The northernmost city of the Ishikari Plain that has a nickname Rice Land, Fukagawa is a jumping-off point for Rumoi, Horokanai and Hokuryu. The city has a variety of orchards, cycle paths, trails and soba restaurants.


BOOK YOUR STAY ONLINE

Sleeping in Fukagawa

Fukagawa has a spread of budget ryokan near the train station. Sudomari (素泊まり: room rate without meals) is roughly estimated at ¥3500. The hillside onsen complex Agri Kobo Ma-bu is a good place to rest after a hike. There are eight cottages (for 8 people) and rental bikes at the adjoining campsite for automobiles.

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PLAN YOUR OWN TOUR

Fukagawa at a Glance

  • START: Fukagawa Station (Around 10am)

  • FINISH: Fukagawa Station (Around 2pm)

  • DISTANCE: 13km

  • DURATION: 4 hours

  • BEST TIME: May to October



START

Fukagawa Station

All limited express trains connects Fukagawa with Sapporo (1hr) and Asahikawa (20min) on the JR Hakodate Line. Local trains run from Iwamizawa (1hr), Asahikawa (25min) and Rumoi (1hr).

At first, rent an electric bike (電動アシスト自転車) at JR Fukagawa Station Tourist Information Center (10am-5pm Apr-Oct / three e-bikes / ¥1000 for a day).

NEXT: From the train station, take on Route 233 south out of the city center for 3.5km, passing through Ishikari-gawa.


TAKE A BREAK: 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.

NEXT: Get on the uphill Prefectural Road 79 and follow the sign to Totoro Pass, for about 3.5km.


DETOUR: SCENIC VIEWPOINT

Kunimi Park

国見公園 / 122 Kunimi

About 1.7km east of Otoe Post Office (音江郵便局) halfway between the michi-no-eki and Totoro Pass, 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.



SCENIC VIEWPOINT

Totoro Pass

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 (!).

NEXT: Head back and down the slope to the Agri Studio Maabu, for 1.4km.


LUNCH & HOT SPRING

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.

NEXT: Head back to JR Fukagawa Station, for 5.7km. You can stopover the michi-no-eki Riceland Fukagawa again.


FINISH

Fukagawa Station

From JR Fukagawa Station, you can continue traveling to Sapporo, Asahikawa or Rumoi by train. There are also JR buses to Horokanai.


IF YOU HAVE TIME…

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.