• May 16th, 2014
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[Tomakomai] Mt. Tarumae and Tarumae Garo Gorge Can Be Enjoyed in Mountain Side and Seafood Can Be Savored in Sea Side


Tomakomai (苫小牧) that about 170,000 people live along Pacific Ocean is the fourth largest industrial city in Hokkaido, and is located in the central part of the Hokkaido. There are Oji Paper factory (王子製紙), petrochemical complexes and Tomato-Atsuma Thermal Power Plant, the largest thermal power plant in the Hokkaido. As for a climate, it is warmer than other places in Hokkaido in a summer or in a winter, and it features that the Tomakomai has less snow than other placess in the Hokkaido. Therefore skating as one of famous winter sports is prosperous, so ASIA LEAGUE ICE HOCKEY Team “Oji Eagles” is based in the Tomakomai. Because the Tomakomai is close to New Chitose Airport, and Tomakomai Ferry terminal is built, so the Tomakomai has traffic convenience.

Tomakomai from Mt. Tarumae
Tomakomai Town
Road to Oji Papper

Movie of Tomakomai Factories Night View

On the other hand, the Tomakomai has rich nature, too. There are a lot of lakes such as Lake Utonai (ウトナイ湖) and Nishiki Onuma Park (錦大沼公園) because Tomakomai have been damp ground since long ago originally, and Tarumae Garo Gorge (樽前ガロー) is famous for having mystery beautifulness. Speaking of a symbol of the Tomakomai, that is Mt. Tarumae (樽前山). Schools in the Tomakomai always seem to go on an excursion to the Mt. Tarumae. The Tomakomai faces the sea, so marine products are abundant, and is proud of the best catch of surf clam in Japan in particular, and recipes using the surf clam including seared surf clam meal, rice and curry with the surf clam (ホッキカレー) are invented one after another.

Tarumae Garo Gorge
Jizo Swamp That Many Cats Live
Tomakomai Fishing Port and Marutoma Shokudo

Popular Manga “A Town Where Only I am Missing (僕だけがいない街)” uses the Tomakomai as a part of the setting, and Anime, Movie and Drama are produced, too. So visiting the real-life locations is popular. In addition, the Tomakomai Eastern Industrial Park (苫小牧東部工業地域) was used as a shooting place for Japanese movie “The Floating Castle (のぼうの城)” that Mr. Mansai Nomura (野村萬斎) played the leading character in 2012. At last, In the Tomakomai, onsen can be enjoyed at Auto Resort Tomakomai Arten “Yunomi (ゆのみ)”, Honoka (ほのか) and Nagomi-no-Yu (なごみの湯).

Movie of Anime “A Town Where Only I am Missing”

Movie of Japaese Movie “The Floating Castle”

Express Tomakomai-go (高速とまこまい号) or Hascup-go (ハスカップ号), express buses, run between Sapporo and the Tomakomai. Besides, Rent-a-car can be rented around Tomakomai Station.

    List of Means of Transportation

    Highway buses run between the Tomakomai and the Sapporo. Refer to following the means of the transportation in the Tomakomai. As for car rental comparison websites, you can compare vehicle rental prices on 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).

    Chuo Bus / Donan Bus(中央バス・道南バス) From Sapporo to Tomakomai
    Chuo Bus / Donan Bus(中央バス・道南バス) From Tomakomai to Sapporo
    Nippon Rent-a-car(ニッポンレンタカー) Their office is in Yanagi-cho.
    Times Car Rental(タイムズカーレンタル) Their offices are near the Tomakomai Station and Tomakomai Ferry Terminal.
    Toyota Rental Lease(トヨタレンタリース) Their offices are in Shinkai-cho and near Tomakomai Station.
    Station Rent-a-car(駅レンタカー) Their office is near the Tomakomai Station.
    Nico Nico Rent-a-car(ニコニコレンタカー) Their office is near Numanohata Station.
    Ones Rent-a-car(ワンズレンタカー) Their office is in Ipponmatsu-cho and near the Tomakomai Ferry Terminal.

    List of Nature Tourist Attractions

    The Tomakomai has rich nature. There are the Mt. Tarumae, an active volcano, and the Tarumae Garo Gorge that a river flows into old lava-stream in the northwest part of Tomakomai city. There is the Lake Utonai that a lot of wild birds come to rest their wings and Benten-numa Swamp (弁天沼) in the eastern part of the Tomakomai city. In addition, there is the Nishiki Onuma Park as a citizen’s relaxing place in the western part of Tomakomai city, too. My visited places are as follows.

