If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and head to the great nature of Hokkaido, look to the east of the Japan’s grandest prefecture. Designed to start at Tokachi-Obihiro Airport and end at Memanbetsu Airport
, we have compiled a list of eight activities in the most iconic locations of Eastern Hokkaido. Bringing you to the great plains of Tokachi, the mystical Lake Akan and the unspoiled nature of Shiretoko, this course will be sure to satisfy all your adventurous instincts and bring you closer to nature.
A farm picnic experience in the fields of Tokachi
Farm picnic for family
Our first stop takes us to the great plains of Tokachi, known as the breadbasket of Hokkaido. Here, we recommend a special tour where a guide will bring you to places you cannot usually enter. This way, you can enjoy the extraordinary scenery all the while learning everything about all the local food. Finally, the tour includes a true farm-to-table experience, allowing you savor the harvest on-site. Of course, your guide is a local, here to explain everything about the region on behalf of Tokachi’s farmers.
Tokachi Farm Equipment History Museum
61 Kawanishicho Baseline, Obihiro-shi, Hokkaido
(Adjacent to Tokachi Taiheigen Exchange Center)
A secluded time in Hokkaido’s great nature
Next, we head for a relaxing time in nature at Feriendorf a glamping (glamourous camping) resort surrounded by forests in Nakasatsunai Village, Tokachi, Hokkaido. The road that brings you to facility is known throughout Hokkaido as one that “goes on forever, in a field that stretches forever” and is thus symbolic of Tokachi. At the end of the road is Feriendorf, which is lined with many German-style cottages. Only 15 minutes by car from Tokachi-Obihiro Airport
, this massive site aims to introduce the unusual, an experience that simply cannot be found in the city. “Ferien” is German for “vacation” and Dorf is “village”. As the name suggests, it is a village that is fit for vacationing to the fullest.
Minamitokiwa Higashi 4 Line, Nakasatsunai Village, Kasai District, Hokkaido
name suggests, it is a village that is fit for vacationing to the fullest.
Minamitokiwa Higashi 4 Line, Nakasatsunai Village, Kasai District, Hokkaido
A premium tour of a forest that is anything but ordinary.
Hikari no Mori
“Hikari no Mori” (literally the forest of radiance) is a place that is normally restricted to the public, and only accessible if accompanied by a designated guide from the Meada Ippoen Foundation and for educational purposes – and this is exactly what we recommend you do! Protected by the efforts of the local Maeda Ippoen Foundation, this rich forest is almost mysterious in nature, with fascinating flora,fauna and histry for you to enjoy. You get the idea: this forest is anything but ordinary, and if you are lucky, you can even see the rare Black Woodpecker, a bird designated a national natural monument in Japan.
4-6-10 Akanko Onsen, Akan-cho, Kushiro-shi, Hokkaido
Delve into the world of the Ainu at Lake Akan
Akan Yukar Lost Kamui
A fascinating performance featuring an amalgamation of ancient and modern dance, and accented through digital art. At Lake Akan,there is a Kotan (literally settlement) where the indigenous inhabitants of Hokkaido, the Ainu live. Here, you can do a deep dive into their culture, and we recommend starting by taking in a performance of the Ainu forms of dancing. The newly installed Ainu Theater “Ikoro”, which has added some modern flair to this old art form, is one big reason why. From March 2019, they have launched a new performance called “Lost Kamui”
, featuring digital art as well as state-of-the-art sound design to bring the dance performance to life in a new way. Bringing together creators who are pioneers in their field to combine dance both old and new in a three-dimensional stage featuring five projectors to display the digital art, this is truly a performance to stimulate your senses.
Lake Akan / Akan River Fishing Tour
Our final stop at Lake Akan is something you might not have expected. Yes, we are going fly fishing. Lake Akan is famous for its marimo
habitat and untouched nature. However, it is also a hot spot for many anglers due to being an absolute treasure trove of trout. Indeed, once the season starts on May 1st, the region attracts both fly and lure fishing enthusiasts from near and far. Even beginners can try their hand at landing a nice haul and have been known to catch rainbow trout or kokanee salmon. Be aware however that Hokkaido has designated the area a catch and release zone!
Cyanne, Akan-cho, Kushiro-shi, Hokkaido / Bokke, Kushiro-shi, Hokkaido (on the shore of Lake Akan)
Shiretoko Five Lakes Walk
A guided walk of the five lakes region in Shiretoko
The famous five lakes region in the Shiretoko Peninsula is one of those can’t miss spots in Eastern, and we believe they are best enjoyed while being guided by an expert. The region has two main attractions. First is the magnificent view of the Shiretoko mountain range from the lake’s observatory. Take special care to notice how the mountains and virgin forest are reflected on the mirrorlike surface of the lakes. The second is Shiretoko itself, a highly dense habitat of unique wildlife, which you will be able to see up close on the walk. In the forest near the lakes, you will be sure to see a trace of the “local inhabitants”, with deer or brown bear traces present throughout (you might even get to meet them in person!). Your guide will use such markers to bring you closer to the unique ecology of the region, allowing you to get a deeper understanding of the region and bring you closer to nature.
549 Ubetsu, Onnebetsumura, Shari-cho, Shari-gun, Hokkaido
Shiretoko Rausuno play field
Another glamping experience – this time in Shiretoko
At the Shiretoko Rausu Noasobi Field, you can have an extraordinary glamping experience close to the World Natural Heritage Site that is the Shiretoko. While relaxing in one of the four tent sites, you can truly feel nearby Kunashiri Island, the mountains of Shiretoko in the distance, the sight of wild animals living in their natural habitat as well as the activities of the friendly Rausu townspeople. Switch off while reading a book, stare into the starry sky while listening to your favorites tunes or indulge into the delicious local delicacies. At this truly unique, open-air field you will be one with nature, coexisting with animals while you enjoy some of the most memorable moments of your trip.
Rebuncho, Rausu-cho, Menashi-gun, Hokkaido
Shiretoko Peninsula Small Boat Cruise
A view of Shiretoko you can only get from the sea
Finally, we head to the seas to get a new perspective on the Shiretoko peninsula. The now world-renowned nature of the region has been shaped over thousands of years through waves rushing against the many cliffs, forming the magnificent mountain range that acts as one of the symbols of Shiretoko. With that in mind, it only makes sense to enjoy this natural spectacle from the sea. The tour will also bring you straight to the natural habitats of brown bears and white-tailed eagles, cruising along the peninsula aiming for unknown sights. Indeed, the popular Shiretoko Cape Cruise is a three-hour long endeavor that aims to bring visitors to the most inaccessible spots, guaranteeing a view of the unspoiled nature. The skilled staff on board will use their experience to guarantee a brown bear sighting, with the annual sighting rate reaching about 97%. Since many of the boats have open-air decks, you will be truly able to feel the nature, with the wind in your face while enjoying the tour. A truly spectacular way to end the trip!