 swans rest their wings in a spring or an autumn. There are Waterfowl Observation Center (水鳥観察館), a stall, a camping ground and Hamatonbetsu Onsen (浜頓別温泉) on the shore located in the southern part of Lake Big Kutcharo. There is a restroom at Waterfowl Observation Center, and it exhibits materials related to waterfowls and the tourists can go in and out freely. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge. Article is here

Lake Kutcharo
North Okhotsk Prefectural Natural Park, Lake Kutcharo, Hamatonbetsu

Atmosphere of Lake Kutcharo Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Lake Kutcharo

Kamuito Swamp

Kamuito Swamp (カムイト沼) is a freshwater lake located in Sarufutsu village and is a part of Asajino Wetland (浅茅野湿原). The perimeter of the lake is about 2.3 km. Kamuito means "Swamp That Gods Live in" in Ainu language, that is to say, gods live in the swamp. A color of water is dark brown. There is a wooden path, and tourists go down from a parking lot to the swamp and can see a mysterious marsh closely. Tateyama Marimo Moss Balls (タテヤママリモ) and Itou fish (イトウ) seem to inhabit. Short wooden paths are built on the shore of the Kamuito Swamp, and it takes about 20 minutes to look around the swamp. A parking lot and a restroom are provided. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge. Article is here

Kamuito Swamp
North Okhotsk Prefectural Natural Park, Kamuito Swamp, Sarufutsu

Atmosphere of Kamuito Swamp Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Kamuito Swamp

Kimoma Swamp

Kimoma Swamp (キモマ沼) is a freshwater lake surrounded by ranches and forests in Sarufutsu. Karafuto Moss Ball (カラフトマリモ) and Itou fish seem to inhabit. This is a rare swamp. There is a breeding place for waterfowls, and the waterfowls build a colony in pine forests near the swamp when I visited here. I could not come close to the swamp, and I took photos from a road. There is not facility. Article is here

Kimoma Swamp from Road
North Okhotsk Prefectural Natural Park, Kimoma Swamp, Sarufutsu

Atmosphere of Kimoma Swamp Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Kimoma Swamp

Poro Swamp

Poro Swamp (ポロ沼) is a brackish water lake in Sarufutsu. The perimeter of the swamp is about 5.7 km. Whistling Swan and Bean Goose rest their wing. Japanese Huchen and Candy Trout are fished at the confluence of the Poro Swamp and Sarufutsu River (猿払川), many anglers visit here. Japanese nutmegs grew thick around the swamp, and I could not come close to the swamp. I took photos from the Sarufutsu River. There is not facility. Article is here

Poro Swamp from Sarufutsu River
North Okhotsk Prefectural Natural Park, Poro Swamp, Sarufutsu

Atmosphere of Poro Swamp Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Poro Swamp

Mokeuni Swamp

Mokeuni Swamp (モケウニ沼) is a freshwater lake in Sarufutsu and the perimeter of the swamp is about 3.4 km. It comprises three swamps, Mokeuni Swamp, Onuma Swamp (小沼) and First Onuma Swamp (第一小沼) and is a part of Asajino Wetland. A wooden path with about 350 m in length is built from a parking lot to the shore of the swamp, and tourists can reach to the swamp for about 10 minutes. Mokeuni means "a swamp with dead trees" in Ainu language, and it may be connected with brown water. A view of a ranch and the Onuma Swamp from a road of a parking lot side is comfortable, too. A parking lot and a restroom are provided in a site. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge. There is Esanuka Wild Flower Garden (エサヌカ原生花園) in the north side of the swamp, too. Article is here

View from Parking Lot
North Okhotsk Prefectural Natural Park, Mokeuni Swamp, Sarufutsu

Atmosphere of Mokeuni Swamp Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Mokeuni Swamp

Esanuka Primeval Garden

Esanuka Primeval Garden (エサヌカ原生花園) is located on Hamasarufutsu side. Plants such as Yezo Lily, Rosa Rugosa and Creeping Pine grow naturally and are in full bloom from late June to early July. The Rosa Rugosa and Ligularia Hodgsonii blossom when I visited here in early August. There is no facility and is an only road. Article is here

Both Sides of Esanuka Primeval Garden Through Esanuka Line
North Okhotsk Prefectural Natural Park, Esanuka Primeval Garden, Sarufutsu

Esanuka Line

Esanuka Line (エサヌカ線) is a paved road from Hamasarufutsu to around Soya Factory, Yotsuba Milk Products Co.,Ltd (よつば乳業宗谷工場). Because a straight road is a typical scenery of Hokkaido through grass land on the way, This road is popular with riders and tourists. Probably 80% of people using this road are the tourists. By the way, I thought wrong Esanuka Line. There is no facility and is an only road. Article is here

Both Sides of Grass and Straight Road
North Okhotsk Prefectural Natural Park, Esanuka Line, Sarufutsu

Beniya Nature Flower Garden

Beniya Nature Flower Garden (ベニヤ原生花園) is a flower garden of 330 ha in Hamatonbetsu. More than 100 kinds of wild plants such as Japanese Rose and Iris Ensata are in the bloom from May to August. Wild birds such as Motacilla Flava inhabit only in the northern part of Hokkaido, too. Wooden paths and paths are built, in the case of the shortest beach course, it takes about 10 minutes to look around, and in the case of longest tour course, it takes about 90 minutes to make a round trip. If tourists wish, the tourists can request a flower guide. Except a parking lot, there are a rest station named Hana-Hana House (花花ハウス), a stall, a restroom and an obseravatory deck in the site. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge. Article is here

Bridge
Beniya Nature Flower Garden, North Okhotsk Prefectural Natural Park, Hamatonbetsu

Atmosphere of Beniya Nature Flower Garden Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Beniya Nature Flower Garden

Accommodations

Refer to following websites for the accommodations around Hamatonbetsu and Sarufutsu.

Hamatonbetsu Onsen Wing(はまとんべつ温泉 ウイング)      
Hamatonbetsu Hotel(浜頓ホテル)      
Minshuku Toshika-no-Yado(民宿トシカの宿)      
Kumamotoya Ryokan(熊本屋旅館) Only Tel:+81-1634-2-2061
Pension Sazare(ペンション小石) Only Tel:+81-1634-2-2226
Minshuku Yuhi(民宿 雄飛)      
Farm Inn Bunchan-no-Sato(ファームイン ぶんちゃんの里)      
Kuccharo Lakeside Camping Ground(クッチャロ湖畔キャンプ場)      
Hotel Sarufutsu(ホテルさるふつ)      
Minshuku Ryokan Sarufutsu Marine(民宿旅館 さるふつマリン)      
Ikoiya Hamashita(いこい家 はました)      
Kasai Ryokan(笠井旅館)    
Rider House Yamase(ライダーハウス やませ)      
Sarufutsu Park Bungalow(猿払公園バンガロー)      

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