    Jizo-numa Swamp Is Famous as Fishing Hera-crucian (へらぶな)
    Jizo-numa Swamp

    Lake Utonai

    Lake Utonai (ウトナイ湖) between National Route 36 and railway is a freshwater lake in the northeastern part of Tomakomai city. The Utonai means “A place that small streams gather” in Ainu language. The lake is located in the northwestern part of Yufutsu Plain (勇払原野), and the perimeter of the lake is about 9.5 km. The maximum water depth is 1.5 m, so it is not large. The lake is well-known for beeing designed as the first bird sanctuary in Japan by Wild Bird Society of Japan in 1981, and More than 260 kinds of waterfowls such as Whooper Swan and Whistling Swan inhabit, and the lake is called “Paradise for Wild Birds”. In addition, 500 kinds of plants such as Quercus Crispula and Haskap grow, and 3,900 kinds of insecta inhabit. It is called “Natural Treasury”, too. The lake has rich nature, and has been designed as the Ramsar Convention since 1991. Tens of thousands wild gooses fly home to roost or fly away the roost in March, and the view is popular. Read More

    View from 2nd Floor of Lake Utonai Sanctuary Nature Center
    Lake Utonai in Tomakomai

    Tarumae Garo Gorge

    Tarumae Garo Gorge (樽前ガロー) is a gorge in the western part of Tomakomai city. Garo means “A river flows between steep cliffs” in Tohoku dialect. The cliff face of volcanic ash deposition erupted by Mt. Tarumae (樽前山) was eroded by snowmelt, and banks turned into the steep cliffs with about 5-6 m in height because of a flowing river. This place is one of few moss gorge with fantastic views together with Moss Cave (苔の洞門) and Moss Corridor (苔の回廊), and different atmospheres such as fresh green, fall foliage and snow scenery can be enjoyed depending on seasons. A conbination of the flowing river and mossy rocks is very beautiful, and a lor of photographers come. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge. But there is no facility, and is only nature. Read More

    Down Stream
    Tomakomai, Tarumae Garo Gorge

    Mt. Tarumae

    Mt. Tarumae (樽前山) is an active volcano at an altitude of 1,041 m in the northwestern part of Tomakomai city, and is well-known as a symbol of the Tomakomai. In Shikotsu-Toya National Park, the mountain adjoins Mt. Fushidake in the southwestern part of Lake Shikotsu, and is one of 3 major mountain around the Lake Shikotsu together with the Mt. Fushidake and Mt. Eniwadake. Volcanic activity has begined since about 9,000 years ago, and a lave dome called Tarumae Lave Dome (樽前ドーム) was born on the mountaintop when it erupted in 1909. The lave dome has been designed as the Hokkaido Natural Monument since 1967 because of new lave dome. The mountain is well-known for a triple volcano together with Mt. Hakone and Mt. Asama, too, and it is said that it is a rare volcano in the world. A parking lot is free of charge. Read More

    Mt. Nishiyama and Lava Dome
    Mt. Tarumae in Tomakomai

    Nishiki Onuma Park

    Nishiki Onuma Park is located in the western part of Tomakomai city. The park with rich nature has Lake Nishiki Onuma (錦大沼) with the about 3.5 km perimeter is and Lake Nishiki Konuma (錦小沼) with about 1.6 km perimeter, and walks are built around the shore. In addition, there are a public restroom and a rock garden and an automobile camping ground. Visitorss can enjoy fishing Japanese pond smelt in a winter. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge.

