- April 22nd, 2013
[Rishiri Rebun Sarobetsu National Nature Park] Beautiful Nature, Tasty Foods and Unique Onsen Can Be Enjoyed in Japan's Northernmost National Park
- Sarobetsu Plain
- List of Nature and Tourist Attractions
- List of Tasty Foods
- List of Onsen
- List of Accommodations
The Sarobetsu Plain between Toyotomi town and Horonobe town is a vast plain of 20,000-24,000 ha. The Sarobetsu means "A river flows through reed beds" in Ainu language. Sarobetsu Wetland (サロベツ湿原) of 6,700 ha is in the plain, and is the largest high moor in Japan. In the Sarobetsu Wetland, wetland of 2,560 ha has bee desingated as Ramsar Convention since 2005. The Toyotomomi side of the northern Sarobetsu Plain is called Kami-sarobetsu Plain (上サロベツ原野), and the Horonobe side of southern Sarobetsu Plain is called the Shimo-sarobetsu Plain. * Japanese people often use the Kami or the Shimo as the northern or the southern. Some large swamps and ponds such as Naganuma Swamp (長沼), Pankenuma Swamp (パンケ沼), Penkenuma Swamp (ペンケ沼) and Kabutonuma Swamp (兜沼) are dotted with the Sarobetsu Plain. More than 100 types of wild flowers such as Ledum palustre L. subsp, the Iris and the Yezo Daylily bloom at the plain, and about 90 types of wild birds such as Steller's Sea Eagle, Siberian Rubythroat and the Yellow-breasted Bunting can be watched.
Movie of Sarobetsu Plain
There are some means of transportation for the Sarobetsu Plain tourism, for example, a fixed-route bus, a sightseeing taxi, a rental car and a rental bicycle. I suppose that the best means of transportation is that visitors rent a rental car in the Wakkanai.
List of Nature and Tourist Attractions
Small swamps and damp grounds spread over in Kami-sarobetsu-genya (上サロベツ原野) located in the northern part of the Sarobetsu Plain and Shimo-sarobetsu-genya (下サロベツ原野) located in the southern part of the Sarobetsu Plain. Kabutonuma Samp (兜沼) and Sarobetsu Wetland Center (サロベツ湿原センター) are in the Kami-sarobetsu-genya, and Penke Swamp (ペンケ沼), Panke Swamp (パンケ沼), Naganuma Swamp (長沼) and Otonrui Wind Power Station (オトンルイ風力発電所) are in the Shimo-sarobetsu-genya. Miyanodai Observation Deck (宮の台展望台), Horonobe Reindeer Ranch (トナカイ観光牧場), Large Scale Grassland Ranch (大規模草地牧場) and Horonobe Town Kaneda Shinsho Japanese Calligraphy Museum (幌延町金田心象書道美術館) are in the east side of the Sarobetsu Plain, too. My visited places are as follows.
Sarobetsu Wetland Center
Sarobetsu Primeval Garden is a wild flower garden in Toyotomi town located in the southern direction of Wakkanai city. In the southern part of Kami-sarobetsu Plain (上サロベツ原野) located in the norhern part of Sarobetsu Plain (サロベツ原野), Rishiri‐Rebun‐Sarobetsu National Park (利尻礼文サロベツ国立公園), the Sarobetsu Primeval Garden is relatively near Wakasanai-enchi Park (稚咲内園地) and Miyanodai Observation Deck (宮の台展望台). Wooden paths of about 1.5 km total length are built at the primeval garden, and rest platforms and observation platforms are also built along the wooden paths. Here is a good place to see Magnificent Mt. Rishirifuji. Except the primeval garden, there are Sarobetsu Wetland Center (サロベツ湿原センター), Peat Industry Building (泥炭産業館), A Dredger, Museum Shop (ミュージアムショップ), Resthouse Sarobetsu (レストハウス サロベツ), Water Purification Wetland (水質浄化湿地) and a parking lot at the site. Addmission free. The parking lot is free of charge. Read More
Horonobe Visitor Center
