Obihiro Shrine

Opening Hours9:00 - 17:00
Location /
Getting There
The shrine is a 24 minute walk north from Obihiro station, or a 7 minute drive by car. Obihiro Shrine is right by Obihiro river, and is accessed via route 38. East 2 South 2.
From Obihiro Station Bus Terminal Station No.8, take the Tokachi bus (No.7) on the 'Water Line Higashi 13' (Obihiro City). From the General Promotion Bureau stop it's a 2 minute walk.
〒080-0803 Hokkaido, Obihiro, Higashi 3 Jominami, 2 Chome, 1

In 1881, a man named Benzo Yoda and others from Shizuoka Prefecture organized a pioneer group called the “Bansei-sha”. This group  and settled inShimo-Obihiro Village and started pioneering. During this time, they started holding festivals and later built a small shrine, though the connection with the current Obihiro Shrine is still not well known. In March 1909, a town meeting was held and five members decided to relocate and build the Obihiro Shrine. Over the past hundred years, this shrine has developed, been renovated and welcomed thousands of worshippers.

The shrine is located by the Obihiro River and although the buses don’t run that often, it is in a walkable distance. Once inside the grounds, there are many things to see besides the main shrine. There are numerous shrines and buildings. The area is also rich in greenery and the land was designated as an environmental green space protection area in Hokkaido in 1974. The grounds are also home to many small animals and wild birds such as Ezo squirrels, chipmunks, red-cockaded woodpeckers, and starlings to name a few. This area has some statues and is a good spot for photos. At the shrine, you can buy souvenirs and charms to take home. Throughout the year there are many festivals held. For more detail see below. 

1st and 15th of every monthPrayers for the safety of the Imperial Family, peace for the nation, and peace for the Urahoro worshippers.
January 1New Years Day. Prayer for the safety of the Imperial Family, peace for the nation, and a good harvest for the year.
January 15The burning of old Shinto prayer cards and charms. Prayer for good health. On the day before the first day of spring, there is the purification the evil spirits.
The doors of the main shrine are opened to offer thanks to the Milk God and prayer for spring.
June 30 Grand purification ceremony and Nagoshi-no-harai (summer purification). A Shinto ritual to purge the sins and impurities of the past six months and pray for good health.
AugustOn the evening before the last Sunday of the month, There is the summer portable shrine procession festival (Mikoshi & Yoimiya Festival). The portable shrine is purified the night before the main festival, and the gods are notified that the big festival will be held tomorrow.
On the last Sunday of the month, the portable shrine will be paraded through the town to pray for the safety of each family and the prosperity of each company.
September 20Autumn Grand Festival Prayers and dedication events are held for the Ujigami (local deity), which has been handed down from the pioneers. The doors of the main shrine are opened to offer thanks to the Goddess of Milk and pray for the autumn. The god of the land and the god of agriculture are invited to give thanks for the year's harvest and to pray for the safety.
Prayers are offered to the gods for the healthy growth of children who are three, five, and seven years old.
Prayers are offered for the harvest and labor to the gods of the 24 shrines in Urahoro Town.
December 31New Year's Eve Purification Ceremony and Nightfall Festival is held to purify the sins and impurities of the year from the body and soul using dolls, and to pray for good health in the New Year.
December 30 to January 5The shrine grounds are illuminated.

Nusamai Park

Opening Hours24 hours
NotesSmall park area, sightseeing spot, children playground, toilets
Location /
Getting There
The square is located in central Kushiro. It is just off the main road, Kitadori 113, and right by the Nusamai Bridge. It is a 15 minute walk, south from Kushiro station.
1 Nusamaicho, Kushiro, Hokkaido 085-0836

This park in Kushiro can be found overlooking the city and is a quiet and peaceful spot to enjoy. In this small park, among the flowers and trees, you can also find the Takeshirō Matsuura Ezo Expedition Statue. Takeshirō Matsuura was a Japanese explorer, cartographer, writer, painter, priest, and antiquarian. Born in 1818 he was an important figure in the development of Hokkaido. He was instrumental in the naming of the island and many of its places and is often referred to as the “Godparent of Hokkaido”. This statue is in the center of the park and overlooks the city.

