One of Japan’s snowiest and coldest towns, Horokanai (幌加内) is unremarkable destination for foreign tourists, however Japan’s largest artificial lake Shumarinai-ko offers fabulous lakescapes, as well as memorable activities.
Horokanai is also known as the country’s top soba (buckwheat) producing area. This town is easily accessible by JR Bus from Nayoro or Fukagawa stations.


Horotachi Ski Area (ほろたちスキー場) is about 2km west of Horokanai bus terminal (there are no public transport).



1min walk from Kohan bus stop (Jun-Aug) / 20min walk from Mitsumata bus stop

Something like a Scandinavian Lake District, Shumarinai-ko was created in 1943 by the building of Uryu Dai-ichi Dam when Japan had entered into a wartime, along with many sacrifices. This picturesque artificial lake was designed as a water-based prefectural natural park in 1974, consists a lot of bays, islands and peninsulas. The best way to experience the lake is to pack camping gear, rent a boat, fishing and spend a silent night.

Michi-no-eki Mori-to-Mizuumi-no-sato Horokanai (Seiwa Onsen Luonto)

道の駅森と湖の里ほろかない (政和温泉ルオント)

1min walk from Luonto-mae bus stop

This roadside station on Route 275, about 12km north of the town center, has a tranquil onsen with an open-air bath and a soba restaurant. There are also budget cabins (closed in winter). Seiwa Onsen is a trailhead of Santo-zan (三頭山), the Teshio Mountain’s second highest peak.

JR Shinmei Line Museum


2nd floor of Horokanai bus terminal

If you change buses at Horokanai on weekday, checking out this small railway museum for the JR Shinmei Line (disused in 1995: between Fukagawa and Nayoro) on the 2nd floor of the bus terminal. It displays old station signboards, uniforms, tickets and photos at that time.



Lake House Shumarinai


1min walk from Kohan bus stop (Jun-Aug) / 20min walk from Mitsumata bus stop

This relaxing lakeside place is a perfect base for activities on the lake and has 10 pleasant tatami-mat rooms. A comfy restaurant has a lake view, with soba and grilled dishes. There is also a public bath. Highly recommended to stay for a night.


Getting There


Horokanai is served by infrequent JR buses from JR Fukagawa Station (深川: 73min) and JR Nayoro Station (名寄: 2hr), stopping at Shumarinai (朱鞠内: 70min), Seiwa (政和) and Luonto-mae (ルオント前) . Japan and Hokkaido rail passes are available.

From June to August, two buses between Nayoro and Horokanai continuing to Kohan (湖畔) stop on the shore of Shumarinai-ko. If you travel to Shumarinai-ko by bus between October and May, get off the bus at Mitsumata (三股: three-forked road) stop, from where it is about a 1.5km walk to the shore.

Getting Around


Rent bikes (late Apr-late Oct) are available at the Michi-no-eki Mori-to-Mizuumi-no-sato Horokanai (道の駅森と湖の里ほろかない). You can explore scenic soba-batake (buckwheat fields) in Seiwa district, which turns white from mid July to mid August.


Horokanai Tourism Association
Inside Horokanai bus terminal.

Horokanai bus terminal

幌加内 | 호로카나이

Address:Horokanai, Horokanai-cho, Hokkaido

Distance:45km from Fukagawa