- August 23rd, 2014
[Wakkanai Park] Good Place to See Night View and Cherry Blossoms Is Famous for Hyosetsu-no-Mon Gate
Wakkanai Park (稚内公園) is a park in Wakkanai Peninsula located in the west part of Wakkanai city, and is well-known as a viewing place to command a panoramic view of the downtown and a port from a small hill. It has opened the park since 1954, and also is adjacent to Forest Park Campsite (森林公園キャンプ場). The park is relatively near Wakkanai Station, and the distance is about 2 km away, and also is close to Wakkanai North Breakwater Dome (北防波堤ドーム) and a ferry port. In addition, cherry blossoms are in full bloom in mid May. A night view is beautiful, too, and the park is certified one of 9 nature night-view heritage in Hokkaido by the Japan Night-view Heritage Office.
The Wakkanai Park is roughly divided into 2 areas, Hyosetsu-no-Mon Gate (氷雪の門) Area and 100th Year Memorial Tower Area (開基100年記念塔). A road to the Wakkanai Park is narrow, so drive carefully. A junction is in the middle of the hill, and it is hard to visit the 100th Year Memorial Tower if visitors will go to the Hyosetsu-no-Mon Gate. So you should see the 100th Year Memorial Tower first if you will visit 2 areas. By the way, the hill can be gone up by cars or bikes, or on foot.
As for tasty restaurants near here, Sushi Tatsu (寿司竜), Robata Yezo-no-Sato (炉端 蝦夷の里), Jinpachi (甚八), Vin (ヴァン), Kita-no-Ajigokoro Take-chan (北の味心竹ちゃん), Oden-no-Mise Oman (おでんの店 おまん) and Takaraya (たからや) have a good reputation. A direct bus does not run between Sapporo or New Chitose Airport and the Cape Noshappu. But an express bus Hamnasu-go (はまなす号) runs between the Sapporo and the Wakkanai.
Steak House Vin (ステーキハウス ヴァン) is a steak restaurant in Wakkanai city. There is a building near Wakkanai station. It is known as the steak restaurant located in the northmost in Japan and visitors can eat soya beef (宗谷牛) at the restraunt. They garnered one star in MICHELIN GUIDE Hokkaido 2012 Special Edition. Business hours are, from 18:00 to 20:00, very short. An owner and his wife are at an old age and seemed to shorten working hours. Read More
Takaraya (たからや) is a long-established ramen restraunt in Wakkanai city and was founded in 1966. There is a building near Wakkanai station. It is famous for getting the Bib Gourmand in MICHELIN GUIDE Hokkaido 2012 Special Edition. I visited here around 16:00 on weekdays. There was no visitor because it wss past lunchtime. The ramen restraunt was a typical ramen restraunt with a warmth of woods. There are some tables, so family customers seem to enjoy. Read More
Wakkanai (稚内) that about 35,000 people live is the 21th largest fishery city in Hokkaido, and was named after Yamuwakkanai that means "A river with cold water" in Ainu language. It is one of regional hub cities of the North Hokkaido area, and is the northernmost port town in Japan. A catch of Octopus Dofleini (ミズダコ) is the largest in the Japan. In addition, a lot of people run a dairy farm, and the Wakkanai is one of tasty milk‐producing distlict in the Hokkaido. My grandmother was from Keihoku (恵北) in the Wakkanai, and I remember that the milk was very tasty when I visited parents' house of my grandmother in the old days. As for climate, the Wakkanai faces the Sea of Japan and the Sea of Okhotsk, so a wind blows hard. Average annual temperature is 7 degrees, and it is chilly in a summer, and it does not relatively snow hard in a winter. Wakkanai Peninsula (稚内半島) is in the west side of the city, and Soya Peninsula (宗谷半島) is in the east side of the city, and the downtown is in the west side of the city. Various things is the northernmost in the Japan, for example, Japane's Northernmost Railway Monument (日本最北端の線路の碑) is built beside the Wakkanai Station, too. Read More
List of Wakkanai Park Tourist Attractions
There are the Hyosetsu-no-Mon Gate Area and the 100th Year Memorial Tower Area. My visited place is as follows.
Hyosetsu-no-Mon Gate Area
The visitors reach the Hyosetsu-no-Mon Gate Area when they turn right at the junction. It is at about 90 m above sea level, and the hill commands a fine view of the downtown. The Hyosetsu-no-Mon Gate, Monument of the Nine Maidens (九人の乙女の碑), Monument of Gyokokei (行幸啓記念碑), Monument of Education (教学の碑), Monument of Surveying (測量の碑) and Antarctica Expedition Sakhalin Husky Monument (南極観測樺太記念碑) are built at the area, and there are Hyosetsu-no-Mon Shop (氷雪の門売店) and a public restroom, too. A soft serve ice cream and a souvenir can be bought at the shop. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge.
The Hyosetsu-no-Mon Gate is a memorial monument for dead Japanese in Sakhalin Island, and Mr. Shin Hongo, a famous sculptor, created it in 1963. 8 m-height 2 pillars express a gate, and 2.4 m-height female sculpture expresses a sorrow and overcoming hardships.
The Antarctica Expedition Sakhalin Husky is the Sakhalin Husky to transport commodities in the Antarctica. Especially, Taro (タロ) and Jiro (ジロ) that appear in Japanese movie "Antarctica" is famous in the Japan. So it was built as a memorial monument of dead dogs in the Antarctica for their achievements. The sculptor is Mr. Kensei Kato, a famous sculptor. A sculptor model is Para-go (パラ号), Sakhalin Husky.
Atmosphere of Hyosetsu-no-Mon Monument Can Be Watched on Youtube
|Admission fee||Free of charge|
|Parking lot||Free parking is provided (50 Cars)|
|Business hours||Open 24 hours|
|Regular closing day||Open year all round|
|Home page||Home page is here|
|Mapcode||964 005 348*68|
100th Year Memorial Tower Area
The visitors reach the 100th Year Memorial Tower when they turn left at the junction. The 100th Year Memorial Tower, Northern Botanical Garden (北方植物園) and Bungei Path (文芸の小径) are built on the top of the hill at about 170 m above sea level. It is higher than the Hyosetsu-no-Mon Gate Area, and an observation deck is built on the ground, and a fine view is good, too. The 100th Year Memorial Tower with 80 m in height that was built in 1978 has an observation deck, and the downtown can viewed at more high place. Admission is JPY 400. Except the 100th Year Memorial Tower, others are free of charge. A parking lot is free of charge, too.
Atmosphere of 100th Year Memorial Tower Can Be Watched on Youtube
Movie of 100th Year Memorial Tower
|Admission fee||High school students or older: JPY 400, Elementary and junior high school students: JPY 200|
|Parking lot||Free parking is provided (100 Cars)|
|Regular closing day||11/01-04/28|
|Home page||Home page is here|
|Mapcode||353 875 691*70|
List of Accommodations
Refer to following websites for the accommodations in the Wakkanai. You can get information regarding online reviews and photos.
A page of Wakkanai is here
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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