Destinations

Mikasa Travel | Things to Do

Japan’s second smallest city by population (8000), however Mikasa holds some of the first-in-Hokkaido: a fledged underground coal mine (1879), railway line (1882), telephone service (1883), water supplies (1888) and a roadside station (1993). The area is known for both its fossil-rich mountains and the birth place of Hokkai Bon-uta (folk song for coal miners).



Mikasa | 三笠


ATTRACTIONS

01 COAL MINE HERITAGE

Old Ponbetsu Coal Mine

旧奔別炭鉱 ● 260 Ponbetsu-cho ● Not open to the public

Old Ponbetsu Coal Mine sits 51m-tall and 735m-depth mining pithead (built in 1960) with a 100m-long coal hopper. This coal mine was closed in 1971 and not open to the public today. You can see it from outside the premises.


02 LOCAL HISTORY

Mikasa City Museum

三笠市立博物館 ● 1-212-1 Ikushunbetsu-cho ● 9am-5pm ● Closed Mon, holiday Dec–Mar ● ¥450 ● www.city.mikasa.hokkaido.jp/museum/

This museum has a wide range of ammonite collection, history of coal mines and Sorachi shujikan (prison). From the museum, a 40-minute return footpath (Closed in winter) runs on the former forest railway track, with old coal mines and geological sites.


03 OLD TRAIN STATION

Crawford Park

クロフォード公園 ● 971-1 Hon-cho ● 24hrs

This park is the site of old Mikasa railway station (旧三笠駅) scrapped in 1987, with several vintage trains. In old days, the rail tracks head east to Ikushunbetsu and head south to Horonai. You have about a 15-minute to explore in the park.


04 LOCAL ART

Mikasa Modern Art Museum

ミカサ · モダンアートミュージアム ● 3-3-58 Horonai-cho ● 1–5pm weekday, from 9am Sat & Sun 16 Apr–15 Oct ● Closed Mon ● Free

In an old Horonai junior high school (旧幌内中学校 ● built in 1983), former classrooms and a gymnasium are now houses works by local artists. It is about 800m west of Mikasa Railway Museum on a hill overlooking the old mining town. It is a short walk from Horonai 3 (幌内3丁目) bus stop.



05 RAILWAY HISTORY

Mikasa Railway Museum

三笠鉄道村 ● Mikasa Tetsudo-mura ● 2-287 Horonai-cho ● 9am–5pm 16 Apr–15 Oct ● Closed Mon ● Free (Memorial Museum ¥530) ● www.s-304.com

Located in old Horonai Station (幌内駅 ● 1882–1987), this open-air railway museum has about 30 historic carriages including coaches, diesel cars and freight trains. In addition to a 600m-return steam locomotive train runs every 30 minutes on weekend.
The little red brick memorial museum (¥530) exhibits on Hokkaido’s railway history, geolamas and model trains. It is about 3km southeast of the city center.
On weekend (Sat, Sun, holiday and event day), this museum operates a shokudo in an old dining car that serves ramen.


06 COAL MINE HERITAGE

Old Horonai Coal Mine Natural Park

幌内炭鉱景観自然公園 ● Horonai-Honsawa-cho ● 24hrs

This isolated natural park is the historic heritage site of Horonai Coal Mine (幌内炭鉱), Hokkaido’s first fledged coal mine (1879–1988). You will find 20 remnants such as a preparation plant, thickener, transformer substation and tunnels, deep in the valley. Watch out for brown bears.


07 HIKING

Mikasa Footpath

三笠フットパス ● 9.4km ● 2.5 hours ● www.sorachi.pref.hokkaido.lg.jp/ts/tss/soracchi/file/mikasa_foot.pdf

From the Mikasa Shimin Kaikan bus stop, a 9.4km-long hillside footpath follows the prisoner’s cemetery of Sennin-zuka Historical Park (千人塚史跡公園), lovely vineyards and farms. Tappu-yama (達布山 ● 144m) is the highest point on this route overlooking the Ishikari Plain.


08 ROADSIDE STATION & ONSEN

Michi-no-eki Mikasa

道の駅三笠 ● 1056-1 Okayama ● 8.30am–6pm, to 5pm Oct–Mar ● Closed Mon ● Wi-Fi

Finally you will reach Hokkaido’s first michi-no-eki (roadside station) on Route 12 around 5pm or late. This place has a tourist information office, farmer’s market and ramen shop (11am–11pm).
Behind the michi-no-eki, the modern onsen complex Taiko-no-yu (太古の湯 ● 10am–11pm ● ¥780) is an ideal place to go to recover.



