- September 9th, 2019
[Taushubetsu River Bridge in Kamishihoro] Unexpectedly, It Is Easy Access to Phantom Concrete Arch Bridge
- Taushubetsu River Bridge
- Private Travel to Taushubetsu River Bridge
- List of Activities in Lake Nukabira
- List of Accommodations
Taushubetsu River Bridge
Taushubetsu River Bridge (タウシュベツ川橋梁) is a former concrete arch bridge along Former Japan National Railway Shihoro Line (旧日本国有鉄道士幌線) in Kamishihoro town located in the northern direction of Obihiro city, and is one of Japan National Railways Shihoro Line Concrete Arch Bridge Group (旧国鉄士幌線コンクリートアーチ橋梁群) desingated as Hokkaido Heritage. It length is 130 m, and its width is 3 m, and its height is 10 m. The bridge has 11 continuous arches. In a winter, Lake Nukabira (糠平湖) is frozen, and the bridge begins to appear in the lake water. The bridge is sinking under the lake water from a spring to a summer. In an autumn, the bridge goes below the surface of lake water. The timing for that varies from year to year, but it is said that the bset time to see the bridge is from September to October, and the sunk bridge reflects image of itself on the water of the lake. There are 2 ways to see the Taushubetsu River Bridge. One is to see the bridge from Taushubetsu Lookout (タウシュベツ展望台) in the opposite lakeshore, and the other one is to see the bridge near the bridge. Their rules rules have been changed since April, 2022.
Lake Nukabira (糠平湖) in Kamishihoro town located in the northern direction of Obihiro city is the 2nd largest man-made lake after Lake Shumarinai (朱鞠内湖) in Hokkaido. In the Eastern Daisetsu Area (東大雪エリア), Daisetsuzan National Park, the lake was born by completion of Nukabira Dam (糠平ダム) in 1956. The perimeter of the lake is about 34 km. The maximum water depth is 75 m. The Nukabira means a human-shaped rock in Ainu language. When the Nukabira Dam was completed in 1955, the rock has been flooded in the lake. Nukabira Hot-spring Resort (糠平温泉) is in the southwest side of the Lake Nukabira. Higashi-taisetsu Nature Center (東大雪自然館) is built in the hot-spring resort, and visitors can gather information about the Lake Nukabira. In addition, Horoka Onsen (幌加温泉) is near the Lake Nukabira. Speaking of the Lake Nukabira, old bridges are famous. About 13 bridges such as Taushubetsu River Bridge (タウシュベツ川橋梁) used as former railroad track bridge still have been built, and it becomes popular tourist attractions because a state that is in harmony with landscapes is beautiful. Kamishihoro Town Rail Museum (上士幌町鉄道資料館) is built near the hot spring resort, too. Read More
The Taushubetsu means “A river with a lots of birch trees” in Ainu language. The bridge is built over a small bay that 2 small rivers flow into, so I wonder if either of one of the rivers is the Taushubetsu River. The bridge is in the north side of the Lake Nukabira, a manmade lake, and the bridge sinks depending on the increase / decrease of the water level, so it is also called a phantom bridge. In addition, common people can hardly approach to the bridge because a gate of Nukabira Mitsumata Forest Road (糠平三股林道) to the Taushubetsu River Bridge is closed, so I guess that feeling became stronger. Higashi-taisetsu Nature Guide Center (NPO法人ひがし大雪自然ガイドセンター) and Nukabira Youth Hostel (糠平ユースホステル) offer a guided tour for the Taushubetsu River Bridge. * The Nukabira Youth Hostel offer the guided tour only for hotel guests. The guided tours becomes popular, and a lot of people join the guided tours. In addition, it is said that the game venue of Anime “Girls und Panzer der Film” uses this bridge as a motif, and anime fans visit the real-life location, too. By the way, the Lake Nukabira is close to Horoka Onsen (幌加温泉) and Nukabira Onsen (糠平温泉), and visitors can savor free flowing fresh hot springs bathing.