    Nishiki Onuma Park
    Nishiki Onuma Park

    Atmosphere of Nishiki Onuma Park Can Be Watched on Youtube

    Movie of Nishiki Onuma Park

    Admission fee Free of charge
    Parking lot Free parking is provided (157 Cars)
    Business hours Open 24 hours
    Regular closing day Open all year round
    Telephone number +81-144-32-6500
    Home page Home page is here

    List of Tasty Foods

    Tomakomai has abundant fresh marine products. A lot of dishes using raw ingredients are served, too, but that is not all. There is Aji-no-Daio Total Head Office (味の大王総本家) that is said to be an originator of curry ramen (カレーラーメン) and is Okra and Natto Spaghetti (オクラ納豆スパゲッティ) loved by Tomakomai citizen, and there are a lot of interesting and tasty local specialty foods. Ryotei Okuni (料亭於久仁) got one star in MICHELIN GUIDE Hokkaido. In addition, Kaoru Tsukemen Sobana (香るつけ蕎麦 蕎麦花), Marutoma Shokudo (マルトマ食堂), Aji-no-Gojuban (味の五十番), Barbecue Park Broiler (バーベキューパーク・ブロイラー), Ajidokoro Teppei (味処てっ平), Ramen Jomon (ラーメン縄文) and Conveyor Belt Sushi Shunraku (回転寿司 旬楽) are popular in particular. My visited restaurants are as follows.


    Because famous Aji-no-Daio Total Head office is well-known for the curry ramen, ordinary people may think that the town is famous for the curry ramen. However, that is not all. Each ramen restaurants serve tasty Tomakomai ramen with the original seasoning. I visited the Aji-no-Daio Total Head office, the Jomon, the Aji-no-Gojuban (味の五十番) and Aji-no-Ichiryu (味の一龍).

    Aji-no-Daio Tomakomai Head Office

    Aji-no-Daio Tomakomai head office (味の大王総本店) is a popular ramen restraunt in Uenae, Tomakomai city. There is a building near Lake Utonai. It is founded in 1965 and is known as an ancestor ramen restraunt that has begun to cook curry ramen in Hokkaido. Originally it was founded in Iwamizawa and was divided into Tomakomai and Muroran. Aji-no-Daio Muroran is famous, too, but it has no capital ties. Read More


    Curry Ramen
    Curry Ramen - Aji-no-Daio Tomakomai Head Office in Tomakomai -


    Aji-no-Gojuban (味の五十番) is a long-established ramen restraunt in Futaba-cho, Tomakomai city. A couple manages the restraunt and have been cooking ramen for nearly 30 years. It is known as a ramen with the tasty light taste. Because an electronic-the word of mouth was high, I visited here around 11:00 on weekdays. The restraunt opened at 11:00. I was the firstcomer. The ramen restraunt had an atomosphere such as a typical ramen restraunt. There were some tables, so family customers seem to enjoy. Read More

    Rich Taste Salt Broth Ramen with Fried Bean Sprouts
    Rich Taste Salt Ramen with Fried Bean Sprouts -Aji no Gojuban in Tomakomai-

    Ramen Jomon

    Ramen Jomon (らーめん縄文) is a popular ramen restaurant in Shinkai-cho, Tomakomai city, and was founded in 2001. Rich type ramen was famous, but I heard from my friend that Jomon had plain type ramen, and I visited here around 17:00 on weekdays. The ramen restraunt was large and had an atomosphere such as a stylish ramen restraunt. there were some tables, so family customers seem to enjoy. But lines will be often expected. Read More

    Light Salty Taste
    Wakashio Ramen -Jomon in Tomakomai-


    Aji-no-Ichiryu (味の一龍) is a famous ramen restraunt in Shirakaba-cho, Tomakomai city, and was founded in 1983. Jumobo roasted pork fillet ramen (ジャンボチャーシュー麺) is famous and many large serving lovers come. I visited here around 17:00 on weekdays. The restraunt was small but cozy and there was 1 group of visitor. This restraunt have tables and family customers seem to enjoy, too. In addtion, many manga books were arranged on a bookshelf, and visitor can read the manga books freely. I sat a counter seat and read a menu. I had no motivation to eat a large serving of ramen and ordered surf clam ramen (ホッキラーメン) using the surf clam that specialty product of Tomakomai. The price was JPY 980. Read More

    Surf Clam Ramen
    Surf Clam Ramen -Aji-no-Ichiryu in Tomakomai-


    Fresh fishery products are unloaded at Tomakomai fishing port, and tasty seafood are undeniable facts. Dishes using surf clam are famous in particular. I visited the Marutoma Shokudo, Miuraya (三浦や) and Chako (茶湖).

