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Kitami Is Popular for Lake Saroma, Peppermint, Salt Chow Mein and Yakiniku (Grilled Meat)

May 7th, 2013


Kitami (北見) that 120,000 people live is the eighth largest city in Hokkaido and is the regional hub city of the Northeastern Hokkaido area. Kitami incorporated with Rubeshibe (留辺蘂) and Tokoro (常呂) in 2006 and has the largest area in Hokkaido. As for climate, it is hot that temperature rises to nearly 30 degrees in a summer, and it is cold that temperature falls to nearly -25 degrees in a winter, and it snow hard, too. A noted product is peppermint. Kitami is known as the peppermint town from old days. In addition, it is famous as a curling town, the town has produced Ms. Onodera (小野寺) and Ms. Motohashi (本橋), and Kitami has characteristic Onsen and tasty foods.



Kitami has Lake Saroma (サロマ湖), the largest brackish water lake in Japan. Unfortunately, there is no famous sightseeing spots except the Lake Saroma. However, an idyllic scenery of gentle hills is unexpectedly beautiful.


Lake Saroma

Lake Saroma that stretches over Kitami Tokoro town, Saraoma town and Yubetsu town is a brackish water lake located in the northeast part of Kitami city. The perimeter of the lake is approximately 87 km and the area of the lake is 152 km2. The Lake Saroma is the third largest lake in Japan and is the most largest lake in Hokkaido. A sandbar with approximately 200 m to 700 m in width separates the Lake Saroma from the Sea of Okhotsk (オホーツク海), and the lake links the sea with only two places. In old days, the sandbar separeted the Lake Saroma from the Sea of Okhotsk depending on seasons fully. Article is here

Lake Saroma
Kitami, Lake Saroma

Atmosphere of Saromako Observatory Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Saromako Observatory

Wakka Wild Flower Park

Wakka Wild Flower Park (ワッカ原生花園) is considerably large flower garden of 700 ha on a sandbar with 25 km in length between Lake Saroma and the Sea of Okhotsk in Tokoro-cho, Kitami city located in the northeastern part of Kitami city. About 300 kinds of wild flowers such as Siberian Lily, Rosa Rugosa, Orange-yellow Day Lily are in full bloom from April to July. The flowers hardly bloomed when I visited here in mid August. Bad luck. Article is here

Sightseeing Carriage. Round Trip for 40 Minutes
Wakka Wild Flower Park, Kitami, Tokoro

Atmosphere of Wakka Wild Flower Park Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Wakka Wild Flower Park

Coral Grass

Coral Grass (サンゴ草) is a rare plant growing wild only in a part of Hokkaido, Okayama prefecture and Kagawa prefecture in Japan. The height is about 30 cm. Tourists can see the coral grass around Lake Notori (能取湖), Lake Saroma (サロマ湖) and Lake Komuke (コムケ湖) in Hokkaido. Because it is very rare plant, tourists can not harvest it in Japan, but people seem to eat it as vegetables in Europe. It is usually green, but it turn red in a fall. Those colony looked like a red carpet, it became popular. Coral Grass is best viewed from mid september to early October. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge. There is a restroom near the parking lot. Article is here

Red and Green Mixed Carpet
Coral Grass Colony in Lake Saroma

Atmosphere of Coral Grass Colony Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Coral Grass Colony in Lake Saroma

Tasty Foods

Speaking of Kitami, salt chow mein (塩やきそば) is famous. But, Yakiniku (焼き肉 * grilled meats) is famous, too. Particularly, broiled pig innards (ホルモン) seem to be tasty. There are 60 barbecue restaurants in the city. In addition, Okhotsk Beer (オホーツクビール), Scallops produced in the Lake Saroma and the conveyor belt sushi (回転すし) of Toriton (トリトン) are well known.

Kitami Salt Chow Mein

Shell Blue (シェルブルー) is a popular restaurant in Kitami city. There is a restaurant at Hotel Kurobe (ホテル黒部), too. As for a parking lot, visitors can use the parking lot of the hotel. I visited Shell Blue to eat famous Okhotsk Kitami salt chow mein (オホーツク北見塩焼きそば) this time. I visited here in the evening, but Okhotsk Kitami salt chow mein seemed to be served at day and night. The price was JPY 900. Article is here

Okhotsk Kitami Salt Chow Mein, Rice and Soup
Okhotsk Kitami Salt Chow Mein -Shell Blue-

Okhotsk Kitami Salt Chow Mein and Atmosphere of Restaurant Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Okhotsk Kitami Salt Chow Mein


Conveyor Belt Sushi

Triton (トリトン) is a very popular conveyor belt sushi restaurant in Hokkaido. Kitaichishokuhin Corporation (北一食品株式会社) started the conveyor belt sushi (回転寿司) as a new business in 1989. There are many branches in Sapporo district, Kitami district, Asahikawa district and Tokyo District now. Generally it is a feature that visitors line up at all restraunts at lunchtime. Though sushi items are fresh, a price is reasonable, so it will be popular. There are varied customers such as families, couples, singles and friends. There are crowded even on weekdays. Article is here

