Central Hokkaido

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Central Hokkaido is the political and economic hub of this prefecture. The capital of Hokkaido, Sapporo, is located here as well as the port cities of Otaru and Muroran. The major airport of this prefecture is located in Chitose approximately 50 minutes by train from Sapporo. The area has beautiful parks, wildlife areas, ski & snow board mountains and large hot spring (“Onsen” ) areas.

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CENTRAL HOKKAIDO CITIES
- SAPPORO- Noboribetsu
- Otaru - Muroran

TOP SPOTS
  • かつない臨海公園 小樽市
    Katsunairinkai Park
    This is a small park in Otaru. It can be found right by Otaru Harbor and it overlooks Otaru Port. Being next the Shin Nihonkai Ferry terminal, you can get some great views of the ships coming in and all the vessels anchored in the harbor. The park itself has a few odd seafaring items located on the grounds.
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  • 境町通り
    Sakaimachi Street
    Otaru is a beautiful harbor town. It is one of those places that has managed to preserve a lot of its history. You can find many old buildings where you can take a stroll back in time here. Sakaimachi street is a hugely popular tourist spot for those who are visiting Otaru.
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  • 中山峠
    Nakayama Pass
    Nakayama Pass is also known as Nakayama Toge (toge meaning 'mountain pass' in Japanese). This mountain pass acts as a rest stop, shopping spot, restaurant, and sightseeing spot. The pass offers striking views of Mt. Yotei. Mt. Yotei being an active stratovolcano located in Shikotsu-Toya National Park.
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  • 洞爺湖芸術館
    Toyako Art Museum & Park
    Admission¥300 adults ¥200 high school students ¥100 children Free for Toyako townspeople Opening Hours10:30 - 16:30 ClosedMondays November to March Contact0142-87-2525 NotesLocal art gallery, parking available, wheelchair access Location / Getting ThereLocated on the northern side of Lake Toya. 3 …
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SIGHTSEEING GENERAL
  • Cape Erimo Lighthouse
    襟裳岬
    AdmissionFree Opening Hours- Closed- Contact- NotesParking available, sightseeing spot, wheelchair access Location / Getting ThereThe lighthouse is found on Cape Erimo. It is a 2 minute walk from `Erimo to Daiguchi bus stop`. From Sapporo, it is about a 4 hour drive down route 336, and then a right turn on to route 34 which Read More ....…
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  • Shohoji Temple
    照法寺本堂
    AdmissionFree Opening Hours- Contact014-633-2149 NotesBuddhist temple, parking, car needed Location / Getting ThereThe shrine is located on the south east coast of Hokkaido in ShinHidaka precinct. It's a 26 minute drive from the center of the town of ShinHidaka. It's also a 20 minute drive from Shizunai Onsen. 213 Mitsuishihoncho, Shinhidaka, Hidaka District, Hokkaido 059-3108 Read More ....…
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  • Mitsuishi-Jinja Shinto Shrine
    三石神社
    AdmissionFree Opening Hours- Contact0146-33-2611 NotesShinto shrine, parking available Location / Getting ThereThe shrine is located on the south east coast of Hokkaido in ShinHidaka precinct. It's a 25 minute drive from the center of the town of ShinHidaka. It's also an 18 minute drive from Shizunai Onsen. 302 Mitsuishihoncho, Shinhidaka, Hidaka District, Hokkaido 059-3108 Mitsuishi-Jinja Read More ....…
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  • Cape Erimo
    襟裳岬
    AdmissionFree Opening Hours- Closed- Contact011-582-0050 NotesSightseeing spot, seal watching, walking trails, parking available, photography spot Location / Getting ThereFrom Sapporo the cape is about a 4 hour drive down the south coast. There is also a return express bus from Sapporo station. JR Hokkaido Bus (High Speed) to Erimo, (reservation required until the day before Read More ....…
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  • Niikappu Mural & Rest Stop
    新冠壁画&休憩所
    AdmissionFree Opening Hours9:00 - 17:30 Bench Time Cafe 11:00 - 20:30 Yakiton Hidaka (Yakitori Restaurant) 11:00 - 21:00 Restaurant Yamasho (Chinese Restaurant) ClosedThursdays - Restaurant Yamasho Tuesdays - Bench Time Cafe Contact011-4647-3650 Bench Time Cafe 011-4647-2989 Yakiton Hidaka 011-4647-3369 Restaurant Yamasho NotesRest area, photography spot, land mark, parking available, 3 restaurants under mural Location / Read More ....…
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  • Hidaka Gate Lighthouse
    門別燈台
    On the southern coast of Hokkaido there is a beautiful coastal road that runs all the way down to the point of Erimo. Driving through the town of Hidaka, one of the local landmarks is the Hidaka Gate Lighthouse. All drivers will catch a glimpse of the lighthouse as they drive past. After its construction its first lighting was in 1970.
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  • Nishioka Park
    西岡公園
    Nishioka Park is located in the southern suburbs of Sapporo. The main feature of this huge park is the equally huge pond at its center. The water feature was originally constructed as a water supply facility for the former army (25th Infantry Regiment) in the Meiji era. Construction started in June 1891 with the blocking of the Tsukisamu River.
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  • Maeda Park
    前田森林公園
    Maeda Forest Park began construction in 1982 and was finally completed ten years later. This park has beautiful landscaping and paths to access, plus half the park is made of forest area. The main feature of the park is the long shallow canal that runs in line with a view of Mt. Teine on the horizon.
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  • Fukidashi Park
    ふきだし公園
    Fukidashi Park is a relaxing and beautiful park by Mt. Yotei. What makes this park so popular is the pristine waters that can be found flowing along its streams. The ice-cold waters flow down from Mt. Yotei and can be collected by visitors so be sure to bring some water bottles and containers to fill up!
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  • Odori Park
    大通公園
    Odori Park is the most famous park in Sapporo, if not Hokkaido. It runs through the heart of Sapporo and is home to the some of the biggest festivals throughout the year. The park runs for twelve blocks and separates the city into north and south. At the eastern most end you can find the iconic TV Tower which has great views overlooking the park.
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Sapporo
Odori Park