Horoka Onsen (幌加温泉) is a hot spring place in Kamishihoro town located in the northern direction of Obihiro city. A blue signboard of the Horoka Onsen is a mark along Nukabira National Route (糠平国道 * National Route 273), and visitors turn and go straight for around 1.5 km, and the end of the road is the Horoka Onsen. Only Kanoya Onsen Ryokan (鹿の谷温泉旅館) is built at around 700 m above sea level at the foot of Mt. Horoka in the Higashi-Daisetsu region, Daisetsuzan Natioanl Park (大雪山国立公園 東大雪地区), and is well-known as a secret onsen. It is out of signal area. There is a trailhead for Mt. Nipesotsu, but restraunts, cafes, souvenir shops and convenience stores are not built around here. Lake Nukabira (糠平湖) is near here, and there are Concrete Arches of Former Shihorosen Railway (旧国鉄士幌線廃線跡コンクリートアーチ橋梁群) including Taushubetsugawa Bridge (タウシュベツ川橋梁), and Nukabira Onsen, Nukabira Dam, Forest Truck Railway Eco Rail (森のトロッコ・エコレール), Mikuni Pass (三国峠) and Naitai Highland Farm (ナイタイ高原牧場) are relatively near here, too. Read More
Nukabira Onsen (糠平温泉) is a hot-spring place at the south side of Lake Nukabira in Kamishihoro town located in the northern direction of Obihiro city. The hot-spring place is formed along Nukabira National Route (National Route 273), and is a base for sightseeing of Higashi-Daisetsu region, Daisetsuzan Natioanl Park (大雪山国立公園 東大雪地区), and there are 9 hot spring accommodations, restaurants, a shop, souvenir shops, footbaths, handbaths, Nukabiragensenkyo Ski Resort (ぬかびら源泉郷スキー場), Higashi-Daisetsu Nature Building (東大雪自然館), Kamishihoro Railway Museum (上士幌鉄道資料館), Higashi-Daisetsu Nature Guide Center (ひがし大雪自然ガイドセンター), Nukabira Campsite (国設ぬかびらキャンプ場). Unfortunately, there is not a convenience store. There are Concrete Arches of Former Shihorosen Railway (旧国鉄士幌線廃線跡コンクリートアーチ橋梁群) including Taushubetsu River Bridge (タウシュベツ川橋梁), Nukabira Dam, Forest Truck Railway Eco Rail (森のトロッコ・エコレール), Mikuni Pass (三国峠) and Naitai Highland Farm (ナイタイ高原牧場) around the Nukabira Onsen. Read More
In addition, a intercity bus, North Liner (ノースライナー号), runs between Obihiro and Asahikawa via the Nukabira Onsen. Unfortunately, nonstop buses do not run from New Chitose Airport and Sapporo to the Nukabira Onsen.
Daisetsuzan National Park
Daisetsuzan National Park (大雪山国立公園) in the center of Hokkaido is the largest national park in Japan, the size of 226,764 ha, and has been designed as the national park since 1934, and is the oldest national park in the Hokkaido along with Akan Mashu National Park (阿寒摩周国立公園). A mountain named Daisetsuzan does not exist, and the whole area including the mountains with over 2,000 m above sea level such as Mt. Asahidake (旭岳), the highest mountain in Hokkaido, Mt. Kurodake (黒岳), Mt. Aibestudake (愛別岳), Mt. Tomuraushi (トムラウシ山) is collectively called “Daisetsuzan”, and those are called “A roof of the Hokkaido” ,too. Rare nature such as active volcanoes, Lare Columnar joints, a sea of trees and permafrost even in the Hokkaido can be seen. About 250 types of alpine plants grow naturally, and various forms of life such as brown bear, blakiston’s fish owl, dolly varden and pine grosbeak inhabit here. By the way, A right notation is “Daisetsuzan”, but local people often call “Taisetsuzan”. Read More
Private Travel to Taushubetsu River Bridge
There are 3 ways in order to get close to the Taushubetsu River Bridge. One is to join the guided tour, and two is to walk, and the other is to go the bridge by a car or a motorcycle after borrowing a key for a gate of a forest road at Tokachi Seibu District Forest Office Higashi-taisetsu Branch (十勝西部森林管理署東大雪支署). In case of joing the guided tour, a lot of people book a paid guided tour offered by the Higashi-taisetsu Nature Guide Center at Nukabira Onsenkyo Culture Hall (ぬかびら源泉郷文化ホール), Nukabira Onsen. The guided tour is popular because rain boots are borrowed, and they drop and pick participants up, and useful information is got from a guide. In the case of walking, After cars or motor bicycles are parked near the gate of the forest road, it takes about 60 minutes on foot. But around here is a bear habitat, so walkers had better bring a bear bell and a bear spray. In case of a private travel, the easiest way is to borrow a key of the gate and a passport at the Tokachi Seibu District Forest Office Higashi-taisetsu Branch, and visitors can visit the Taushubetsu River Bridge by cars or motor bicycles. Their rules rules have been changed since April, 2022. The following article is text before changed rules.