    Marutoma Shokudo

    Marutoma Shokudo (マルトマ食堂) is a famous restaurant in Tomakomai city, and was founded in 1970. There is a prosperity restaurant at a wholesale market near a fishing port. Visitors seem to line up at lunchtime. The appearance of a building is old, but I was overwhelmed on cards for autographs at the restraunt. I saw it was very popular restaurant after all. Read More

    Boiled Surf Clam Rice Bowl
    Boiled Surf Clam Rice Bowl -Marutoma Shokudo in Tomakomai-


    Miuraya (三浦や) is a restaurant in Tomakomai city. There is a building near Shimin Bunka park. This restaurant is famous that local people visit frequently. Because I heard from my friend that dishes were very reasonable, so I visited here. Read More

    Seafood Rice Bowl with Surf Clam
    Seafood Rice Bowl with Surf Clam -Miuraya in Tomakomai-

    Ramen Chako

    Ramen Chako (ラーメン茶湖) is a popular ramen restraunt at the Purattominato market (ぷらっとみなと市場) in Minato-machi, Tomakomai city, and has a history of over 20 years. They moved to the Purattominato market in 2009. It was known for tasty ramen, and surf clam curry and rice (ホッキカレーライス) seemed to be tasty, too, so I visited here around 7:00 a.m. on weekdays. Chako will be good at a dish of the surf clam, because Tomakomai is the largest catch of the surf clam in Japan. Read More

    Surf Clam Curry and Rice
    Surf Clam Curry and Rice -Chako in Tomakomai-

    Breaded Pork Cutlet

    Tonkatsu Ajidokoro Teppei (とんかつ味処てっ平) is a famous breaded pork cutlet restaurant in Otowa-cho, Tomakomai city, and was founded in 1974. Tomakomai citizen have been loving the breaded pork cutlet long-established restaurant. They seem to be particular about various things. Because they place high importance on “Taste is good for the health”, they are particular about safe ingredients and handmade and choose pork, cooking oil, bread crumb, rice, soup broth and other ingredients carefully. They are particular about hot and fresh, too. Read More

    Tonkatsu Ajidokoro Teppei
    Breaded Pork Cutlet -Teppei in Tomakomai-

    Okra and Natto Spaghetti

    Petit Restaurant Brake (プチレストラン葡麗紅) is a long-established restaurant in Shinnakano-cho, Tomakomai city, and was founded in 1975. It and was loved by local people. There were a neighboring old man and housewives at the restraunt when I visited. They serve well‐known dish included kaicho steak (会長ステーキ), omelette with rice and hamburger steak, but I wanted to eat okra and natto spaghetti (オクラ納豆スパゲッティ) and visited here. Read More

    It Looks Tasty!
    Tomakomai, Okra and Natto Spaghetti -Brake-

    List of Sweets

    Speaking of the Tomakomai, Mitsuboshi (三星) is a representative of a confectionery. Yoitomake (ヨイトマケ) using blue honeysuckle jam is famous. In addition, sweets of Fleur Blanc (フルールブラン) and Aria have high reputation. My visited confectioneries are as follows.


    Mitsuboshi Head Office (三星本店) is a long-established confectionery company in Itoi, Tomakomai city, and was founded in Otaru in 1898. Mr. Michiyoshi Kobayashi (小林慶義), an uncle of Mr. Takiji Kobayashi (小林多喜二) who was a famous novelist, established the company and moved to Tomakomai in 1912. Haskap which is local speciality product in this region is used for Yoitomake, Yoitomake (よいとまけ) is representative sweets of Tomakomai. Read More

    Yoitomake of Mitsuboshi

    Fleur Blanc

    Fleur Blanc Head Office (フルールブラン本店) is a popular sweets bakery shop run by Shikisha (四季舎) in Tomakomai city. Originally Shikisha was a company dealt with a mail order, but they welcomed Mr. Yasuhiko Sato (佐藤康彦), famous patissier, to their company and produced sweets seriously. He won the grand prix in the first Sapporo sweets competition (第1回さっぽろスイーツコンペティション) with “Sapporo, Strawberry Tart (さっぽろ・いちごタルト)”. I was looking forward to eating their sweets. Read More

    Fleur Blanc’s Full of Fruits Tart
    Fleur Blanc

    List of Other Tourist Attractions

    Except the nature and the tasty foods, the Tomakomai Has some famous tourist attractions such as Midorigaoka Park Observatoion Tower (緑ヶ丘公園展望台), Ikoro-no-Mori (イコロの森), Northern Horse Park (ノーザンホースパーク) and Tomakomai City Science Museum (苫小牧市科学センター). My visited place is as follow.