Odori Park

At the centre of the park

Originally constructed approximately 110 years ago as a fire barrier between the northern and southern ends of Sapporo city when all buildings were made of wood. It is about 100 meters wide, 13 blocks long and marks the center of the city. Odori is the host area of many of Sapporo’s events and festivals including the Yuki Matsuri, the Yasokoi Dance Festival and the Sapporo Beer Festival. (Event Calendar) In the summer months the parks is a mecca for tired office workers and the general public wanting to relax and soak up some sun during Hokkaido’s beautiful summer months. The park is changed seasonally and will be adorned in flowers and shrubs during the summer months and covered with lights during the winter months. Use Odori Subway Station exits numbers 3 and 4 to put yourself in the middle of the park. Top
Admission-
Opening HoursVarious events are held throughout the year.
ClosedParts of the park can be closed during construction phases of events.
Contact-
Getting ThereOdori, Chūō-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaidō 060-0042, Japan
Catch the subway to Oodori station. The park runs from the Sapporo TV Tower west for 13 blocks.


Otaru
Otaru Glassware

Otaru Glassware is also well known throughout Japan and has had a long history. The glassworks originally made lanterns and other products for the first settlers in the region however, as the town expanded and the herring industry sprang to life the focus was changed to making glass buoys. When the herring industry suffered its major decline in the late 1950s the glassworks began producing ornamental pieces for direct sale to consumers and tourists. Today Otaru’s glass industry is thriving and many beautiful pieces are on display for pleasure and sale. Some major glass works are the Kitaichi Glass works, the Otaru Unga Kogeikan, “The Glass Ship” Warehouse and the Kitaichi Venetian Art Museum. It is possible to “make your own” glass item in some of the glass works such as ‘The Glass Studio’ and the ‘Otaru Unga Kogeikan’. If you wish to make your own item it is best to make a reservation, especially in summer if you have many people in your group. Top

AdmissionMost glassworks are free entry.
To make your own glass item prices vary from about ¥500 to ¥2000.
Opening HoursMost shops are open 9 : 30 am to 6 pm (a little later in summer)
Closed-
ContactKitaichi Glassworks
0134 – 33 – 1993
The Glass Studio
0134 – 33 – 9390
Otaru Unga Kogei-kan
0134 – 29 – 1111
Notes-
Getting ThereMost Glassworks are located near the canal area along Ironai dori. From Otaru Station walk toward the bay. About 10 min.

Muroran
Dolphin and Whale Watching Tours

Hokkaido is one of the premier areas in Japan to go whale and dolphin watching. Muroran is well situated to view the whales on their annual migration through Volcano Bay. There are plenty of sightseeing boats available during the the summer months from about the end of April to the middle of August. Top

AdmissionTours for adults start at about ¥5000
Tours for minors start at about ¥2500
Opening Hours-
Closed-
Contact(0143) 27 – 1822
For information & reservations
Getting There-

Noboribetsu
Daiichi Takimotokan

With one of Japan’s largest bath complexes and the oldest hotel in the Noboribetsu area Daiichi Takimotokan is a hot spring lovers delight. Firstestablished in 1858, the complex now has more than half a dozen modern buildings. Contained within these buildings are various mineral pools, waterfalls, walking pools, cold pools, steam room, and a swimming pool with slide. There are seven different kinds of mineral pools and outdoor and indoor pools.Top

AdmissionHotel Guests Free of Charge
Non-Hotel Guests – ¥2 000
Opening HoursHotel Guests Open 24hrs.
Non-Hotel Guests – 9 am to 5 pm Daily
Closed-
Contact0143 – 84 – 3322
Getting There-