I visited the Tokachi Seibu District Forest Office Higashi-taisetsu Branch to see the Taushubetsu River Bridge in early September because it is said that the bridge could collapse at the any time. Their business hour started in 08:30 a.m., so I came here at that time, and 3 people came to borrow a key, too. At the building, we received an explanation about notes and safety for 5-10 minutes from an office staff, and filled requirements in a document. Then we recieved a passport and a key. Visitors can ask a question, too. After we finished receiving the explanation, 3-4 people come to borrow those, so I had never know that a private travel to the Taushubetsu River Bridge is popular. The office staff seemed to have only about 15 keys, so you should come here in the early hours. In addition, they open a business only on weekdays, so you had better visit here on weekdays if you wanted to visit the Taushubetsu River Bridge on weekend. To people that drive their cars or motorcycles throught Nukabira Mitsumata Forest Road (糠平三股林道（タウシュベツ橋梁方面）の通行を希望される方へ).
A gate of the Nukabira Mitsumata Forest Road is near Maruyama Bridge (丸山橋) along National Route 273. Anglers park their cars near the gate, so those are mark. After opening a lock with the key, and visitors’ cars pass through the gate, and lock a padlock of the gate. Except people with the passport, no one is allowed to pass the gate. But some people without a passport came in front of the gate, so I had never know that a lot of people were interested in the Taushubetsu River Bridge. The distance from here to a parking lot is about 3.5 km. Drive safely because a gravel road to the bridge is narrow. * The width of the road is about one car size.
After parking my car at the parking lot, I changed into my rain boots, and brought a bear bell. If you do not wear rain boots, a scope for seeing the bridge is limited. If you want to see the Taushubetsu River Bridge in the various directions, you must corss rivers and walk on a marshland, so you had better bring your rain boots. The distance from the parking lot to the lakeside of the Lake Nukabira is about 200 m. A path to the lakeside gets muddy, and woods and stones are scattered on the path, so watch your step.
I reached the lakeside for about 3 minutes. The Lake Nukabira and Higashi-taisetsu Mountain Range could be viewed from a small hill of about 5 m height on that day. It was fine weather, and the lake was also calm, so I guess that it is the best time to see beautiful views. If there is not the Taushubetsu River Bridge, visitors can enjoy fully a beautiful scenery.
The Taushubetsu River Bridge near an exit of the path caught my eyes. That was famous bridge, and my heart was filled with even deeper emotion. About 30 tourists caught my eyes here and there, and a lot of people were in the bear habitat, so I was relieved because bears seemed to avoid human voice and sound. But a delicious smell of foods attracts brown bears, so visitors had better not eat foods here.
When I visited here on that day, the bridge sunk in the lake water on half of its height, so I decided to look around in the clockwise direction. Exposed rebar and decayed surface of the concrete made me feel a long time. The concrete has repeated submergence and weathering for about 80 years, so it becomes breakable. Ropes were put around the bridge, and I understood that it was dangerous to get close the bridge. Of course, Going up the bridge is ban. The width of the bridge is about 3 m, and I wonder if the railway was on the bridge, and an old locomotive engineer was frightened by the height of the bridge.
Very calm water lake looked like a mirror, and 11 circles were formed. That was very impressive.
Some footprints paths were on the hillside, and visitors had to walk through a marshland if they walked along the paths. Some tourists without rain boots gave up going ahead. In addition, 2 small rivers flew into the lake, and visotrs had to cross the rivers on foot. A tourist that happened to be there told me “Poles with pink plastic tape in the rivers refer relatively shallow water depth, so you had better cross around there”. When I put my legs in the rivers, the depth of the water was about 20-25 cm, and the river water did not barely enter my rain boots. A motorcycle rider that happened to received explanations at the Tokachi Seibu District Forest Office Higashi-taisetsu Branch together with me did not wear rain boots, but he crossed the rivers with using driftwoods as a bridge. He is very athletic.
After passing the marshland, visitors could come to the opposite of the bridge. A good view can also be seen from here. I think that this side is suitable for seeing the Taushubetsu River Bridge and the Higashi-taisetsu Mountain Range. Beside, a majestic scenery can be seen.
It took about 2 hours to look around in the clockwise direction. Slopes of hillside were hard to walk, and I sometimes slipped down. Walking distance was short, but I sweated very much, so you had better bring a change of underclothes. I dropped at the Nukabira Onsen, and took a bath, then I backed to the Tokachi Seibu District Forest Office Higashi-taisetsu Branch, and returned the passport and the key. It is not very hard to visit the Taushubetsu River Bridge, but only limited people can visit the bridge, so can feel special and non daily life, and I am satisfied with the private travel to the Taushubetsu River Bridge.
|Admission fee||Free of charge|
|Parking lot||Free parking is provided (10 Cars)|
|Regular closing day||Open all year round|
|Home page||Home page is here|
|Mapcode||679 578 756*15|
List of Accommodations
Refer to following websites for the accommodations around the Lake Nukabira. You can get information regarding online reviews and photos.
A page of Lake Nukabira is here
A page of Daisetsuzan National Park is here
Daisetsuzan National Park
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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