- February 23rd, 2016
[Jewelry Ice in Toyokoro] Photogenic Nature Ice
Jewelry Ice is ice on Otsu Beach (大津海岸) in Toyokoro town located in the southeast part of Obihiro city, and was named by Mr. Hisashi Urashima (浦島久), a school principal of an english school, because it looked like a beautiful jewery. Water of Tokachi River is frozen, and river ice flows to the sea, and is washed ashore on the sandy beach at the mouth of the river. Here is well-known for a shooting place for a work of Mr. Mitsuhiko Kamata (鎌田光彦), a famous photographer. Clear ice polished by the waves is beautiful, so here becomes a popular shooting place. It was featured by the New York Times, and attracts the world's attention. This splendid scenery can be seen in a cold winter, about from mid January to early March.
At the Otsu Beach near Otsu Fishing Port (大津漁港), Jewelry Ice can be seen. Some free parking lots are provided at a residential area, and Jewelry House open a business only in the season, and visitors can take a rest and buy souvenirs. Temporary toilets are built there, too. Ki-chan Shokudo (きいちゃん食堂) that serves ramen is near here. But there are not a convenience store around here. The beach is relatively near Kobukariishi Lookout (昆布刈石展望台).
Kobukariishi Lookout (昆布刈石展望台) is a lookout point in Urahoro town located in the southeastern part of Obihiro city, and is near Ogon Falls (黄金の滝) and Otsu Coast (大津海岸) that is famous for Jewery Ice. The lookout is known as a good spot to see the spacious pacific ocean on cliffs at about 90 m elevation. A narrow graval road is built between National Route 336 (国道336号) and Hokkaido Road 1038 (北海道道1038号), and visitors can drive their cars along a coast, so it is a popular spot for tourist motorbike riders from all over Japan. A motorbike rider that I met at Horoyaknto Marsh (ホロカヤントー) recommended the Kobukariishi Lookout. Few people visit here, and here is a little-known spot, so visitors may have a splendid view all to themselves. But the shoulder of the road is soft, and the road is rough, so drive safely. At the Ogon Falls, a death from fall accident was occurred once. You had really better get drive safe. Admission free. A parking lot is not provided. Read More
It takes about 5 minutes from the parking lots to Shiomi Bridge (汐見橋), and the Jewelry Ice is on the sandy beach after crossing the bridge. But there is not the Jewelry Ice depending on weather or the wind direction, or there is the ice at other places, so Whether or not beautiful ice can be seen depends on luck and timing. By the way, cars with car number plates of Kyoto (京都), Nerima (練馬), and Kagoshima (鹿児島) were parked when I visited here. They came from various places of Japan. Because public transportation is not in service, visitors should come here by a rental car or an own car.
Tokachi Coast Wetlands Group
Tokachi Coast Wetlands Group (十勝海岸湖沼群) is a group of wetlands spreading over in the southeastern part of Tokachi District. I do not know exactly where the extent of the Tokachi Coast Wetlands Group is. It is said that Yudo Swamp (湧洞沼), Choubushi Swamp (長節沼), Oikamanai Swamp (生花苗沼), Horokayanto Swamp (ホロカヤント沼), Kimontou Swamp (キモントウ沼), Kimontou-konuma Swamp (キモントウ小沼) and Touen Wetland (当縁湿原) are between Toyokoro town and Taiki town. The group of the wetlands has been chosen as one of 500 Important Wetlands in Japan (日本の重要湿地500), and is a site proposed for the Ramsar Convention Wetland, so people say that it is a paradise for wild flowers and wild birds. About 200 types of the wild birds are observed here. I also encountered Japanese cranes. Because those wetlands do not become tourist attractions, it is said that the group of the wetlands is a little-known spot that tourists can enjoy nature calmly. Therefore, those places are not accessible by public transportations unfortunately. Read More
Drift Ice Spots and Drift Ice Cruise
In Japan, Drift ice appears only from January to March, and can be enjoyed only along the Sea of Okhotsk and a part of Pacific Ocean. The sea is covered with the drift ice from the shoreline of Monbetsu to Shiretoko Peninsula, and it is amazing view! It may be said that you must see the amazing view once. Hokkaido has 3 towns called "Monbetsu", Monbetsu (紋別) along the sea of the Okhotsk, Date Monbetsu (伊達紋別) along the Pacific Ocean and Monbetsu (門別) along the Pacific Ocean. In those Monbetsu, a place to view the drift ice is the Monbetsu (紋別) along the sea of the Okhotsk, and the Monbetsu, Abashiri (網走), Koshimizu (小清水), Shari (斜里) and Rausu (羅臼) have some drift ice spots. Tourists can enjoy the drift ice on the shore, and also enjoy it as the drift ice cruise on the sea. Unfortunately, global warming cause decreasing the drift ice recently, but you may see wild animals such as Earless Seal and Steller's Sea-eagle on the drift ice if you are lucky. Read More
Jewelry Ice on Ostu Beach
I visited here around 05:30 on weekdays. Temperature of this day was 13 degrees below zero, and it was very cold because it was fine weather that day. So you had better wear a warm outfit. The various shaped and sized Jewelry Ice was scattered here and there, and it was very beautiful surely. A lot of the visitors had photographic equipments, and they seemed to come to take a fantastic picture. This scenery is worth seeing. I understand that they want to come to see the view such a long way.
When the morning sun begined to rise around 06:10, the atomosphere was changed completely. The Jewelry Ice truned into orange color, and the morning sun looked beautifull. Frost smoke was occured on that day, and it had a very fantastic atmosphere. An early morning is recommended if you visit here.
Atmosphere of Jewelry Ice Can Be Watched on Youtube
|Entrance fee to the bath facility||Free of charge|
|Business hours||Open 24 hours|
|Regular closing day||Open all year round|
|Home page||Home page is here|
|Mapcode||511 078 144*18|
List of Activities
Some activity companies provide a guided tour. Refer to following websites for the activity companies. You can get information regarding online reviews and photos.
Jewelry Ice Guided Tour
List of Accommodations
Refer to following websites for the accommodations around the Otsu Coast. You can get information regarding online reviews and photos.
A page of Tokachi Beach Wetlands Group is here
Tokachi Beach Wetlands Group
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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Japanese Travel Agency
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