Conveyor Belt Sushi -Toriton in Kitami-

Conveyor Belt Sushi and Atmosphere of Restaurant Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Toriton

Yakiniku (Grilled Meat)

Kitami is said to be Yakiniku (grilled meats) town, and Kitami citizen is known as a great Yakiniku enthusiast. There are about 60 Yakiniku restraunts in the city. Kitami people favorite Yakiniku so that "Kitami Cold Winter Yakiniku (Grilled Meat) Festival (厳寒の焼き肉まつり)" is held in a winter. I visited Yojo Hormone (四条ホルモン) that is one of the popular Yakiniku restraunts loved by the Kitami people.

Yojo Hormone
Broiled Pig Innards -Yojo Hormone in Kitami-

Broiled Pig Innards and Atmosphere of Restaurant Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Yojo Hormone


Kitami has good ramen restraunts. Menya Harukichi (麺屋はる吉), Menya Sosuke (麺屋創介), Honmaru (本丸), Namishibuki Kitami Branch (波飛沫北見店) are famous. I visited Namishibuki Kitami Branch and Menya Harukichi.

Atmosphere of Namishibuki and Harukichi Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Namishibuki's Salt Ramen

Movie of Harukichi's Miso Ramen


As for hot springs of Kitami, the hot springs are feature that alkalinity is high and has smooth and slippery touch and is known as making the skin beautiful. Oneneyu Onsen (温根湯温泉), Shiobetsu Onsen (塩別温泉) and Kitami Ponyu Onsen (北見ポン湯温泉) are famous.

Onneyu Onsen

Onneyu Onsen (温根湯温泉) is a hot-spring resort located in the northwestern part of Kitami city. There are 3 hot spring facilities, Hotel Oehonke (ホテル大江本家), Onneyu Hotel Shiki Heian-no-Yakata (温根湯ホテル四季平安の館) and Natural Onsen Hotel Tsutsujiso (天然温泉 ホテル つつじ荘). In addition, there are a few restaurants and souvenir shops at the hot-spring resort. Onneyu Onsen have been a hot spring resort since Ainu period. Onneyu means "The place where big hot waters spring out (大きな湯が湧き出る場所)" in Ainu language. It is an origin of Onneyu Onsen that Mr. Kiuemon Kunisawa (国沢喜右衛門) took over the hot springs from Ainu people in 1899. Approximately 0.7 million people visit here. A quantity of the hot springs is abundant, too. It is one of characteristics to provide the fresh free flowing hot springs at each hot spring facilities. Because the ph of the hot springs is high, bathers can expect to make their skin beautiful. Article is here

Hotel Oehonke
Kitami, Onneyu Onsen Hotel Oehonke

Atmosphere of Hotel Oehonke and Tsutsujiso Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Oehonke

Movie of Tsutsujiso

Shiobetsu Onsen

Shiobetsu Onsen Ryokan (旅館塩別つるつる温泉) is a hot-spring hotel in Rubeshibe-cho, Kitami city located in the northwest part of Kitami city. Hot springs were discovered in 1950. There is Taki-no-Yu Onsen (滝の湯温泉), a park golf course and the Kitami Fuji Cart Circuit (北見富士カートサーキット) near a building. The building was renewed in 2014. Article is here

Open-air Bath at Fudo-no-Yu Onsen
Shiobetsu Tsurutsuru Onsen Ryokan, Shiobetsu Onsen in Kitami

Atmosphere of Shiobetsu Onsen Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Shiobetsu Onsen

Taki-no-Yu Onsen

Taki-no-Yu Center Yumefusen is a hot spring facility run by Emulink holdings inc. There is a restraunt at a building, too. There are 2 indoor baths at a bathhouse. The hot springs are simple sulfur spring, and are clear and colorless and have a little sulfur taste and sulfur smell. The sum total of the hot spring ingredients are 0.259 g. Shampoos and body soaps are provided at the both bathhouses. A restroom is installed at a dressing room. A staying is possible, too. Article is here

Taki-no-Yu kotobukien Onsen in Kitami

Atmosphere of Kotobukien Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Kotobukien

Kitami Onsen (Ponyu Onsen)

Sankoso (三光荘) is a hot-spring hotel in Rubeshibe-cho, Kitami city located in the northwestern part of Kitami city and was founded in 1898. It have been used as a hot spring place for cure since Ainu period before hot springs are begun to manage. Pon-Yu (ポン湯) means small hot springs in Ainu language. Article is here

Left Side Is Warm Hot Springs. Right Side Is Lukewarm Hot Springs
Ponyu Sankoso, Kitami Onsen(Ponyu)

Atmosphere of Kitami Onsen (Ponyu) Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Kitami Onsen(Ponyu)

Other Tourist Spots

Speaking of peppermint, Peppermint Memorial Hall was built. In additin, Yamano Aquarium (山の水族館) in Oneneyu Onsen is very popular tourist spot.

