- August 19th, 2014
[Lake Saroma] Largest Lake in Hokkaido
- Lake Saroma
- List of Lake Saroma Tourist Attractions
- List of Events around Lake Saroma
- List of Activities
- List of Accommodations
Lake Saroma (サロマ湖) is a brackish water lake among Kitami city, Saroma town and Yubetsu town, and is the 3rd largest lake after Lake Biwa (琵琶湖) and Lake Kasumigaura (霞ヶ浦) in Japan. A sandbar of 200 to 700 m width separates the lake from the Sea of Okhotsk (オホーツク海), and the lake links the sea with only 2 points. In old days, the sandbar separeted the lake from the sea depending on seasons perfectly. The perimeter of the lake is about 87 km, and the maximum depth is 19.6 m. The lake has no name in Ainu language, and they called it just lake. It is well-known for tasty seafood such as Oyster and Scallop, and fishing Japanese pond smelt is popular in a winter.
The Lake Saroma is the largest lake in Hokkaido, but large-scale tourist attractions are not developed, so nature is left relatively. The lake is well-known for enjoying the beautiful morning sun, the beautiful sunset and beautiful starry sky, and some lakeshore are covered with red coral grass in an autumn. In Tokoro-cho near the lake, Advics Tokoro Curling Hall (アドヴィックス常呂カーリングホール) called “The curling mecca in Hokkaido” is built, and tourists can experience the curling. By the way, the Lake Saroma has few onsen, and only at Lake Saroma Tsuruga Resort, one day trip onsen can be enjoyed.
There are some tourist attractions such as Saromako Observation Deck (サロマ湖展望台), Cape Kimuaneppu (キムアネップ岬), Piraoro Observation Deck (ピラオロ展望台), Ryugudai Overlook Park (龍宮台展望公園), Wakka Primeval Flower Garden (ワッカ原生花園), Coral Grass Colonies (アッケシソウ群生地) and Saginuma Primeval Flower Garden (サギ沼原生花園) around the Lake Saroma. Except those, there are Saromako Sakaeura Parking Park (サロマ湖栄浦駐車公園) that the beautiful sunset can be seen, Tokoro Iseki-no-Mori (ところ遺跡の森) that Jomon culture can be experienced, Roadside Station “Ai Land Yubetsu” (道の駅 愛ランド湧別), Family Ai Land You (ファミリー愛ランドYOU) and Roadside Station “Saromako” (道の駅 サロマ湖), too.
Spaeking of tasty restraunts around the lake, Menya Okhotsk (麺屋おほーつく) in the Yubetsu town, Hokusho Suisan (北勝水産) at the southern lakeshore and Restraunt “Kitchen of Captain (船長の台所)” at the eastern lakeshore are popular in particular. I ate Scallop Hamburger and Udon at the Menya Okhotsk and the Hokusho Suisan, and those were tasty.
Hokusho Suisan corp. (株式会社 北勝水産) is a fish processing company with the head office facing National Route 239 in Saronma town adjacent to the northern direction of Kitami city, and has been established since 1979, and is near Lake Saroma (サロマ湖) and Saromako Observation Deck (サロマ湖展望台). The Hokusho Suisan is known for processing and selling marine products such as scallop, crab and salmon roe. The head office has a direct sales store, and tourists also come. At the building, live marine products and processing marine products can be bought, and light meals such as scallop hamburger, salmon hamburger, scallop curry and rice, coffee and ice cream are also served. Read More
Menya Okhotsk (麺屋おほーつく) is a popular Udon restaurant in Yubetsu town between Monbetsu and Abashiri and was founded in 2009. It is famous for printing in MICHELIN GUIDE Hokkaido 2012 Special Edition. A building has an atmosphere such as the lodges with warmth of a tree. The restaurant is not so large, but counter seats and tables are provided, so family customers seem to enjoy. Business hours are only lunch time and it often has visitors lined up. Read More
An express bus “Dreamint Okhotsk-go (ドリーミントオホーツク号)” runs between the Sapporo and the Kitami, and Limited Express Sekihoku-go (特急石北号), an express bus, runs between the Kitami and Asahikawa, and Senpoku-go (釧北号), an express bus, runs between the Kitami and Kushiro, and an express bus “Engaru-go (えんがる号)” runs between the Sapporo and Engaru. Besides, Rent-a-car can be rented around Kitami Station.
Kitami (北見) that about 120,000 people live is the 9th largest commercial city in Hokkaido, and is one of regional hub cities of the Northeastern Hokkaido area. The Kitami became incorporated with Rubeshibe town (留辺蘂), Tanno town (端野) and Tokoro town (常呂) in 2006, and has became the largest city by area in the Hokkaido. In Japan, it is the 4th latgest city by the area. The Kitami is also an agriculture city, and Onion and White Runner Bean are famous as a local product. As for a 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. Read More
List of Lake Saroma Tourist Attractions
There are the Saromako Observation Deck, the Cape Kimuaneppu, the Piraoro Observation Deck, the Ryugudai Overlook Park, the Wakka Primeval Flower Garden, Coral Grass Colonies, Tokoro Iseki-no-Mori (ところ遺跡の森) and Saginuma Primeval Flower Garden (サギ沼原生花園) around the Lake Saroma. My visited places are as follows.
