- October 8th, 2016
[Katsurasawa Onsen in Mikasa] History and Rocky Coast Are One of Best Those in Hokkaido
Kamome Island (かもめ島) is a land-tied island in the Esashi town located in the northwest part of Hakodate city, and its elevation is about 20 m, and its circumference is about 2.6 km. The island was named after its shape resembled a gull from the top * The Kamome means "A gull" in English. But the island used to be called "Benten Island (弁天島)" in Edo period, and used to be used as a port of Kitamae-bune (北前船 * cargo ships sailed the Japan Sea during the Edo period), and ruins of moored Kitamae-bune (北前船係留跡) in old days has been left now. A battleship "Kaiyomaru (開陽丸)" of the Tokugawa Shogunate sank off the Esashi is restored, and is displayed near the Kamome Island. Admission fee is JPY 500. Ebisu Bathing Beach (えびす浜海水浴場), Pullato Esashi (ぷらっと江差) and Esashi Port Marina (江差港マリーナ) are built near the island. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge.
Speaking of tasty restaurants in the Esashi, Yamagen (やまげん), Bakery Bekky (ぱんやベッキー) and Gokatteya (五勝手屋本舗) are popular in particular. I ate buckwheat noodles at the Yamagen, and it was tasty. As for onsen, At Esashi Onsen Midorioka-no-Yukko (江差温泉 緑丘の湯っこ), Shigejiro Onsen (繁次郎温泉) and Gorinzawa Onsen (五厘沢温泉), a day trip bathing can be enjoyed. But the Gorinzawa Onsen is a love hotel.
Sobakura Yamagen (そば蔵やまげん) is a popular buckwheat noodle restraunt founded in 1999 in Esashi town located in the northwestern part of Hakodate city, and is near North Pacific Bank Esashi Branch (北洋銀行 江差支店), and is relatively near Kamome Island (かもめ島). The restraunt got the Bib Gourmand in MICHELIN GUIDE Hokkaido 2012 Special Edition and 2017 Special Edition. They use 100 years over renovated storehouse as the restraunt, and it has a warmth of woods, and has an atomosphere such as a Japanese-style barbecue cooked in front of customers. Counter seats and table seats are provided, so I guess that even family customers enjoy meals. But a line may be expected in busy time. Read More
Look of Kamome Island
Kamomejima Lighhouse (鴎島灯台), Heishiiwa Rock (瓶子岩), Torii (鳥居), Front Baech (前浜), Ebisu Beach (えびす浜), Uma-iwa Rock (馬岩), Former Well for Sailor Drinking (北前船飲用井戸), Esashi Oiwake Music Memorial Stone (江差追分記念碑), an outdoor stage, Itsukushima Srine (厳島神社), Kamomejima Campsite (かもめ島キャンプ場), Tekaeshi Remained Fort (テカエシ台場跡), Kinetsuka Remained Fort (キネツカ台場跡)Senjojiki Coast (千畳敷), Footprints of Benkei (弁慶の足跡), Kamomejima Bathing Beach (かもめ島海水浴場), Bell of Happiness (幸せの鐘), gazebos, a public restroom and a parking lot are built in the Kamome Island. The island is a park, and walks are built, and visitors can go a round for 30-60 minutes. I saw local people taking the dog for a walk, so I guess that here is a place for their relaxation and refreshment. In addition, here is famous as a fishing place, so I saw some anglers, too.
The Heishiiwa Rock is a rock of about 10 m height, and is well-known for having a legend. Herrings were kept on poor catching in the Esashi that was famous for herring fishing about 500 years ago. An old woman called "Orii (折居)" poured water of a sake bottle into the sea, then the herrings came in a group, and she saved Esashi people. It is said that the sake bottle became reversed, and turned int the stone. In Old Stories of Japan, an old tale is made.
Originally, Kamome Island used to be Esashi Port. Because severe wind and rain attacked it from an oceana wide expanse of the sea, the island was used as a natural windbreak, and the Kitamae-bune were anchored in the Esashi side. There are ruins of moored Kitamae-bune at present.
The north side of the Kamome Island has been eroded by the severe wind and rain, and becomes flat like Tatami (畳). The largest place in the north side of the island is called the Senjojiki Coast. The state that Esashi people carryed a cherry tree to the Senjojiki and had a party is pictured on the surface of "Edo Screen (江戸屏風)" in the middle of Edo period.
As for the Kamomejima Lighthouse, always lighing was established for the Kitamae-bune coming over to the Esashi in the late Edo period. A wooden lighthouse was built in 1889, then a concrete lighthouse was rebuilt in 1951. It is known for seeing the beautiful sunset.
Atmosphere of Kamome Island Can Be Watched on Youtube
|Admission fee||Free of charge|
|Parking lot||Free parking is provided (100 cars)|
|Business hours||Open 24 hours|
|Regular closing day||Open all year round|
|Home page||Home page is here|
|Mapcode||1108 104 725*33|
List of Accommodations
Refer to following websites for the accommodations in the Esashi. You can get information regarding online reviews and photos.
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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