Cape Erimo Lighthouse

襟裳岬
AdmissionFree
Opening Hours-
Closed-
Contact-
NotesParking available, sightseeing spot, wheelchair access
Location /
Getting There
The 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 is about 10 minutes from the cape.
367 Toyo, Erimo, Horoizumi District, Hokkaido 058-0343

Cape Erimo Lighthouse is a large white lighthouse that can be found overlooking the tip of Cape Erimo. The lighthouse was first lit in the Meiji Era on June 25, 1889. It was destroyed during a bombing raid on July 15, 1945 during World War II. It was then rebuilt on February 3, 1950 and continues to light the coast to this day. It was also selected as one of the best fifty lighthouses in Japan. Cape Erimo is a rugged and windy coastal area that is famous for its strong winds and fog. 

In this area, the warm and cold currents collide offshore, and sea fog is generated for about 100 days a year. You can often see the fog rolling in from the ocean. The lighthouse is a beacon for fishing boats and cargo ships sailing through the choppy waters around the cape. The lighthouse stands at 13.7 meters, and is 73.3 meters up from the sea level. The light reaches out 22.5 nautical miles, which is about 41 kilometers. There is a lot to see on Cape Erimo and is a must stop if driving through the area. 

Shohoji Temple

照法寺本堂
AdmissionFree
Opening Hours-
Contact014-633-2149
NotesBuddhist temple, parking, car needed
Location /
Getting There
The 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

Shohoji Temple is a quite a large Buddhist temple in a small town in the Shinhidaka area. It has a large main shrine with a few outer buildings creating a nice courtyard. It is in this courtyard there are numerous small gardens. These gardens and rock gardens are well cared for and have a distinct Japanese quality to them. There are some beautiful flowers that are in bloom throughout the warmer months. It is also in this courtyard you can find a small parking area. 

Among the small gardens you can find many of the statues that are common at Buddhist temples. These statues are draped in red cloth and many often are wearing red bibs. These bibs are meant as a protection for young children not only in this world but for the next. Shohoji Temple is not a bad place to stop and grab some photos. The area the temple in is small with a couple of small restaurants close by. 

Mitsuishi-Jinja Shinto Shrine

三石神社
AdmissionFree
Opening Hours-
Contact0146-33-2611
NotesShinto shrine, parking available
Location /
Getting There
The 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 Shinto shrine is a shinto shrine and is located in the Shin Hidaka district.  The shrine was founded by the first pioneers who also built the town over 150 years ago. These pioneers were lead by the Kobayashiya Hanjiro who was the head of the Kobayashi family. On December 27, 1883, the shrine building rotted and the borders of the precincts expanded so the shrine location was moved. In 1981 there was a landslide and the shrine collapsed. It was rebuilt in October 1985 to the present day.

The shrine is just off the main road of route 235. The shrine is a pleasant town and is part of the long coastal road which is great to drive along. There is no real access for those taking public transport. The closest station was the Hidaka Mistuishi Station, though unfortunately this has now permanently closed. The shrine is a nice spot to walk around. It not large by any standards but it is in a nice area. There are some steps which lead to the the main shrine that has a view over the ocean. This shrines parishioners includes 781 households. 

Odaka Shrine

AdmissionFree
Opening Hours-
Contact-
NotesNo parking, car needed
Location /
Getting There
The shrine is located on the south east coast of Hokkaido. If heading east from Shizunai it is a 7 minute drive from the centre of town. in the south east of Hokkaido.
147 Shizunaimauta, Shinhidaka, Hidaka District, Hokkaido 056-0011

If you are taking a trip down the south coast of Hokkaido you can enjoy some stunning views from the coastal road. Along the long route 235 you will pass through many small towns. Each town is home to at least one or two shrines. About seven minutes past the quaint town of Shizunzi, you can see find Odaka Shrine. The shrine has no parking but there is a small side street past the small shrine if need be so you can park, get out and stretch your legs. The shrine is up in the hills and looks down over the Pacific Ocean.

This small shrine has a grass path that leads to its base. It can get overgrown and offers a wild look to the place. The cool thing about Odaka Shrine is that to get to the shrine itself, you need to pass under three ‘torii’. Torii being the gates placed at the front of a shrine. These gates are usually painted red if they are painted at all. Once at the top of the grass path, you can get some nice views over the ocean. Behind the shrine itself is a steep mountain cliff. This is a nice little spot to visit.  

Kotohira-Jinja Shinto Shrine

AdmissionFree
Opening Hours-
Contact014 642-1459
NotesShinto shrine
Location /
Getting There
The shrine is located on the coast of Hidaka in the south east of Hokkaido. The shrine is only really accessible by car. It is a 5 minute drive east from the town of Shizunai.
72 Higashishizunai, Shinhidaka, Hidaka District, Hokkaido 059-2561

Kotohira-Jinja Shinto Shrine was first built during the first year of the Ansei era. The Ansei era spanned for six years from November 1854 through to March 1860. It was listed as a village shrine in the 9th year of the Meiji era in 1876, and the name was changed to its current name in 1952. This area and shrine was visited by Matsuura Takeshirō. He was a famous Japanese explorer, cartographer, writer, painter, priest, and antiquarian. In the early Meiji period he was an official in the Hokkaidō Development Commission. On the grounds you can find numerous monuments and statues that are historical sites. 

The shrine can be found on the left hand side (if coming from Sapporo), along route 235. This long and winding road follows the coastline all the way down to Cape Erimo. The shrine is noticeable from its numerous tori gates which lead back to the shrine itself. There is a small drive way area for parking. The grounds are nice to walk around. You can get the nice ocean breeze as well. The deity for this shrine is Emperor Sujin. His reign was from 97BC to 30BC. This is one of the many shrines that line this long coastal road.

Cape Erimo

襟裳岬
AdmissionFree
Opening Hours-
Closed-
Contact011-582-0050
NotesSightseeing spot, seal watching, walking trails, parking available, photography spot
Location /
Getting There
From 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 departure).
*JR Sapporo Station 16:30 departure-Erimo 20:30 arrival
*Erimo 5:30 departure-JR Sapporo Station 9:30 arrival
Erimomisaki, Erimo, Horoizumi District, Hokkaido 058-0342

Cape Erimo is located on the south eastern point of Hokkaido. It is a fantastic place to visit and is famous for the ocean winds.  Cape Erimo is one of the strongest wind regions in Japan. There are more than 260 days a year of winds blowing at speeds of 10 meters per second or more. With the waves crashing below and the scattered rocks trailing off to the horizon makes for a great sightseeing spot, and an equally good photography spot. For wildlife lovers, there is a seal colony which can be observed through a telescope and an abundance of sea birds circling the cliffs.

There is a walking trail down to the bottom of the cliffs. Here you can see Erimo Shrine which was built in 1814 to enshrine the god of food and safety. Also, down by the shrine you can observe the fisherman who collect seaweed from the beautiful, deep blue waters. It is possible to take a tour on one of the boats. Other points of interest include the Cape Erimo Lighthouse plus the observation deck and wind museum. Near the large parking area, you can find a souvenir store and a seafood restaurant. This is a fantastic place to wander the paths and enjoy the mist and sea air. 

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