The northernmost city of the Ishikari Plain (and Sorachi Region) that has a nickname Rice Land, Fukagawa is a jumping-off point for Rumoi, Hokuryu, Horokanai and Shumarinai-ko. The city has a variety of orchards, cycle paths, trails and soba restaurants.
Highlights Totoro Pass, Kunimi Pass
Tourist Information & Bike Rentals Fukagawa Tourist Information Center (深川観光案内所): Inside JR Fukagawa Station / 10am-5pm (Bike rentals 10am-4pm Apr-Oct) / www.city.fukagawa.lg.jp/kankou/mobile
01 ART GALLERY
Art Hall Toshukan
アートホール東州館 / 2nd floor of Fukagawa Keizai Center, 1-19-19 Fukagawa / 10am-6pm / Closed Mon / FREE
If you just wait for a train or bus, stop by this gallery on the 2nd floor of the keizai center (深川経済センター) building, immediately to the left as you exit to JR Fukagawa Station. It has a collection of local-born calligrapher Ogawa Toshu and oil painter Matsushima Masayuki.
02 ROADSIDE STATION
Michi-no-eki Riceland Fukagawa
道の駅ライスランドふかがわ / 59-7 Hirosato / 9am-7pm, to 5pm Nov-Mar / mypage.fukanavi.com/riceland
Drop in this popular michi-no-eki (roadside station) at the crossroads of Route 12 and Route 233. It has an excellent speciality shop, cafe, restaurant, bento (boxed lunch) shop and tourist information office. There is also a 24-hour convenience store 7-Eleven.
03 SCENIC VIEWPOINT
国見公園 / 122 Kunimi
About 1.7km east of Otoe Post Office (音江郵便局), this modest park sits on the scenic Kunimi Pass (国見峠: at 154m) on former Route 12, with good views over the rice fields and Ishikari-gawa.
04 ONSEN & SLEEPING
Agri Studio Maabu
アグリ工房まあぶ / 600 Otoe / 9am-10pm / Day bathing ¥500 / mypage.fukanavi.com/ag_mabu
This hillside onsen complex is a good place to rest during a cycling, with open-air baths. There is also a restaurant.
05 SCENIC VIEWPOINT
戸外炉峠 / Totoro-toge
This scenic hillside pass overlooking the city is the same name as a Studio Ghibli’s famous movie My Neighbor Totoro, with a cat bus (!).
Countryside Cycling in Fukagawa
DISTANCE 15.3km | DURATION 3.5 HOURS | TIMING LATE APR – LATE OCT
START: Fukagawa Station
↓ 3.5km (18min) by bike
02 Michi-no-eki Riceland Fukagawa
↓ 2.5km (20min) by bike
03 Kunimi Park
↓ 2km (25min) by bike
05 Totoro Pass
↓ 1.3km (10min) by bike
04 Agri Studio Maabu
↓ 6km (30min) by bike
FINISH: Fukagawa Station
BUS: From JR Fukagawa Station, JR Bus depart for Horokanai (7 daily / 70min) continue to Nayoro via Shumarinai.
From Fukagawa Shiritsu Byoin (深川市立病院) city hospital (about 800m south of the train station), highway buses run to Sapporo (4 daily / 2hrs). There are local buses for Hokuryu Onsen (7 daily / 35min).