Strange Shaped Rocks and Too Blue Sea Are Beautiful -Okushiri Island on Westmost of Hokkaido-
October 7th, 2016
Okushiri Island (奥尻島) is a remote island with about 18 km in circumference in South Hokkaido and is locatd on the westmost of Hokkaido. This island with length from north to south has a similar shape to Rebun Island (礼文島). Okushiri Ferry Port is at the eastern part of Okushiri Island and Okushiri Airport is at the southern part of Okushiri Island. The center of the island is the eastern part with the Ferry terminal, but Aonae district at the southern part of the island relatively develops, too. There are accommodations in each places of the island. In addition, seicomart opens a business. Okushiri Island is known as the island with strage shaped rocks, and the strange shaped rocks along the seashore, Sainokawa Park (賽の河原公園), Miyazubentengu Shrine (宮津弁天宮), Tamashimayama Observatory (球島山展望台), Nabetsuruiwa Rocks (鍋釣岩), Cape Aonae (青苗岬) and Kitaoimisaki Park (北追岬公園) are must-see tourist spots.
Okushiri Island suffered great damage by Southwest-off Hokkaido Earthquake in 1993, but it revives now and tourists can see the tourist spots freely. A sightseeing peaks from July to August. The tourists crowds in a summer. When I visited here in an autumn, there were a few tourists, so I saw the island covered with Japanese pampas grass and it was very good. As for a way of getting around, there are Okushiri Sightseeing Bus (From July to August), Sightseeing Taxi, rental cars, rental motor scooters and rental bicycles. I went around Okushiri Island by the rental motor scooter, it was very comfortable. a list of accommodations is this.
The tourists can go around the island for about one day, but it is hard to go around the island for one day because the vistors go around the island only for 4 hours if the vistors use the ferry. I went around the daytrip north circumference and the daytrip south circumference for 2 days, but I did not have no time to eat tasty foods. I wanted to eat sea urchin rice bowl and abalone rice bowl. After all I should have stayed this island and should have enjoyed a trip around the island.
Innumerable strange shaped rocks and rounded stones along a shoreline are main tourist spots. It might be able to call trip seeing stones nad rocks. Sainokawa Park, Miyazubentengu Shrine, Tamashimayama Observatory, Nabetsuruiwa rocks, Cape Aonae and Kitaoimisaki Park are famous. Exhibition are displayed at Sato Yoshinori Baseball Museum and Okushirito Tsunamikan, and visitors can observe the exhibition. In addition, the tourists can experience an abalone fishing.
Sainokawara Park (河原公園) is located on the northmost of Okushiri Island (奥尻島) and the whole area of Cape Inaho (稲穂岬) was maintained as Sainokawa Park. Stones piled up for mourning over marine accident victims, drowned people and deceased children on 6 ha of a rocky seashore, so this place seemed to be named "Sainokawara (賽の河原)" by its view. By the way, the Sainokawara is a riverbank of the Sanzu-no-kawa River (三途の川) between this world. It is said that deceased children before their parents die heap up the stones for praying for the happiness of the parents and complete it and their wishes are realized. Therefore the deceased children are busily heaping up the stones, but an oni in the hell break their stacked stones, so their wishes can not be realized. This is a sad tradition. Fortunately, do not worry because there is not the oni at this park. But the oni seemed to appear only when the tsunami came. There are a camping ground, a baseball ground, an observatory deck and a restraunt at a site. Admission free . A parking lot is free of charge. Article is here
Atmosphere of Sainokawara Park Can Be Watched on Youtube
Tamashimayama Observatory (球島山展望台) is located on the top of Mt. Tamashima (球島山), the third highest mountain, in the northern part of Okushiri Island (奥尻島). Its peak is 396 m above sea level. Visitors can enjoy a panorama view of 360 degrees because there is nothing to interrupt the view, so it is the most popular famous tourist place in Okushiri Island. I can not help making a sound for seeing nice views when I had finished climbing a stairway. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge. Article is here
Atmosphere of Tamashimayama Observatory Can Be Watched on Youtube
Miyazubentengu Shrine (宮津弁天宮) is located in the northern part of Okushiri Island. A shrine is built on a small hill with about 30 m in height, and that scenery was very nice, so it became a popular tourist place. The Miyazubentengu Shrine is next to Miyazu fishing port (宮津港), and visitors can visit the shrine to worship via stairway from the Miyazubenten parking lot park (宮津弁天駐車公園) and the Miyazu fishing port. Free admission. A parking lot is free of charge. There is a restroom at Miyazubenten parking lot park. Article is here
Atmosphere of Miyazubentengu Shrine Can Be Watched on Youtube
