• February 15th, 2017
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[Kitahama Station in Abashiri] Combination of Drift Ice and Train Can Be Enjoyed at Closest Station to Sea of Okhotsk in Japan

Kitahama Station

Kitahama Station (北浜駅) is an unmanned train station along the Senmo line (釧網線) in the southeastern part of Abashiri city, and is relatively close to Lake Tofutsu (濤沸湖), Koshimizu Primeval Flower Garden (小清水原生花園) and Lake Mokoto (藻琴湖). It is well-known as the closest station to the Sea of Okhotsk in Japan, and its distance is about 20 m from the station to a beach. The distance is about 50 m from the stataion to the sea. In a winter, the sea is covered with drift ice, so the station is popluar as the only station that the drift ice can be seen from a platform in the Japan. The small station has only a waiting room and Cafe "Teishaba" (軽食喫茶「停車場」), but it wss used as a shooting place for various movie or TV drama such as Abashiri Prison (網走番外地), The Ugly Duckling (みにくいアヒルの子) and If You Are the One, so a lot of oversea tourists come. Admission free. A free parking is free of charged.

Kitahama Station
Kitahama Station Abashiri

Movie of Drift Ice and Kitahama Station

Lake Tofutsu

Lake Tofutsu (濤沸湖) in the southeastern part of Abashiri city is a brackish lake between the Abashiri and Koshimizu town. The perimeter of the lake is about 27 km. The maximum water depth is 2.5 m. The Tofutsu means a mouth of the lake in Ainu language, and Ainu people called "a place that birds always stay", too. The lake has been designed as the Ramsar Convention since 2005, and is well-known as a rest place for waterfowl, and about 250 kinds of water birds can be watched through a whole year, and about 40 kinds of migratory birds such as swan stop by the lake in a winter. Read More

Lake Tofustu from Koshimizu Primeval Flower Garden
Lake Tofustu in Abashiri

Koshimizu Primeval Flower Garden

Koshimizu Primeval Flower Garden (小清水原生花園) is a primeval flower garden along Shari National Route (斜里国道 * National Route 244) in Koshimizu town located in the southeastern part of Abashiri city, and is between the Sea of Okhotsk (オホーツク海) and Lake Tofustu (濤沸湖). The area is about 275 ha. Flowers and grass grow thick on a slim sand dune with 8 km in width, and this place sparked the primeval flower garden in Hokkaido, and is the only primeval flower garden with a station in the Hokkaido's primeval flower garden. Here is a shooting place for Japanese famous movie "The Yellow Handkerchief" that Mr. Ken Takakura (高倉健) play the lead. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge. Read More

Lily
Koshimizu Primeval Flower Garden

Drift Ice Spots and Drift Ice Cruise

In Japan, Drift ice appears only from January to March, and can be enjoyed only along the Sea of Okhotsk and a part of Pacific Ocean. The sea is covered with the drift ice from the shoreline of Monbetsu to Shiretoko Peninsula, and it is amazing view! It may be said that you must see the amazing view once. Hokkaido has 3 towns called "Monbetsu", Monbetsu (紋別) along the sea of the Okhotsk, Date Monbetsu (伊達紋別) along the Pacific Ocean and Monbetsu (門別) along the Pacific Ocean. In those Monbetsu, a place to view the drift ice is the Monbetsu (紋別) along the sea of the Okhotsk, and the Monbetsu, Abashiri (網走), Koshimizu (小清水), Shari (斜里) and Rausu (羅臼) have some drift ice spots. Tourists can enjoy the drift ice on the shore, and also enjoy it as the drift ice cruise on the sea. Unfortunately, global warming cause decreasing the drift ice recently, but you may see wild animals such as Earless Seal and Steller's Sea-eagle on the drift ice if you are lucky. Read More

Sheet of Drift Ice Zone
Drift Ice and Garinkogo2 in Monbetsu

The Cafe "Teishaba" has opened at a former office since 1986. At the cafe, seats and a baggage rack of an old passenger car are used as interior goods, and the cafe has a good atmosphere of a railroad. So it is popular with railfans, and is crowded with them. The sea can be seen at the cafe, and the drift ice can be seen through a window in the winter. They serve dishes related to the Sea of the Okhotsk such as Okhotsk Ramen (オホーツクラーメン) and Scallop Curry and Rice (ホタテカレー), and those look tasty.

Cafe "Teishaba"
Kitahama Station Abashiri

Movie of Teishaba

By the way, "Dreamint Okhotsk-go (ドリーミントオホーツク号)", an express bus, runs between the Sapporo and the Abashiri. Besides, Rent-a-car can be rented around Abashiri Station.

    List of Means of Transportation

    Highway buses run between the Abashiri and the Sapporo. Refer to following the means of the transportation in the Abashiri. 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 Abashiri
    (Chuo Bus)中央バス From Abashiri to Sapporo
    Nippon Rent-a-car(ニッポンレンタカー) Their office is near the Abashiri Station.
    Times Car Rental(タイムズカーレンタル) Their office is near the Abashiri Station.
    Toyota Rental Lease(トヨタレンタリース) Their office is in Omagari.
    Jalan
    Station Rent-a-car(駅レンタカー) Their office is near the Abashiri Station.
    Ones Rent-a-car(ワンズレンタカー) Their office is near the Abashiri Station.

