Destinations

Bibai Travel | Things to Do

Sometimes called ‘Beautiful Songs Town’ or ‘Viva Bibai!’ (a light joke), Bibai was once Hokkaido’s second largest coal mining city sits halfway between Sapporo and Asahikawa. In the 1950s, about 90,000 people lived here, but the underground coal mine was closed in 1973. Today the city is putting effort into agriculture and tourism.



Bibai | 美唄


ATTRACTIONS

01 HISTORIC BUILDING & ART

Arte Piazza Bibai

アルテピアッツァ美唄 Sakae-machi, Ochiai-cho 9am–5pm Closed Tue Free www.artepiazza.jp

The photogenic sculpture park of Arte Piazza, about 5km east of the city center, is located inside an old wooden elementary school built in the colliery-era. It exhibits the work of Bibai-born, Italy-based famous sculptor Yasuda Kan in the classrooms and open-air grounds setting. Take the municipal bus east line (美唄市民バス東線) from JR Bibai Station (20–30min ● ¥230).


02 ONSEN

Pipa-no-yu Yurin-kan

ピパの湯ゆ〜りん館 Tel 0126-64-3800 3 Tomei-cho Day bathing 7am–10pm ¥650 yu-rinkan.com

The Yurin-kan features a cave-like open-air bath with rural views. It has a modern hotel, restaurant (11.30am–2pm & 5–8pm) and park golf courses (¥500). Municipal buses run from JR Bibai Station (15min ● ¥230).


03 CHERRY-BLOSSOM VIEWING

Tomei Park

東明公園 ● Tomei-cho 24hrs

If you have a chance to visit Bibai in early to mid May, stretch your legs to this great cherry-blossom viewing spot near the Yurin-kan. There is an observation tower and a hilltop viewpoint. It is a 1.5km northwest of the Arte Piazza.


04 YAKITORI

Tatsumi

たつみ Tel 0126-63-4589 ● S1W1 (南1西1) 11am–9pm Closed Tue ● Takeout

Bibai yakitori (美唄焼き鳥 ● skewered grilled chicken) is a local speciality since the colliery-era. Tatsumi serves motsu-kushi (もつ串 ● various meat of yakitori) and motsu-soba (もつそば ● soba with two yakitori). Take-away is available.


05 MARSH & BIRDWATCHING

Miyajima-numa

宮島沼 ● Omagari, Nishi-Bibai-cho, Bibai-shi ● 24hrs (Birdwatching timing: mid Apr– late Apr & late Sep–mid Oct) ● www.city.bibai.hokkaido.jp/miyajimanuma

About 3.5km east of Tsukigata across Ishikari-gawa, the 30-hectare circular marsh of Miyajima-numa is Japan’s northernmost and largest nesting site for white-fronted geese. Approximately 50 thousand birds come here in mid to late April and late September to mid October, optimal birdwatching timing is dawn or dusk. The Waterbird and Wetland Center (9am–5pm ● Closed Mon ● Free) with displays and maps.
From Iwamizawa bus terminal, take a Tsukigata-bound Chuo Bus to Otomi (大富), and then a 15-minute walk to the marsh. There are no useful regular buses from Bibai.



Bibai’s

SUGGESTED ITINERARY

TIME TO EXPLORE Half-day

BEST TIME Year-round except Tuesday. If you have a chance, try to visit Tomei Park’s cherry-blossom season (early to mid May).

10:00 Sapporo Station

▽ Limited express Lilac 11 for Asahikawa

10:36 | 10:40 Bibai Station

▽ Bibai Municipal Bus East Line via Asahi-dori (美唄市民バス東線旭通り先回り) ● ¥230

☞ If you miss the bus departing at 10:40, take the next bus (via Tomei-dori: 東明通り先回り) for the Arte Piazza departing at 10:45. The journey time is 33 minutes.

11:01 | 12:06 ☆ Arte Piazza Bibai

▽ Bibai Municipal Bus East Line via Asahi-dori (美唄市民バス東線旭通り先回り) ● ¥230

12:17 | 14:02 ♨︎ Yurin-kan

☞ Tomei Park is a 5-minute walk from here.

▽ Bibai Municipal Bus East Line (美唄市民バス東線旭通り先回り) ● ¥230

14:15 Shiritsu Byoin (市立病院)

▽ 1min walk

14:16Tatsumi

▽ 5min walk

15:15 Bibai Station

▶︎ Bibai Station 15:20 ··· Limited express train Kamui 28 ··· Sapporo Station 15:55

▶︎ Bibai Station 15:36 ···Limited express train Lilac 23 ··· Asahikawa Station 16:25


GETTING THERE

All Asahikawa-bound limited express trains on the JR Hakodate Line from Sapporo stop at Bibai (35min). There are also local trains from Iwamizawa (15min) and Asahikawa (1hr 20min).


REFERENCE

Bibai Tourism Association (美唄観光物産協会): bibai-kanko.com



LINK THIS TRAVEL

Iwamizawa Sorachi region’s transport hub is a good base of visit the old coal mine towns and Miyajima-numa.


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