Tokachi Region’s capital and transport hub, Obihiro was founded in 1883 by Banseisha led by Yoda Benzo (1853-1925). This modern city boasts numerous reputable restaurants, sweet shops and onsen sento (public bathhouses). A well-laid-out city center was modeled on Washington DC, which makes an ideal for pleasant strolling. It is hot in summer and cold in winter.
Highlights Midorigaoka Park
Tourist Information Tokachi Tourist Information Center (とかち観光情報センター): Tel 0155-23-6403 / 2nd floor of JR Obihiro Station / 9am-6pm / obikan.jp
Bike Rentals Tokatcha (とかっちゃ): Tel 0155-23-5920 / Obihiro Station bus terminal Obikuru (おびくる) / 9.30am-5.30pm late Apr-early Nov / www.machicen.com
01 SCENIC PARK
緑ヶ丘公園 / 2 Midorigaoka / 24hrs
A 15-minute walk south of JR Obihiro Station along Koen-odori, the 50-hectare Midorigaoka Park (opened in 1929) was the site of old Tokachi Prison (十勝監獄) founded in 1893. There are museums, sculptures, a zoo and a wildflower garden. You will find the 1900 red brick warehouse of the old prison.A well-landscaped lawn is a great place to break for a picnic.
02 LCOAL HISTORY
Obihiro Centennial Museum
帯広百年記念館 / Obihiro Hyakunen Kinenkan / Midorigaoka Park / 9am-5pm / Closed Mon, day after a holiday, 29 Dec-3 Jan / ¥190 / museum-obihiro.jp/occm/
Built in 1982 to mark Obihiro’s centennial, this museum houses interesting exhibitions coverning the history of the city and Tokachi, archaeological finds and local Ainu culture. It is well worth visiting.
03 ART MUSUEM
Hokkaido Obihiro Museum of Art
北海道立帯広美術館 / Midorigaoka Park / 9.30am-5pm / Closed Mon / Admission ¥260 / www.dokyoi.pref.hokkaido.lg.jp/hk/obj
At the western side of Midorigaoka Park, this museum stages regularly changing displays of woodcuts, landscape paintings and modern art related to Tokachi and Eastern Hokkaido.
おびひろ動物園 / Midorigaoka Park / 9am-4.30pm late Apr-Sep, 9.30pm-4pm Oct-early Nov, 11am-2pm Sat & Sun Dec-Feb except New Year’s holiday / Adult ¥420, child FREE / www.city.obihiro.hokkaido.jp/zoo
This zoo houses 73 species and 400 animals such as kangaroos, flamingos, bisons, giraffes and monkeys. They have Hokkaido’s foxes, deers, raccoons, squirrel and seals too.
BUS: For Obihiro, the highway bus Potato Liner (ポテトライナー) runs from Sapporo (10-12 daily / 3.5-4hrs).
If you coming from Asahikawa without a JR pass, the intercity bus North Liner (ノースライナー) via Furano (2.5hr) or Sounkyo (2hrs 13min) is more convenient to get in Obihiro (4 daily / 4hrs).
Abashiri Kanko Kotsu (www.abashiri-kk.com) operates a daily bus from the Tokachi Plaza (not the bus terminal) at JR Obihiro Station south gate to Akanko Onsen (1 daily / 3hrs).
Takushoku Bus (拓殖バス: www.takubus.com) and Tokachi Bus (十勝バス: www.tokachibus.jp) operating most bus lines from Obihiro Station bus terminal (帯広駅バスターミナル) located north gate of the train station.
Routes include Kamishihoro (70min), Nukabira Gensenkyo (1hr 45min) on Route 273, Shikaribetsu-kohan Onsen (1hr 40min), Shintoku (1.5hrs), Rikubetsu (2hrs 50min) and Hiroo (2hrs 20min) on Route 236.