    ABASHIRI

    Abashiri (網走) that about 40,000 people live is the 20th largest tourist city in Hokkaido, and is one of regional hub cities of the Northeastern Hokkaido area. It is also a fisheries city facing the Sea of Okhotsk, and Crab, Idiot Fish, Whale and Salmon are famous as a local specialty. As for a 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. It may be said that the Abashiri is relativelly warm climate in the Hokkaido. The Abashiri is well-known for drift ice reaching to the coast, and is famous as a winter tourist spot, too, and is roughly divided into 2 areas, a old city area (a neighborhood of Abashiri River mouth) and a new suburbs area. The new suburbs area is more developed than the old city area, and has more restaurants than the old city area. Read More

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    Drift Ice of Abashiri
    Drift Ice from Mausuura View Point Parking in Abashiri

    Look of Kitahama Station

    The Kitahama Station has a small station building, about 80 m length platform and Kitahama Station Observation Deck (北浜駅展望台). The station building has a small waiting room, and a lot of visitors put their business cards on walls closely, and tourists may be amazed at a view like Kofuku Station (幸福駅). Even non passengers can enter the platform, and can take a photo on the platform. It might be actually not allowed, but an entrance was not closed, so I entered the platform. A view with nothing is good. The Kitahama Station Observation Deck is built bside the station building, and its height is about 5 m. It is the size that about 8 people can enter. A fine view can be enjoyed than the platform, and the Sea of the Okhotsk with Abashiri city or Shiretoko Mountain Range (知床連山) can be viewed, and a train along the rail can be photographed, too.

    A Lot Of Visitors Put Thier Business Cards on walls
    Kitahama Station Abashiri
    Platform
    Kitahama Station Abashiri
    Kitahama Station beside Observatory Deck
    Kitahama Station Abashiri
    View from Observatory Deck
    Kitahama Station Abashiri
    Horses Are Tethered
    Kitahama Station Abashiri

    In the winter, a lot of tourists come to photograph the train and the drift ice at the same time. It is not lying that the drift ice can be seen from the platform, too. Except the tourists, some television news crews come to coverage here. the Sea of the Okhotsk covered with the drift ice is a spectacular view from the observatory deck.

    Winter Kitahama Station
    Drift Ice and Winter Kitahama Station in Abashiri
    Drift Ice Can Be Seen in Front of Station
    Drift Ice and Winter Kitahama Station in Abashiri
    Platform
    Drift Ice and Winter Kitahama Station in Abashiri
    Drift Ice and Local Train
    Drift Ice and Winter Kitahama Station in Abashiri
    Passengers Get Off 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

    Admission fee Free of charge
    Parking lot Free parking is provided (10 cars)
    Business hour Open 24 hours
    Regular closing day Open year all round
    Telephone number -
    Home page Home page is not provided
    Mapcode 305 447 653*07

    List of Accommodations

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

    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)
      Booking
      Abashiri Hotel Okhotsk Inn(網走ホテル オホーツク・イン)
      Booking
      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)
      Jalan
      Abashiri Ryuhyou-no-Oka Youth Hostel(網走流氷の丘ユースホステル)
      Jalan
      Rakuten
      Hotel Sun Abashiri(ホテルサンアバシリ)
      Minshuku Lamp(民宿ランプ)
      Notoronoso Kagariya(能取の荘 かがり屋)
      Washi-no-Tomarigi(わしのとまり木)
      Booking
      Jalan
      Business Hotel Family(ビジネスホテル ファミリー)
      Booking
      Jalan
      Rakuten
      Chiba Ryokan(千葉旅館)
      Booking
      Jalan
      Rakuten
      Business Ryokan Miyuki(ビジネス旅館 みゆき)
      Booking
      Jalan
      Rakuten
      Minshuku Kamome-so(民宿 かもめ荘)
      Booking
      Jalan
      Rakuten
      Yasuragi-no-Yado B&B Abashiri(やすらぎの宿 B&B あばしり)
      Booking
      Jalan
      Sea Side Stay(Sea Side Stay)
      Jalan
      Arawashi(あら鷲)
      Booking
      Imodango Village(いもだんご村)
      Tent Land(北海道立オホーツク公園 てんとらんど)
      Booking
      Jalan
      Rakuten
      Lakeside Park Notoro(レイクサイドパーク・のとろ)
      Booking
      Jalan
      Rakuten

      Abashiri Kohan Onsen

        Onsen Ryokan Motoyoshi(温泉旅館もとよし)
        Booking
        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)
        Business Hotel Koraku(ビジネスホテル 幸楽)
        Booking
        Anima-no-Sato(アニマの里)
        Rakuten
        Techan&Tetsuko-no-Yado(旧国鉄保養所 鉄ちゃん&鉄子の宿)
        Booking
        Yobito Ryokan(呼人旅館)
        HP
        Booking
        Yobitoura Campsite(呼人浦キャンプ場)
        Booking
        Jalan
        Rakuten
        Booking.com

        A page of Abashiri is here

        Abashiri

        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.

        Comment

        Comment

        1. good! hokkaido! says:

          Thanks George! I think that your name card is still stuck on the wall, too. Next time when I go there, I will try to search for it.

        2. Makan Angin says:

          Nice article, oniisan!
          This surely brings back my memories when I was there. A small but so iconic building facing to the open sea of Okhotsk.

          Don’t know when, who, and why this “littering” has become a trend in its interior anyway. But, honestly, I also did left my name card at the right side of the wall inside. It might still stuck at there. wwwwww

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