Listed as a Unesco Global Geopark in 2015, the small fishing town of Samani (様似) has a variety of unusual terrains from the scenic coastlines to the flower mountains. It is worth spending a half day for explore the town en route to the cape Erimo-misaki.
Highlights View from Enrumu-misaki and Kannon-yama Viewpoint, Oyako-iwa Fureai Beach
Tourist Information Samani Tourist Information Center (様似観光案内所): Tel 0146-36-2551 / Inside JR Samani Station / 8.30am-4.30pm Apr-Dec / Closed Mon-Thu Nov-Dec / www.apoi-geopark.jp/english
The coastal town center can be easily explore on foot from JR Samani Station. Samani Hakkei Footpath (様似八景フットパス: 10km / 3hrs) traces the eight attractive views and sights.
01 SCENIC CAPE
エンルム岬 / Kaisho-machi / 24hrs
The 70m-high rocky pointed cape of Enrumu-misaki juts from the fishing port. Panoramic views of the ocean and mountains can be had from the viewpoint. You can walk around the cape shore at low tide.
等澍院 / 11-4 Shiomidai / 9am-5pm / FREE / tojuin.jimdo.com
This temple was established in 1806 by the Edo shogunate, close to the natural harbor. The 1811 small wooden Goma-do was rebuilt in 1965. Today the 2006 new main temple building (hondo) on a hillside is open to the public. Friendly chief priest will guide you inside the temple.
03 SCENIC VIEWPOINT
観音山展望台 / 2 Shiomidai / 24hrs
Several kilometers west of Samani Station is the small mountain of Kannon-yama (101m), where there is a nicest ocean view from the viewpoint. Trout lilies and corydalis ambiguas bloom from late April to mid May.
04 BEACH & CAMPING
Oyako-iwa Fureai Beach
親子岩ふれあいビーチ / Nishi-machi / Beach Jul-early Sep, Campsite late Jun-late Sep / Check-in by 5pm / No Wi-Fi
Hidaka’s best sandy beach on the west of the town overlooks the legendary Oyako-iwa (parent-child rocks) glowing in the sunset. The campsite (¥600 per person) has free cold showers and a kitchen. Pick up snacks or boxed lunch from a nearby convenience store.
GETTING THERE & AROUND
Currently the trains on the JR Hidaka Line from Tomakomai end in Mukawa (30min). Alternative JR buses run between Mukawa and Samani (4 daily / 4hrs) with require a change at Shizunai on the Thoroughbred Road Hidaka. All rail tickets are available on a bus.
A few JR buses from Samani Station continue to Hiroo (1hr 50min) in Southern Tokachi via Apoi Sanso (8min) and Erimo-misaki (1hr).