    Jizo-numa Swamp
    Jizo-numa Swamp

    Midorigaoka Park Observatoion Tower

    Midorigaoka Park (緑ヶ丘公園) is a general athletic playground of 87.20 ha nearby Tmakomai City Hospital in the northern part of Tomakomai city, and is close to Tomakomai Station, too. There are recreational facilities, an athletic field, a tennis court, a baseball stadium and a park golf course, Kintaro Pond (金太郎の池), a barbecue house, Forest of Cherry Blossoms (桜の森) and Midorigaoka Park Mountaintop Greenery (緑ヶ丘公園頂上広場), and the park is famous as a relaxing place for Tomakomai people. In addition, the park is well-known for a good place to see cherry blossoms and one of few places to view the Tomakomai. About 800 cherry tree are planted at the park, and Midorigaoka Park Festival (緑ヶ丘公園まつり) is held in early May, too. By the way, Aji-no-Gojuban (味の五十番) that I ate a good ramen is relatively near here. Read More

    Midorigaoka Park Observation Tower
    Tomakomai Midorigaoka Park Observatory

      List of Activities

      In the Tomakomai, some activity companies serve guided hiking for the Mt. Tarumae, canoe tours along Bibi River and Glass Making Experience around the Lake Utonai. You can get information regarding online reviews and photos. By the way, visitors can contact with horses at Northern Horse Park (ノーザンホースパーク). In addition, the Utonaiko Sanctuary and the Utonaiko Wildlife Sanctuary and Visitor's Center hold some free events.

      Guided Hiking

      Movie of Guided Hiking

      Noasobi Guide Michikusa(野あそびガイドみちくさ)
      North Adventure Bandit(ノースアドベンチャー・バンディット)
      Hokkaido Private Adventure(北海道プライベートアドベェンチャー)

      Canoe Tour

      Movie of Canoe Tour

      Amuse Sports(アミューズスポーツ)
      Gateway Tours(ゲートウェイツアーズ)
      Uenae Village(自然体験工房うえなえ村)

      Glass Making Experience

      Uenae Village(自然体験工房うえなえ村)

      Horse Trekking

      Movie of Northern Horse Park

      NORTHERN HORSE PARK(ノーザンホースパーク)

      List of Accommodations

      Refer to following websites for the accommodations in the Tomakomai. You can get information regarding online reviews and photos.

        Smile Hotel Tomakomai(スマイルホテル苫小牧)
        Comfort Hotel Tomakomai(コンフォートホテル 苫小牧)
        Hotel Wing International Tomakomai(ホテルウィングインターナショナル苫小牧)
        Hotel Tomakomai Green Hills(ホテル苫小牧グリーンヒルズ)
        Hotel Route Inn Tomakomai(ホテルルートイン苫小牧駅前)
        Dormy Inn Tomakomai(ドーミーイン苫小牧)
        Toyoko Inn Tomakomai(東横イン苫小牧駅前)
        Hotel Sugita(ホテル杉田)
        Business Hotel Motonakano(ビジネスホテル モトナカノ)
        Grand Hotel New Oji(グランドホテル ニュー王子)
        Hotel Okuni(ホテル於久仁)
        Business Hotel Hachinohe(ビジネスホテルはちのへ)
        Oyado Hishokan(おやど 翔馬館)
        Hotel Nidom(ホテル ニドム)
        New Tomakomai Prince Hotel NAGOMI(新苫小牧プリンスホテル 和~なごみ~)
        Satake Ryokan(旅の我が家 佐竹旅館)
        Sawada Ryokan(さわだ旅館)
        HOTEL Stay Village(ホテルスティヴィレッジ)
        Business Inn Shinkai(ビジネスイン しんかい)
        Guest House Tsubaki(ゲストハウス ツバキ)
        Business Hotel Hamanasu-so(ビジネスホテル はまなす荘)
        Sakuraya Ryokan(桜屋旅館)
        Ryokan Kitakami-so(旅館・下宿 北上荘)
        Ryokan Konomi-so(旅館・下宿 このみ荘)
        Automobile Resort Tomakomai Arten(オートリゾート 苫小牧アルテン)

        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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