Destinations

Mikasa Travel | Things to Do

Japan’s second smallest city by population, 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).


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 Map


Suggested Itinerary

Iwamizawa bus terminal

↓ Chuo Bus 22 (hourly) to Ikushunbetsu-cho (幾春別町: 58min / ¥570)

Ikushunbetsu-cho bus stop

↓ 5 min walk

01 Old Ponbetsu Coal Mine

↓ 10 min walk

02 Mikasa City Museum

↓ 5 min walk

Ikushunbetsu-cho bus stop

↓ Chuo Bus 22 (hourly) to Mikasa Shimin Kaikan (三笠市民会館: 19min / ¥360)

Mikasa Shimin Kaikan bus stop

↓ 8 min walk

03 Crawford Park (Old Mikasa Station)

↓ Municipal bus (三笠市営バス) for Horonai 1 (幌内1丁目) to Horonai 3 (幌内3丁目: 8min / ¥200) or 30min walk

04 Mikasa Modern Art Museum

↓ 10min walk

05 Mikasa Railway Museum

↓ 7min walk

06 Old Horonai Coal Mine Natural Park

↓ 7min walk to the Tetsudo Kinenkan (鉄道記念館) bus stop at the Railway Museum + municipal bus to Mikasa Shimin Kaikan (8min / ¥200)

Mikasa Shimin Kaikan bus stop

↓ Chuo Bus 22 (hourly) for Iwamizawa to the Aeon Mikasa-ten Minami-guchi  (イオン三笠店南口: 12min) + 7min walk

* From the Shimin Kaikan bus stop, you can walk on 07 Mikasa Footpath to the Michi-no-eki Mikasa (9.4km / 2.5 hours)

08 Michi-no-eki Mikasa & Onsen Taiko-no-yu

↓ 2min walk to Mineoka (峰岡)bus stop at the michi-no-eki on Route 12

Mineoka bus stop

↓ Chuo Bus 22 (5 daily) to Iwamizawa (22min / ¥310)

Iwamizawa bus terminal


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’s municipal buses (三笠市営バス) connect the Mikasa Shimin Kaikan and Horonai (10 daily / 10min / flat ¥200).


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