Mikasa’s

SUGGESTED ITINERARY

TIME TO EXPLORE One-day

BEST TIME May to October. ● The following schedule is available on Saturday, Sunday and Holiday throughout the year. Mikasa Municipal Bus schedule is different on weekdays.

9:10 Sapporo Station

⬇︎ Local train for Iwamizawa ● ¥970

9:51 Iwamizawa Station

⬇︎ 2 min walk

10:00 Iwamizawa Terminal

⬇︎ Chuo Bus 22 for Ikushunbetsu-cho (幾春別町) ● 58min ● ¥570

10:58 Ikushunbetsu-cho

⬇︎ 5 min walk

11:05Old Ponbetsu Coal Mine

⬇︎ 10 min walk

11:20Mikasa City Museum

⬇︎ 5 min walk

13:10 Ikushunbetsu-cho

Ikushunbetsu bus station has a take-away ice cream shop. There is also a convenience store (Sellers) opposite the bus station.

⬇︎ Chuo Bus 22 for Iwamizawa Terminal (岩見沢ターミナル) ● ¥360

13:29 Mikasa Shimin Kaikan  (三笠市民会館)

⬇︎ 10 min walk

13:40Crawford Park (Old Mikasa Station)

⬇︎ 1 min walk

13:53 Crawford Koen (クロフォード公園)

⬇︎ Mikasa Municipal Bus (三笠市営バス) for Horonai 1 (幌内1丁目) ● 8min ● ¥200

14:01 Tetsudo Kinenkan (鉄道記念館)

⬇︎ 1 min walk

14:02 Mikasa Railway Museum

On-site shokudo is open on weekend.

➡︎ Mikasa Modern Art Museum is about 700m west of the Railway Museum. The nearest bus stop is Horonai 3 (幌内3丁目).

⬇︎ 7min walk

15:10 Old Horonai Coal Mine Natural Park

⬇︎ 7min walk

16:06 Tetsudo Kinenkan

⬇︎ Mikasa Municipal Bus for Mikasa Shogakko (三笠小学校) ● 8min ● ¥200

16:16 | 16:29 Mikasa Shimin Kaikan

⬇︎ Chuo Bus 22 for Iwamizawa Terminal (岩見沢ターミナル) ● 12min

16:41 Aeon Mikasa-ten Minami-guchi (イオン三笠店南口)

⬇︎ 7min walk

16:50 Michi-no-eki Mikasa

⬇︎ 1min walk

17:10 ♨︎ Taiko-no-yu

⬇︎ 2min walk to Route 12 (in front of the michi-no-eki car park)

18:21 Mineoka (峰岡)

⬇︎ Chuo Bus 22 for Iwamizawa Terminal (岩見沢ターミナル) ● 22min ● ¥310

18:45 Iwamizawa Terminal

➡︎ Iwamizawa Station 19:00 ··· Limited express train Lilac 40 ··· Sapporo Station 19:25

➡︎ Iwamizawa Station 18:55 ··· Limited express train Lilac 35 ··· Asahikawa Station 19:55


GETTING THERE & AROUND

From Iwamizawa bus terminal next to the train station, Chuo Bus 22 (hourly) runs to Ikushunbetsu-cho (幾春別町 ● 58min) via the Aeon Mikasa shopping mall south gate (イオン三笠店南口 ● 22min) and the Mikasa Shimin Kaikan (三笠市民会館 ● 36min).

Mikasa Municipal Bus (三笠市営バス): Connect the Mikasa Shimin Kaikan (三笠市民会館) and Horonai 1 (幌内1丁目) ● 10 daily ● 10min ● flat ¥200 ● www.city.mikasa.hokkaido.jp/hotnews/detail/00001690.html



REFERENCE

Mikasa Tourism Association (三笠市観光協会): Inside the Michi-no-eki Mikasa on Route 12 ● 1056-1 Okayama ● 9am–5pm ● Closed Mon ● Wi-Fi ● www.city.mikasa.hokkaido.jp/sightseeing


LINK THIS TRAVEL

Iwamizawa Just 10km southwest of Mikasa. Sorachi region’s transport hub and all local buses for Mikasa leave from here.


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