[Miyajima Swamp in Bibai] Visitors Are Impressed with a Large Number of Migratory Birds at Largest and Northernmost Wild Goose's Temporary Resting Place in Japan
April 15th, 2015
Miyajima Swamp (宮島沼) is a small swamp in Bibai city located in the northeastern of Sapporo city, and is the 13th wetland designated as the Ramsar Convention Wetland in Japan. The perimeter of the swamp is about 2.7 km, and the maximum water depth is 2.4 m. The swamp surrounded by fields is close to Tsukigata Onsen (月形温泉) and Kairaku Park (偕楽公園), and is well-known as the largest and northernmost wild goose's temporary resting place in the Japan. In a spring and an autumn, Migratory birds such as Wild Goose, Bean Goose, Whistling Swans come flying, and about 60,000 wild birds stay at the Miyajima Swamp on a day when a lot of the migratory birds arrive. Flying away from roost and flying home to the roost are popular. The best time to see those is from mid April to late April and from late September to early October. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge.
Miyajima-numa Waterfowl and Bog Center (宮島沼水鳥・湿地センター) and an observation hut are built around the swamp. The Miyajima-numa Waterfowl and Bog Center is opend only in the spring and the autumn when the wild birds come flying. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge. A restroom is provided at the building. You had better put on warm clothes because it is very cold in the morning and the early evening. In addition, a large car such as a bus can not reach to a parking lot because a road to the Miyajima-numa Waterfowl and Bog Center is narrow. So tourists should visit here by a rent-a-car or a taxi. As for car rental comparison website, 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). You should arrive here at about 04:00 a.m. if you want to watch the migratory birds flying away from the roost, and you should arrive here at about 16:00 p.m. if you want to watch the migratory birds flying home to the roost. The nature shows finish for an hour or 2 hours.
Speaking of the Bibai, Bibai Grilled Chicken Giblets on Skewer (美唄焼き鳥) and Bibai Fried Noodles (美唄焼きそば) are famous. Some restraunts serve the grilled chicken on skewer in the Bibai, and the fried noodles can be bought at Coa Bibai (コアビバイ). As for tasty restaurants in the Bibai, Yakitori Tatsumi (やき鳥 たつみ), Sobadokoro Shoan (そば処匠庵), Sugiura Bakery (すぎうらベーカリー), Fukuyoshi (福よし) and Cafe Stoven (カフェ ストウヴ) are popular in particular. I ate foods at the Yakitori Tatsumi and the Sugiura Bakery, and those were tasty.
Tsukigata Onsen (月形温泉) is a hot spring place in Tsukigata town located in the northeastern part of Sapporo city. Tsukigata Onsen Hotel (月形温泉ホテル) and Tsukigata Onsen Yurikago (月形温泉ゆりかご) are built near National Route 275, and are is relatively near the center of Tsukigata, and there are restraunts and convenience stores. Those are adjacent to Kairaku Park (皆楽公園), and there are Kairaku Park Pond (皆楽公園沼), Kairaku Park Campsite (皆楽公園キャンプ場), Tsukigata Baseball Field (月形野球場) and a park golf course. At the Kairaku Park Pond, Hera-crucian fishing can be enjoyed in a summer, and pond smelt fishing can be enjoyed in a winetr. By the way, Miyajima Swamp (宮島沼) that is famous for wild birds flying away in the early morning is near here. Article is here
Grilled Chicken Rice Bowl of Tatsumi
Tatsumi (たつみ) is a popular Yakitori restaurant in Bibai city located between Sapporo city and Asahikawa city and was founded in 1968. The restaurant is known for serving Bibai Yakitori (美唄焼き鳥 * grilled chicken on skewer) in Hokkaido. The Bibai Yakitori is grilled chicken giblets on skewer (モツ串). It is the idea (もったいない * Mottainai) that they use one chicken untill last. Because Bibai people who came to Hokkaido in the Meiji period were provided with a pair of chickens by Japanese nation, they bred those to survive themselves. As for the chicken, I can imagine a valuable thing as a few property. Article is here
Bibai Fried Noodles
Bibai Fried Noodles (美唄焼きそば) are sold by Kadoya (角屋) in Bibai city and begun to be sold in 1970 and are one of famous local dishes. The Bibai Fried Noodles seem to be devised to fill stomaches of workers in coal mine town "Bibai" and are called "Sacked Fried Noodles", too, and customers can eat directly the bibai fried noodles from a package without geting our hands dirty. In addition, the Kadoya does not retail the Bibai Fried Noodles and the customers can buy the Bibai Fried Noodles at the Coa Bibai (コアビバイ). 3 kinds of the Bibai Fried Noodles, the Reproduction of Bibai Fried Noodles (復刻版焼きそば), the Coal Bibai Fried Noodles (石炭焼きそば) and the Salt Bibai Fried Noodles (塩やきそば), were sold when I visited the Coa Bibai. I bought 1 Coal Bibai Fried Noodles and 1 Reproduction of Bibai Fried Noodles. Each prices are JPY 108. Article is here
Sugiura Bakery (すぎうらベーカリー) is a popular bakery in Bibai city located between Sapporo city and Asahikawa city. A bread is famous for using rice flour. I heard from Ms. Tani that a soft serve ice cream was tasty, and I visited here. The stylish appearance of a building was outstanding very much. The breads were displayed overcrowdedly when I entered here. This store provided a place for customers to enjoy foods and drinks. Customers can drink coffee or water freely, too. Article is here
Migratory Birds Flying away from Roost and Flying home to Roost
In the early morning, the migratory birds fly simultaneously away from the roost at the Miyajima Swamp to search for baits. Unlike the migratory birds flying sequentially home to the roost, I think that visitors are moved by looking and sounds because the migratory birds fly simultaneously away, and cry of the birds is heard from every quarter. In addition, the bird's silhouettes are cheered up by the morning sun with reddish light after flying away, and the views is very mysterious. Actually, I was much impressed by the viwes. I highly recommend you to go to here.
On the other hand, the migratory birds fly sequentially home to the roost at the Miyajima Swamp to sleep in the early evening. The groups of greater white-fronted gooses and bean geeses come flocking from all quarters to the Miyajima Swamp. A lot of small groups begin to gather at first, and increase the number gradually, and those become big groups. The situation is wonderful! When the greater white-fronted gooses took a rest on the surafece of the swamp, they were suprised at Steller's Sea-eagle, and flied away in chorus. It was also worth seeing.
Lake Utonai (ウトナイ湖) as well as the Miyajima Swamp is also famous as a wild goose's temporary resting place. I once talked with a renger in the Lake Utonai, and she said "The Miyajima Swamp is smaller than the Lake Utonai, and a lot of the migratory birds densely gather, so the Miyajima Swamp may be more exciting than the Lake Utonai in terms of extremely powerful". Indeed, the Miyajima Swamp is very small, and is close to places to watch the birds, so I also think so.
|Admission fee||Free of charge|
|Parking lot||Free parking is provided (70 Cars)|
|Business hours||Open 24 hours * Miyajima-numa Waterfowl and Bog Center 09:00-17:00|
|Regular closing day||Open all year round * Miyajima-numa Waterfowl and Bog Center Monday, the day after national holidays, Year-end and New Year holidays|
|Home page||Home page is here|
|Mapcode||575 295 866*68|
List of Accommodations
Refer to following websites for the accommodations near the Miyajima Swamp. You can get information regarding online reviews and photos.
|Tsukigata Onsen Hotel(月形温泉ホテル)||
|Bibai Hotel Suehiro(美唄ホテルスエヒロ)|
|Cozy Penguin House(コージーペンギンハウス)||