Places You Can’t Miss in Tokachi, Hokkaido – HOKKAIDO LOVE!

Autumn foliage at Fukuhara-Sanso Lodge

Year upon year, visitors flock the grounds of the Fukuhara-Sanso Lodge to the site’s stunning autumn foliage!
Many believe that the sharper the contrast between an area’s daytime and nighttime temperatures, the more beautiful the autumn colors will be. As such, located in Shikaoi Town to the north-East of Obihiro, the breathtaking beauty of Fukuhara-Sanso’s autumn leaves may be considered a result of the regions’ climate, which sees the temperatures plummet as day turns to night.
Although the 85,000-meter square grounds of Fukuhara-Sanso Lodge is in fact privately owned land, it’s possible to enter the area for free around mid-September to mid-October when the autumn leaves are at their peak. During this time, the grounds become filled with the dazzling autumn colors of thousands of Japanese Maple trees whose fallen leaves cover the ground in a carpet of red.
Be sure to check out the “Pond of Sculptures”, which is gorgeous in the autumn, when the red and yellow leaves reflect vividly in the water’s surface.

The autumn leaves tend to peak during the first half of October. The period in which you can see the leaves vary slightly according to the year’s weather conditions.
Mid-September to mid-October. The dates for 2020 are scheduled as 19th September to 18th October.
9 am – 4 pm
Shikaoi, Kato-gun, Hokkaido
1 hour 20 minutes by car from Obihiro Airport, 1 hour by car from Obihiro Station

The view of white birch trees at Tokachi Farm

Just outside of Obihiro City in the neighboring town of Otofuke you will find Tokachi Bokujo, a farm which focuses on the breeding of cows, sheep and horses. The research carried out at the farm makes important contributions to the improvement of farming methods both within Hokkaido and across the country. Open to the public, visitors are welcome to enter the farm and explore its beautiful natural grounds, which has also been a filming location for many films and movies.
Of particular note is the stunning row of white birch trees that line both sides of the road leading from the highway into the farm grounds. These trees make for a gorgeous sight at any time of the year, from the lush green foliage in the summer months to the autumn leaves which glow a flame-like yellow. In winter, the white tree trunks appear to almost blend into their snow-covered surroundings, creating a peaceful and still atmosphere.
Further into the farm, you can find an observation deck, which offers excellent panoramic views of the surrounding areaーyou’ll even be able to spot the distant Tokachi Mountain Range in the north!

From stand number 4 at Obihiro Station bus terminal catch the Hokkaido Takushoku Bus to “Shirakaba Namiki-mae”. Journey time is approximately 37 minutes.
*There’s no shelter around the white birch trees, so please make sure to dress warmly when visiting during the colder months.

Kofuku Station, or “Happiness Station”

Kofuku (“Happiness”) Station (幸福駅), is so-named due to its location in Kofuku-cho in Obihiro City. Kofuku Station once served as one of the stops on Hokkaido’s now disused Former National Railway Hiroo Line.
Located just a few stops down the line is Aikoku (“Country of Love”) Station (愛国駅). The slogan “To happiness from the country of love” was coined from the close proximity of the two stations, eventually leading to the stations becoming known across the whole of Japan. Even after the line went out of commission in February of 1987, the area continued to gain in popularity as a sightseeing spot for couples.
Upon entering Kofuku Station’s former waiting room, you’ll be amazed by the sheer quantity of bright pink tickets that line the walls and ceiling of the little hut. Many visitors to the station write their wishes on the pink tickets and pin them to the walls in the hopes that they will come true. The tickets sold as gifts bearing the catchphrase “To happiness from the country of love” are not only good luck charms but are also stamped with the date, making it the perfect keepsake of your visit!
On the platform stand two old-fashioned train carriages that once ran along the decommissioned Hiroo line. Today, one carriage is used as a display room and the other has been preserved for visitors to enter and experience the nostalgic atmosphere.
When you visit Obihiro, why not stop off at Kofuku Station to make a wish!

At the Obihiro Station bus terminal, board the train heading towards “Hiroo” at stand number 11. Get off at “Kofukuji” stop and walk for 5 minutes to Kofuku station. The bus journey from Obihiro to Kofuku takes approximately 50 minutes.


The best pork rice bowl at “Butadon no Butahage”

Originated in Tokachi’s Obihiro City, butadon is a rice bowl topped with thickly cut slices of pork that’s flavored with a sweet and sour sauce.
“Butadon no Butahage” is the sister shop of “Obihiro Hageten”, which has been serving butadon since 1934! The secret recipe for the tare sauce used in Butahage’s butadon has never been changed, ever since the delicious menu was first invented. The type of pork used is “Kamikomi” pork, which is grilled at a high heat of around 850°C. The freshly grilled meat, dripping with fat, is sweet and succulent.
The thickly sliced pork is rich in fat and soft in texture, and the slightly sweet undertones of the meat are perfectly offset when coated in the richly flavored sauce. The result is a butadon so tasty that both locals and visitors want to keep coming back for more!
Butahage’s Obihiro main store is conveniently located directly next to Obihiro Station, so if you visit Obihiro be sure to check it out!

JR Obihiro Station Esta Obihiro West Building
10 AM~8 PM Closed: Third Wednesday of the Month

Naitai Highland Farm, the largest public farm in Japan

Naitai Highland Farm, located in the town of Kamishihoro in Hokkaido’s Tokachi region, sprawls out across 1700 hectares of land making it the largest farm that’s open to the public in Japan.
“Naitai” means “deep valley” in the language of Ainu, the indigenous people of Hokkaido. On the farm grounds, there are about 2000 cows roaming freely and grazing at their pleasure. A cafe called “Naitai Terrace” opened in the summer of 2019, standing at the highest point of the farm and offering beautiful panoramic views. Here you can enjoy meals made from local produce as you watch cows grazing in the wide-open fields below. The café’s viewing platform offers magnificent views of the whole of the Tokachi Plains, and on a clear day, you can even see as far as the Akan mountains. This is one spot you absolutely must not miss when you visit the Tokachi region!

128-5 Kamiotofuke, Kamishihoro, Kato-gun, Hokkaido
2020 Period of Operation: 29th April – 1st November
Naitai Highland Farm: 7 am – 6 pm (June – September  7 am – 7 pm)
Naitai Terrace: 9 am – 5 pm