Nabetsuru-iwa Rocks (鍋釣岩) near Okushiri ferry port are located in the eastern part of Okushiri Island (奥尻島) and are strangely shaped rocks known as an icon of Okushiri. Andesites of about 19 m in height have been eroded by winds and waves and changed doughnut-shaped rocks. Because its form looked like a handle of a pan by old people, it seemed to be named "Nabetsuru (Japanese handle of the pan)". It is interesting that such rocks are created naturally. By the way, after a strong earthquake off the southwest coast of Hokkaido in 1993, a part of the rocks collapsed and was restored. The rocks are lit up in the evening and it seems to be looked beaufitul. A view is nice in a winter, too. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge. There is a restroom, too. Article is here
Atmosphere of Nabetsuru-iwa Rocks Can Be Watched on Youtube
Kitaoimisaki Park (北追岬公園) is located on the westernmost of Okushiri Island (奥尻島) and is said "The Westernmost of Hokkaido". The concept of this park is an open-air museum. 8 sculptures created by Mr. Masayuki Nagare (流政之) are placed and each sculptures were named Kitaoimisaki (北追岬), Kaitengahara (回天が原), Shimasakimori (島サキモリ), Kamuinagare (神威流), Hagurejima (はぐれ鳥), Yokukitasa (よくきたさ), Touminnotamenoshimahecho (島民のための島へっちょ) and Koinotsugime (恋のつぎめ). There are a park golf coure, a camping ground and a restroom, too. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge. Article is here
Atmosphere of Kitaoimisaki Park Can Be Watched on Youtube
Cape Aonae (青苗岬) is located in the southern part of Okushiri Island (奥尻島) and is known for suffering heavy damage from Tsunami (津波). The whole area is maintained as Tokuyo Memorial Park (徳洋記念緑地公園) now. There are Jikusho (時空翔), Okushirito Tsunamikan (奥尻島津波館), Tokuyo Monument (徳洋記念碑) and Aonaemisaki lighthouse (青苗岬灯台). In addition, various playground equipments that children can play are provided, and there is a facility that tourists can experience abalone hunting, too. The Self-Defense Forces camped when I visited here. Article is here
Atmosphere of Jikusho Can Be Watched on Youtube
Unimaru Park (うにまる公園) near Okushiri high school is located in the east side of Okushiri Island. An art work of Unimaru, mascot characters of Okushiri Island, was built on a small hill and Unimaru Park is developed. There is Sato Yoshinori Baseball Museum (佐藤義則野球展示室) at a site and visitors can enter freely. Mr. Yoshinori Sato is a former professinal baseball player from Okushiri Island and is known as a good coach training Mr. Darubisshu Yuu (ダルビッシュ有) and Mr. Masahiro Tanaka (田中将大), major league baseball player.
Nagahama (長浜) that granites spread over along the shore of the southeast part of Okushiri Island for 8 km is filled with the rounded granites. A strange sight greeted my eyes. There is no facility.
Strange Shaped Rocks
Okushiri Island is known for strange shaped rocks. Nabetsuriiwa Rocks, Muen Island (無縁島), Hoyaishi Rocks (ホヤ石), Mottateiwa Rocks (モッ立岩), Kamuiiwa Rocks (神威岩) or Kabutoiwa Rocks (カブト岩) and Byobutateiwa Rocks (屏風立岩) are famous. But, there are nameless strange shaped rock as well as those rocks. Because all look famous strange shaped rocks, it is mysterious.
Okushiri Island is surrounded by the sea, so seafood is very tasty. Sea Urchin Rice Bowl, Abalone Rice Bowl and Raw Sliced Cuttlefish are famous. Wine and Sake are produced in Okushiri Island. Unfortunately I did not have enough time and could not eat the foods, but I wanted to eat sea urchin.
Kamuiwaki Onsen (神威脇温泉) is only hot spring town located in the western part of Okushiri Island. This onsen is located on the westermost of Hokkaido, too. It is known as a little-known hot spring.
Kamuiwaki Onsen (神威脇温泉) is only hot spring town next to Kitaoimisaki Park and Kamuiwaki fishing port (神威脇漁港) in Okushiri Island and is located in the western part of Okushiri Island. This hot spring is located on the westermost of Hokkaido, too. It is known for enjoying fresh hot springs and a beautiful sunset. Tourists can take a daytrip bath at Kamuiwaki Onsen Hoyojo (神威脇温泉保養所) and Onsen Hotel Midorikan (温泉ホテル緑館). Article is here
Atmosphere of Kamuiwaki Onsen Hoyojo Can Be Watched on Youtube
Ruin of Horonai Onsen
Horonai Onsen (幌内温泉) is located at the north side of Kamuiwaki Onsen. Originally there was an accommodation called Kokuminshukusha Horonaiso (国民宿舎幌内荘), but it was destroyed by Tsunami. There is not a building now, But a strange-shaped calcareous sinter tower like an anthill appeared. There is a bathtub for some reason, too, so someone may take a bath. But hot springs are very cold and are not comfortable.
Atmosphere of Ruin of Horonai Onsen Can Be Watched on Youtube
Refer to following websites for the accommodations in Okushiri.
|Tabi-no-Yado Osuda(旅の宿 大須田)|
|Travel House Omoide(トラベルハウス思い出)|
|Onsen Hotel Midorikan(温泉ホテル緑館)|
|Minshuku Inaho(民宿 いなほ)|
|Minshuku Nattsu(民宿 ナッツ)|