• July 4th, 2016
  • Nature
  • TouristSpots
  • NorthernArea

[Onko Forest in Yagishiri Island] Onko Forest Designated Natural Monument in Japan Grow Naturally

Onko Forest

Onko Forest (オンコの森) is a virgin forest in the eastern part of Yagishiri Island (焼尻島). The Onko means "Japanese yew" in Hokkaido dialect. About 50,000 Japanese yews grow naturally, and those have been designated a natural monument in Japan. Except the Japanese yews, 50 types of coniferous trees and broadleaf trees with over 200 years old such as Japanese oak, scarlet-tinged ivy, Amur cork tree, Japanese linden, magnolia, Japanese rowan and Japanese alder also grow naturally in the forest. A cycling road and walks are built in the forest, and there are graveyard for 2 feudal retainers of Aizu Clan (会津藩士の墓), strangely shaped trees (奇木), Hibarigaoka Park (雲雀ヶ丘公園), Uguisu-dani Valley (うぐいす谷) and Onko-no-Sho Tree (オンコの荘) along the cycling road and the walks. In addition, the forest is adjacent to a sheep ranch. A good typical scenery of the Hokkaido comes into the sight if visitors come out of the forest. Admission free.

Onko Forest
Onko Forest in Yagishiri Island

Onko-no-Sho Tree

Onko-no-Sho Tree (オンコの荘) is an old tree along a walk path between Uguisudani Vallay (ウグイス谷) and Shirahama Camping Ground (白浜キャンプ場) in the southern part of Yagishiri Island (焼尻島), and is a part of Onko Forest (オンコの森). The Sho (荘) means "A building" in English, for exaple, it is used as a villa (別荘). When I visited here, Marguerite was the best season, and it was full in bloom along the walk path. That was a beautiful view. In addition, a combination of the sea and a sheep ranch is a superb scenery from here. Admission free. Read More

Dome of Japanese Yew
Onko-no-Sho Tree in Yagishiri Island

Sheep Ranch

Sheep Ranch (めん羊牧場) is a ranch run by Hoshu Farm (萌州ファーム) in the central part of Yagishiri Island (焼尻島), and they raise about 500 suffolk sheep at the grassland of about 80 ha. Those meat are well-known as "Pré Salé Yagishiri (プレ・サレ焼尻)", one of expensive mutton in Japan, and it has a good reputation. The grassland spreads over along Onko Sea Road (オンコ海道), and it is said that the scenery looks like Scottland. I feel a foreign atmosphere indeed, and I think that the scenery is a typical scenery of Hokkaido, too. By the way, outlanders are prohibited from entering the grassland, so visitors should enjoy views along the Onko Sea Road. Read More

Sheep Ranch
Sheep Ranch in Yagishiri Island

There are some means of transportation for the island tourism, for example, a sightseeing hire or a rental bicycle. I rend the bicycle, and it took about 2 hours to go around the Yagishiri Island by the rental bicycle. Walkers can go around for about 4 hours on foot. Be careful not to be late for the ferry.

    List of Means of Transportation for Island Tourism

    Refer to following the means of the transportation in the Yagishiri Island.

    Yagishiri Sightseeing Hire(焼尻観光ハイヤー) The hire and a guided small bus are alike.
    ASOVIEW
    Jalan
    Nunome Ryokan Sightseeing Hire(布目旅館観光ハイヤー) The hire and a guided small bus are alike.
    ASOVIEW
    Jalan
    Rental Bicycle Umehara(レンタサイクル梅原) They rent the rental bicycle near the Yagishiri Ferry Terminal.
    ASOVIEW
    Jalan

    Shokanbetsu Teuri Yagishiri Quasi-National Park

    Shokanbetsu Teuri Yagishiri Quasi-National Park (暑寒別天売焼尻国定公園) is a quasi-national park between Ishikari city, Shin-totsukawa town, Uryu town, Hokuryu town and Haboro town in the northern part of Hokkaido along the Sea of Japan (日本海), and extends from the north to the south, and has been designated as the quasi-national park since 1990. The area is 43,559 ha, and the the quasi-national park has the 8th largest area in 57 quasi-national parks (not include national parks) in Japan. It consists of 2 isolated islands, Shokanbetsu Mountain Range (暑寒別山系) and a coast, and beautiful nature such as the sea, the mountains, sea birds, trees, wild flowers and wetlands is highlight. The Shokanbetsu Teuri Yagishiri Quasi-National Park is divided into 4 areas, Teuri Island (天売島), Yagishiri Island (焼尻島), SHokanbetsu Area (暑寒別エリア) and Atsuta and Hamamasu Area (厚田・浜益エリア), and the Teuri Island, the Yagishiri Island and the SHokanbetsu Area mainly have a lot of highlights. Read More