Shimo-sarobetsu-genya-enchi Park (下サロベツ原野園地) is a marshland park in Horonobe town located in the southern direction of Wakkanai city. In the southern part of Shimo-sarobetsu Plain (下サロベツ原野) located in the southern part of Sarobetsu Plain (サロベツ原野), Rishiri‐Rebun‐Sarobetsu National Park (利尻礼文サロベツ国立公園), the Shimo-sarobetsu-genya-enchi Park is near Pankenuma Swamp (パンケ沼) and Otonrui (オトンルイ) Wind Power Station. Naganuma Swamp (長沼) is a freshwater lake at the marshland. The perimeter of the swamp is about 2.5 km, and the depth is about 2 m. A wooden path of about 1 km total length is built around the swamp, and Komochikanahebi Obsevation Platform (コモチカナヘビ観察台 * The Komochikanahebi means "Zootoca vivipara" in English), Yachimanako Obsevation Platform (やちまなこ観察デッキ * The Yachimanako means "Hidden pitfalls at a wetland" in the English), Suiseishokubutsu Obsevation Platform (水生植物観察 * Suiseishokubutsu means "Aquatic plants" in the English) are also built along the wooden path. In addition, Here is linked with Pankenuma Swamp through Shimo-sarobetsu Nature Observation Trail (下サロベツ原野自然探勝路) of about 3 km total length, so visitors can enjoy hiking. Alpine plants, damp plants and aquatic plants containing Yezo Dailily, Iris, Yezo Waterlily, Japanese Spatterdock, Cranberry and Peat Moss grow naturally, and can be observed on the wooden path. Wild birds such as African Stonechat, Black-faced Bunting and Red-necked Grebe can be watched, too. Except the wooden path, Horonobe Visitor Center (幌延ビジターセンター), a parking lot and Horonobe Visitor Center Observation Tower (幌延ビジターセンター展望台) are built at the site. Read More
Pankenuma-enchi Park (パンケ沼園地) is a marshland park in Horonobe town located in the southern direction of Wakkanai city. In the middle part of Shimo-sarobetsu Plain (下サロベツ原野) located in the southern part of Sarobetsu Plain (サロベツ原野), Rishiri‐Rebun‐Sarobetsu National Park (利尻礼文サロベツ国立公園), the Pankenuma-enchi Park is near Shimo-sarobetsu-genya-enchi Park (下サロベツ原野園地) with Naganuma Swamp (長沼) and Horonobe Visitor Center (幌延ビジターセンター). Pankenuma Swamp (パンケ沼) is a brackish lake at the marshland. The perimeter of the swamp is about 8 km, and the maximum depth is about 2.5 m. The swamp is the largest lake in the Sarobetsu Plain. The panke means "The downstream side" in Ainu language. Penkenuma Swamp (ペンケ沼) located at the northern part of the Pankenuma Swamp is a pared swamp with the Pankenuma Swamp, and the Penke means "The upstream side" in the Ainu language. Wooden paths are built on the shore in the southeastern part of the Pankenuma Swamp, and visitors can go a round on foot in about 20 minutes. In addition, Here is linked with the Horonobe Visitor Center through Shimo-sarobetsu Nature Observation Trail (下サロベツ原野自然探勝路) of about 3 km total length, so visitors can enjoy hiking. A gazebo, a bird watching hut, a parking lot and a public restroom are built at the site. Admission free. The parking lot is free of charge. Read More
Kabutonuma Swamp (兜沼) is a freshwater lake in Toyotomi town located in the southern direction of Wakkanai city. In the northernmost part of Kami-sarobetsu Plain (上サロベツ原野) located in the norhern part of Sarobetsu Plain (サロベツ原野), Rishiri‐Rebun‐Sarobetsu National Park (利尻礼文サロベツ国立公園), the Kabutonuma Swamp is almost next to the Wakkanai. The perimeter of the swamp is about 3.5 km, and the maximum depth is about 2 m. Its shape of the swamp looked like a Japanese war helmet (Kabuto), so it was named. Originally the name of the swamp was Peraisaruto (ぺライサルトー), and it means "A swamp that a fish can be catched at a reed bed" in Ainu language. The area around Kabutonuma Swamp is developed as Kabutonuma Park (兜沼公園), and Kabutonuma Park Camping Ground (兜沼公園キャンプ場), Kabutonuma Park Auto Camping Site (兜沼公園オートキャンプ場) and a park golf course are built at the site. The swamp is known for migratory birds flying coming, and bird-watching can be enjoyed at a forest of the park. Because a green zone got in my way, I could not approach the shore. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge. Read More
Horonobe Reindeer Ranch
Horonobe Reindeer Ranch (トナカイ観光牧場) is a tourist facility in Horonobe town located in the southern direction of Wakkanai city. In the eastern part of Sarobetsu Plain, Rishiri‐Rebun‐Sarobetsu National Park, the Horonobe Reindeer Ranch is nearby Japan Atomic Energy Agency Underground Research Center (日本原子力研究開発機構幌延深地層研究センター), and is relatively near Toyotomi Onsen (豊富温泉). The reindeer ranch is well-known as the only reindeer ranch in Japan, and about 60 reindeers are bred. About 50,000 tourists come here. North Garden (ノースガーデン) is built at the site, too, and Blue Poppy called "A phantom flower" is planted. Restaurant polo (レストランポロ), a souvenir shop, a parking lot and a restroom are at the site, too. Admission free. The parking lot is free of charge. Read More