Saromako Observation Deck
Saromako Observation Deck (サロマ湖展望台) is built at the top of Mt. Horoiwa (幌岩山) of 376 m height in Saroma town located in the southern part of the Lake Saroma, and is the only tourist attraction to view whole Lake Saroma. A parking lot and a public restroom are on the site. A trail is built from the bottom of the mountain to the mountaintop, and it takes about 60 minutes on foot. The observation deck is famous for a good view and dangerous roads to the mounatintop. 2 roads are built from Toppushi Fishing Port (富武士の港) and Kitakatsu Fishery (北勝水産) to the observation deck. But gravel roads of about 5 km length are rough, and those have just width that one car can go ahead along the road. So attention is necessary for driving. It is difficult to pass large cars. The roads are closed in a winter. Read More
Cape Kimuaneppu (キムアネップ岬) is the only cape a cape jutting out into Lake Saroma in Saroma town located in the southern part of the lake. The Kimuaneppu means “A slim place” in Ainu language. Kimuaneppusaki Camping Ground (キムアネップ崎野営場) is at the tip of the cape, and Cape Kimuaneppu Coral Grass Colony (キムアネップ崎アッケシソウ群生地) is at the root of the cape. About 50 kinds of flowers and wild birds can be seen. Nothing is built around here, but restaurants are built in Hamasaroma (浜佐呂間) that is 6 km away from here. Read More
Piraoro Observation Deck
Piraoro Observation Deck (ピラオロ展望台) is built on a small hill at 26 above sea level in Saroma town located in the southern part of the Lake Saroma. The Piraoro means “A place with a precipice” in Ainu language. It is adjacent to Piraoroso ryokan (ピラオロ荘), and Toppushi Fishing Port (富武士漁港) is on the foot of the hill. The small hill was used as a watch stand for searching fishes in Ainu period. It is a legendary place that an Ainu young girl threw her body, too. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge. Saromako Observation Deck (サロマ湖展望台) is near here. Read More
Ryugudai Overlook Park
Ryugudai Overlook Park (龍宮台展望公園) is a park in Yubetsu town located in the northern part of the Lake Saroma. Ryugudai Observation Deck (龍宮台展望台) at the end of Hokkaido Road 656 is built on sandbar of about 200 m width between the Sea of Okhotsk and Lake Saroma. In a summer, the sea and the lake can be viewed, and drift ice can be enjoyed closely in a winter. Mr. Keigetsu Omachi (大町桂月), a famous Japanese poet, that was well-known for naming Sounkyo (層雲峡) and Hagoromo Falls (羽衣の滝) compared the sandbar to “A path to the Palace of the Dragon King (龍宮 * Ryugu)”, so around here was named “Ryugudai”. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge. Sanrihama Camping Ground (三里浜キャンプ場) is near here, so a lot of campers come in the summer. By the way, the camping ground is charged. Read More
Wakka Primeval Flower Garden
Wakka Primeval Flower Garden (ワッカ原生花園) is a primeval flower garden in Tokoro-cho, Kitami city located in the northeastern part of Kitami city, and is between Lake Saroma (サロマ湖) and the Sea of Okhotsk (オホーツク海), and has been designed as Hokkaido Heritage since 2001. The area is about 700 ha. Flowers and grass grow thick on a slim sand dune with 25 km in width. The wakka means a place that there is water in Ainu language, and it features that fresh water gushes out in Wakka Forest (ワッカの森). It is said that the Wakka Primeval Flower Garden is the largest grassy coast in Japan, and about 300 types of primeval flowers such as Siberian Lily, Rosa Rugosa and Orange-yellow Day Lily bloom from May to October. There are Wakka Nature Center (ワッカネイチャーセンター), the Wakka Forest, Rygu-kaido Street (竜宮街道), a restroom and a parking lot on the site. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge. The Wakka Nature Center opens from late April to early October. Read More
Coral Grass Colonies around Lake Saroma
Lake Saroma (サロマ湖) is a brackish water lake among Kitami city, Saroma town and Yubetsu town, and is the 3rd largest lake after Lake Biwa (琵琶湖) and Lake Kasumigaura (霞ヶ浦) in Japan. The lake has no name in Ainu language, and they called it just lake. It is well-known for tasty seafood such as Oyster and Scallop, and moderate salty lakeshore is suitable for the coral grass, and some coral grass colonies are around the lake. Cape Kimuaneppu (キムアネップ崎), Wakka Primeval Flower Garden (ワッカ原生花園), Kerochi Coral Grass Colony (計呂地サンゴ草群生地) and Cape Sango (サンゴ岬) are famous in particular. The best time to see the fall foliage is from mid september to early October. Read More
List of Events around Lake Saroma
Lake Saroma Ultramarathon (サロマ湖100kmウルトラマラソン) is held in late June, International Okhotsk Cycling (インターナショナル オホーツクサイクリング) is held in early July, and Yubetsu Saromako Ryugu Shrimp Scallop Festival (湧別サロマ湖 龍宮えびホタテまつり) is held in late July.
List of Accommodations
Refer to following websites for the accommodations around the Lake Saroma. You can get information regarding online reviews and photos.
A page of Kitami is here
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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