    Teuri Island and Yagishiri Island
    Shokanbetsu Teuri Yagishiri Quasi-National Park

    Look of Onko Forest

    An entrance of the Onko Forest is near a Haboro town office, and is also close to Yagishiri Ferry Port. The graveyard for 2 feudal retainers of the Aizu Clan are built near the entrance. So far as I know, the Yagishiri, Rishiri, Wakkanai, Yoichi and Notsuke Peninsula have the graveyard for feudal retainers of the Aizu Clan even only in the Hokkaido, so I admire that the feudal retainers of the Aizu Clan went out from the Aizu Clan (Fukushima prefecture at present) to here and there in the Hokkaido in Edo period. The paved cycling road is maintained in the forest, and looking for the strangely shped trees along the road is one way to enjoy. It takes about 60 minutes by a bicycle. My founded the strangely shped trees are as follows.

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    Entrance of Onko Forest
    Onko Forest in Yagishiri Island
    Graveyard for 2 Feudal Retainers of Aizu Clan
    Onko Forest in Yagishiri Island
    Strangely Shaped Tree "Crane Shaped Tree"
    Onko Forest in Yagishiri Island
    Strangely Shaped Tree "Turtle Shaped Tree"
    Onko Forest in Yagishiri Island
    Strangely Shaped Tree "Harp Shaped Tree"
    Onko Forest in Yagishiri Island
    Strangely Shaped Tree "Couple Tree"
    Onko Forest in Yagishiri Island

    The Uguisu-dani Valley is known as a place for enjoying bird watching. I surely heard small birdsong from here and there. A brook flows at a ravine, and I think that wild birds are easy to live. There is a large tree "Uguisudai-no-Ubamatsu (鶯谷の姥松)" near Taiko Bridge (太鼓橋), and the tree has a legend. A Tengu (天狗) used to live on the tree. A certain person would cut down the tree, and died by fallen over other tree. So nobody would cut down the tree.

    Taiko Bridge
    Onko Forest in Yagishiri Island
    Uguisu-dani Valley
    Onko Forest in Yagishiri Island
    Legend of Old Tree
    Onko Forest in Yagishiri Island
    Uguisudai-no-Ubamatsu
    Onko Forest in Yagishiri Island
    Strangely Shaped Tree "Suehiro Tree"
    Onko Forest in Yagishiri Island
    Strangely Shaped Tree "Tree for Tengu's Chair"
    Onko Forest in Yagishiri Island
    Marguerite Path
    Onko Forest in Yagishiri Island
    Strangely Shaped Tree "Cherry Tree for Leaving Home"
    Onko Forest in Yagishiri Island
    Exit of Onko Forest
    Onko Forest in Yagishiri Island

    Atmosphere of Onko Forest Can Be Watched on Youtube

    Movie of Onko Forest

    Admission fee Free of charge
    Parking lot Free parking is not provided
    Business hours Open 24 hours
    Regular closing day Open all year round
    Telephone number +81-1648-2-3993
    Home page Home page is here
    Mapcode 929 381 302*88

      List of Activities

      Refer to following websites for the activity companies in the Yagishiri. You can get information regarding online reviews and photos.

      Guided Walk

      Guest House Yasundeke(ゲストハウス やすんでけ)
      ASOVIEW
      Jalan

      Sea Kayak

      Nunome Ryokan(布目旅館)
      ASOVIEW
      Jalan

      List of Accommodations

      Refer to following websites for the accommodations in the Yagishiri.

        Nunome Ryokan(布目旅館)
        HP
        Booking
        Ryokan Isonoya(旅館 磯乃屋)
        Booking
        Oda Minshuku(小田民宿) Only Tel:+81-1648-2-3637
        Guest House Yasundeke(ゲストハウス やすんでけ)
        Shirahama Campsite(白浜野営場)
        Booking
        Jalan
        Rakuten

        A page of Yagishiri Island is here

        Yagishiri Island

        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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