Iburi Region’s capital, the heavy industrial city Muroran (室蘭) sits on the beautiful Etomo Peninsula, between the Uchiura Bay and the Pacific Ocean, with a natural harbor. Eastern Japan’s longest suspension bridge, coastlines and factories make up amazing views. You will find several scenic walks and viewpoints around the town.
Highlights Chikyu-misaki and its Coastal Trail, Sokuryo-zan
Tourist Information Muroran Tourist Association (室蘭観光協会): Tel 0143-23-0102 / Inside Old Muroran Station (see below), 1-5-1 Kaigan-cho / 8am-7pm, to 5pm Nov-Mar / www.muro-kanko.com
01 SCENIC CAPE
地球岬 / 4 Bokoi Minami-machi / 24hrs / FREE / Wi-Fi
Muoran’s most popular viewpoint is known as the ‘Earth Cape’, the beautiful horizontal line appears to be curving by geographical elements of the caldera-shaped Uchiura Bay. You can overlooking the opposite shore and Koma-ga-take on a clear day. The white lighthouse stands on the 120m-high cliff.
If you get here by a Muroran-bound train, get off at Bokoi Station (母恋駅) and transfer the bus 13, 14 or 16 to Chikyu-misaki Danchi (地球岬団地), then walk about 20 minutes up the hill.
地球岬散策路 / Chikyu-misaki Sansakuro / 3km / 1.5hrs
There are several scenic walks and viewpoints around the town, many starting from the coastal Chikyu-misaki Sightseeing Road runs from the singing sandy beach Itanki-hama (イタンキ浜) to the city center. The excellent coastal walkway (3km), between Tokkarisho Viewpoint (トッカリショ展望台) to the Muroran Youth Hostel, offering superb views of the ocean and steel factories.
03 MOUNTAIN & SCENIC VIEWPOINT
母恋富士 / 3 Gozensui-cho / 24hrs
The pleasant trails to Bokoi-Fuji (156m) are popular for their views of the harbor, towns and steel factories. Walks start at the end of cherry trees street near JR Bokoi Station. You can continue walking to Chikyu-misaki or the Muroran Youth Hostel from Bokoi-fuji.
04 MOUNTAIN & SCENIC VIEWPOINT
測量山 / 1 Shimizu-cho / 24hrs
Some 2km east of JR Muroran Station is a small mountain of Sokuryo-zan (199m) for the city’s great view, where the road survey (sokuryo) was carried out by American engineer AG Warfield in 1872. The broadcasting towers set on a top and its illuminated at night.
05 LOCAL HISTORY
Muroran Port-side Museum of Literature
港の文学館 / Minato-no-Bungakukan / 1-1-9 Kaigan-cho / 10am-5pm / Closed Mon & Day after the holiday / FREE
Just a short walk from JR Muroran Station, this red brick literature museum introduced manuscripts and books of local prominent writers. There is a small cafe on the 2nd floor.
06 HISTORIC BUILDING
Muroran Tourist Association
旧室蘭駅舎 / 1-5-1 Kaigan-cho / 8am-7pm, to 5pm Nov-Mar / FREE / Wi-Fi / www.muro-kanko.com
About 700m northwest of JR Muroran Station, this old train station (built in 1912) has a tourist association (室蘭観光協会) and a small gallery. All highway buses from Sapporo arrive here and you can buy bus tickets here. English brochures and maps are also available.
室蘭八幡宮 / 2-9-3 Kaigan-cho / 24hrs / FREE
Founded in 1874 as a ‘whale shrine’, the hilltop Hachiman-gu has the 1938 main building. The crown princes Meiji and Taisho visited here. You can climb up stairs from the tourist association (old train station).
TRAIN: The limited express train Suzuran (すずらん) runs from Sapporo to Higashi-Muroran (6 daily / 1.5hrs) on the JR Muroran Line via Shiraoi and Noboribetsu, continue to Muroran as a local train stopping at all stations. There are also limited express trains for Higashi-Muroran from Hakodate via Toya.
BUS: Highway and suburban buses depart in front of Muroran Tourist Association (室蘭観光協会: called kanko kyokai in Japanese) at Old Muroran Station. Chuo and Donan buses serve Sapporo (14 daily / 2.5hrs). Donan Bus also services New Chitose Airport (9 daily / 2hrs), Noboribetsu Onsen (80min) and Toyako Onsen (2.5hrs).