Kitami Peppermint Memorial Hall

Cultivation of the peppermint was prosperous in old days so as to have produced 70% peppermint of the world in the Kitami area. Kitami Peppermint Memorial Hall (北見ハッカ記念館) is built to have memorialized the noted products. There are 2 buildings, the Peppermint Memorial Hall and Peppermint Distillation Hall (ハッカ蒸溜館). Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge. Article is here

Laboratory. Test Tubes Form Line
Kitami, Peppermint Memorial Hall

Atmosphere of Kitami Peppermint Memorial Hall Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Kitami Peppermint Memorial Hall

Yamano Aquarium

Yamano Aquarium is a small aquarium built at roadside station "Onneyu Onsen (おんねゆ温泉)" in Rubeshibe, Kitami city and was renewed in 2012 and became a popular aquarium, and 300,000 tourists come. Mr. Hajime Nakamura (中村元), only aquarium producers in Japan, designed it. There are 9 exhibit spaces in total, and the world's first freezing glass tank and a glass tank that the Japan's first basin of a waterfall is looked up are especially famous. Tourists can observe more than 50 kinds of fishes, and a large glass tank that 40 Itou fishes with more than 1 m in length swim is extremely powerful. Admission is charged. A parking lot is free of charge. Article is here

Yamano Aquarium
Yamano Aquarium in Onneyu Onsen Resort, Kitami

Atmosphere of Yamano Aquarium Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Yamano Aquarium


Kitami Cold Winter Yakiniku (Grilled Meat) Festival (北見厳寒の焼き肉まつり) and Lake Saroma Ultramarathon (サロマ湖100kmウルトラマラソン) are famous.

Kitami Cold Winter Yakiniku (Grilled Meat) Festival

Kitami Cold Winter Yakiniku (Grilled Meat) Festival is a grilled meat event in Kitami and is held in early February. Eating the grilled meat seems to be fun at 10 degrees below zero. By the way, tourists must buy a ticket to participate the Kitami Cold Winter Yakiniku (Grilled Meat) Festival. About Kitami Cold Winter Yakiniku (Grilled Meat) Festival is this.

Atmosphere of Kitami Cold Winter Yakiniku (Grilled Meat) Festival Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Kitami Cold Winter Yakiniku (Grilled Meat) Festival

Lake Saroma Ultramarathon

Lake Saroma Ultramarathon is a very long-distance marathon race held in late June. Runners run around Lake Saroma. There are two categories, 50km and 100km, and a marathon berth seems to be filled immediately because it is very popular.

Atmosphere of Lake Saroma Ultramarathon Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Lake Saroma Ultramarathon


Refer to following websites for the accommodations in Kitami.


Kitami Daiichi Hotel(北見第一ホテル)
Hotel Bell Classic Kitami(ホテルベルクラシック北見)
Dormy Inn Kitami(ドーミーイン北見)
Super Hotel Kitami(スーパーホテル 北見)
Hotel Route Inn Grand Kitami Ekimae(ホテルルートインGrand北見駅前)
Hotel Paco Junior Kitami(ホテルパコジュニア北見)
Toyoko Inn Hokkaido Kitami Ekimae(東横イン 北見駅前)
Kitami Pierson Hotel(北見ピアソンホテル)
Hotel Taichi(宿泊施設 大地)
Comfort Hotel Kitami(コンフォートホテル北見)
Business Hotel Kindhope AI(ビジネスホテル カインドホープAI愛)
Hotel Crown Hills Kitami(ホテルクラウンヒルズ北見)
Hotel Route-Inn Kitami Odorinishi(ホテルルートイン北見大通西)
Kitaguchi Hotel(きたぐち ホテル)
Kitami Towa Hotel(北見東和ホテル)
Kitami Central Hotel(北見セントラルホテル)
Ryokan Kawai(旅館 河合)
Kitami Plaza Hotel(北見プラザホテル)
Northern Arc Resort(ノーザンアークリゾート)
Kitami Ruby Hotel(北見ルビーホテル)
Business Hotel Shinpaku(ビジネスホテル しんぱく)
Park Hills(パークヒルズ)
Hotel Nishinoya(ホテル にしの家)
Hotel Balcon(ホテル バルコン)
Hotel Oehonke(ホテル大江本家)
Hotel Tsutsujiso(ホテル つつじ荘)
Onneyu Hotel Shiki Heian-no-Yakata(四季平安の館)
Shiobetsu Tsurutsuru Onsen Ryokan(旅館塩別つるつる温泉)
Taki-no-Yu Onsen(湯治温泉 寿苑) Only Tel:+81-157-45-2970
Taki-no-Yu Center Yumefusen(滝の湯センター夢風泉)



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