Miyanodai Observation Deck
Miyanodai Observation Deck (宮の台展望台) is a lookout point in Toyotomi town located in the southern direction of Wakkanai city. In the eastern part of Sarobetsu Plain, Rishiri‐Rebun‐Sarobetsu National Park, the Miyanodai Observation Deck is relatively near Sarobetsu Wetland Center (サロベツ湿原センター) and Toyotomi Onsen (豊富温泉). An observation deck with about 5 m in height is built on a small hill of about 65 m elevation along National Route 40. Grassland of the Toyotomi that is well-known as a milkshed and Sarobetsu Plain (サロベツ原野) can be viewed. The observation deck used to be originally called Tokumitsu Observation Deck (徳満展望台) or Sarobetsu Observation Deck (サロベツ展望台), but it was renamed as "Miyanodai Observation Deck (Miya means "Imperial" in English)" when His Imperial Highness Prince Masahito Hitachinomiya (常陸宮正仁親王) came here in 1963. Figures of parent-child cows are built as a monument of Toyotomi town "Dairy Farming Birthplace (酪農発祥の地)" at the site. This is why Mr. Matsujiro Ota (太田松次郎) began to milk Shorthorn Cattle at Tokumistu district (徳満地区) for the first time. A public restroom is built beside a parking lot. Admission free. The parking lot is free of charge. Read More
List of Tasty Foods
Dairy farming has been thriving business for a long time, so the Toyotomi is well-known for tasy dairy products. Hokki Clam Chowder using the dairy products and brown surf clams are famous. At the Horonobe Reindeer Ranch, visitors can eat a rare reindeer meat. My visited places are as follows.
Toyotomi Hokki Clam Chowder
Seizushi (誠鮨) is a sushi restaurant in Toyotomi town located in the southern direction of Wakkanai city. Toyotomi is famous for Toyotomi Onsen (豊富温泉) which is effective for atopic dermatitis, Sarobetsu Plain (サロベツ原野) which is the largest high-rise damp plain in Japan and Lake Kabuto (兜沼). Noted products blessed with such magnificent nature are milk, famous for Toyotomi milk brand, and brown surf clam (茶ボッキ). Toyotomi Hokki Clam Chowder (豊富ホッキチャウダー) was contrived to publicize special products of Toyotomi. Because an owner treat the surf calm as sushi materials, he will know to ensure tastes. It is rare that Western dishes are served at Japanese restaurant. The price was JPY 980. Read More
List of Onsen
Toyotomi Onsen is in the east side of the Sarobetsu Plain, and is well-known for being effective for atopic dermatitis. Because a lot of visitors come to cure, I suppose that it has a good reputation. Hot springs have a unique oil smell and a little salty taste.
Toyotomi Onsen (豊富温泉) is a hot spring place located in Toyotomi town in the southern direction of Wakkanai city, and is on the foot of Toyotomi Onsen Ski Resort (豊富温泉スキー場). It is far from the city area, and takes about 10 minutes by a vehicle. Toyotomi Onsen has hot springs mixed oil, and is famous for effective for psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. There are 9 facilities at the Toyotomi Onsen, and some restaurants open a business at some accommodations. But some accommodations have closed their businesses, and there are not a convenience store and a souvenir shop in the Toyotomi Onsen, so the hot spring place looks a deserted street. There are the Toyotomi Onsen Ski Resort and Nature Observation Center (自然観察館) around the hot spring place. Read More
List of Accommodations
Refer to following websites for the accommodations in the Horonobe, the Toyotomi and the Teshio. You can get information regarding online reviews and photos.
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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