To get to the park, you need to pass over the the popular Nusamai Bridge. There is a path that winds its way up past the round about and up a flight of steps. The design of this path is really nice and has a distinct European feel to it. This gives the area a beautiful atmosphere. Once at the top, there are nice views. The sunset here is particularly nice. This park has play equipment for kids and benches to sit. For such a small park, this area is quite a nice spot to visit and is recommended in the late afternoon. 

Cape Erimo

Opening Hours-
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. 

Nishioka Park

Opening Hours9:00 - 17:00
NotesSightseeing spot, bird watching, walking trails, parking available, walking spot, jogging spot, picnic area, photography spot
Location /
Getting There
From "Sumikawa Station" on the Namboku Subway Line, take the Chuo Bus Nishioka Loop Line [Sumi 73] or [Sumi 74]. Get off at "Nishioka Sugenike".
It is a 28 minute drive from central Sapporo.
487 Nishioka, Toyohira Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido 062-0039

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. It wasn’t until 1977 that the land and reserve became Nishioka Park. This waterside park is famous for flora and fauna. A great spot for bird watchers and nature lovers. Take a stroll along the raised paths over the marshlands where you can observe abundant mammals, wild birds, dragonflies, and the fireflies (which come out late July).

The park has a few different areas to wander around in. At the top of the park, there is an observation deck and community center. In this area you can find pine trees and cherry blossoms during the spring. Following the paths, they all lead down to the water. The path crosses over running streams, and grass areas for those who want to sit and have a picnic. There is also a camping ground here! The iconic structure overlooking the pond is the small intake tower. Hexagon in shape, this wooden tower is a nice photo opportunity. 

Maeda Park

Opening HoursOpen 24 hours

NotesSightseeing spot, parking available, walking spot, jogging spot, park golf, baseball ground & football ground available to rent, picnic area, cherry blossoms, photography spot
Location /
Getting There
Get off at 'Kita 24jo Station' on the Namboku Subway Line. At Kita 24jo Bus Terminal No. 1, take the Chuo Bus Kita 72 bound for Maeda Forest Park and get off at Maeda Forest Park Entrance. For those driving, it is 30 minute drive north from Sapporo Station. Take route 125 and head north.
591-4 Teinemaeda, Teine Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido 006-0829

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. The canal is 600 metres in length and 15 metres wide, and is lined with 240 Poplar trees. The views from the observation lounge are really amazing so be sure to bring your camera. The design of this area in particular has a very European ambience and photos could easily be mistaken as a foreign postcard from distant lands. 

The canal is the perfect backdrop to go running, jogging, or even for a stroll. You can enjoy the four seasons. The summer activities, the cherry blossoms in spring, and the beautiful changing leaves in the autumn. The park has numerous paths and spaces that can be used recreationally. The soccer field, baseball ground can be hired out (contact through the website), plus there is a park golf course as well. During the warmer seasons there are numerous flowers and fauna that can be observed, including lilacs and wisteria. You can make a day of it as well by making use of the BBQ area. In the winter, there is a large hill for sledding and snowboarding. Maeda Forest Park is one of the best parks to visit in Sapporo!

Fukidashi Park

Opening HoursOpen 24 hours
NotesSightseeing spot, parking available, fresh water spring, cherry blossoms, picnic area, jogging spot, restaurants at park, bathrooms, children play area, photography spot
Location /
Getting There
Fukidashi Park is on the western side of Mt. Yotei. It is between the districts of Kutchan and Kimobetsu and is a 90 minute drive from Sapporo. Take Route 276, and turn right onto route 784.
45 Kawanishi, Kyogoku Town, Abuta District, Hokkaido 044-0131

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! Containers can be bought at the park. The water is channelled by various wooden outlets and tourists and locals alike line up to get access to the spring water (this park can get very crowded). There are numerous tree lined paths and wooden walkways to gain access and invite visitors to enjoy the tranquility. Moss covered stones and pleasant streams makes it feel like a scene from a fantasy movie. 

The entrance and parking is at the top of the park. Here, there is lush grasslands, and a play area for the kids. During the spring, you can find beautiful cherry blossoms here. There is also a large log cabin from the parking lot which serves as a souvenir store and restaurant. Following the numerous winding paths you can find a nice grove with stone effigies among the trees. Down the bottom, at the water collection point, there is a small lake plus a restaurant to enjoy a lunch overlooking the streams. Fukidashi Park is gorgeous in all seasons and the water here is crisp and fresh, so be sure to take some home with you!

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