Bordering on both Central and Eastern Hokkaido, this peaceful and tranquil village embraced by the majestic forest in the mountains. Shimukappu (占冠) was once Hokkaido’s most inland village and hard to reach, but today you can easily visit here by train on the JR Sekisho Line or by car on the Doto Expressway.
01 ROADSIDE STATION
Michi-no-eki Shizentaikan Shimukappu
道の駅自然体感しむかっぷ / Chuo; 9am-6pm / Closed none scheduled / shimukappu.com
Located at Shimukappu’s central crossroads, this michi-no-eki (roadside station) housing four restaurants and take-away shops. The small tourist desk has rental bikes (¥500 per hour) throughout the year.
About 5km southwest of the village center passed through the long tunnel, you will reach this stunning gorge following the clear stream Mu-kawa, filled with climbable red and blue megaliths. There are short trails around the rocks.
03 ONSEN & SLEEPING
Yunosawa Onsen Mori-no-Shiki
湯の沢温泉森の四季 / Tel 0167-56-2311 / Yunosawa / Closed New Year’s holiday / Day bathing 11am-8.30pm Thu-Mon (¥500) / Restaurant 11am-2pm & 5pm-7.30pm Thu-Mon / www.yunosawa.com
Surrounded by peaceful mountain forest, this perfectly rustic lodging is a nice place to chill out, offering Japanese-style rooms and seasonal cuisine featuring local ingredients. The clean onsen and the restaurant are open to nonguests except Tuesday and Wednesday. A Furano-Shimukappu bus stops here. Check-in by 9pm.
Shimukappu Station (7.35am-3.25pm, to 3pm Sat & Sun) is on the JR Sekisho Line. Limited express trains run from Sapporo, Obihiro and Kushiro.
Shimukappu Municipal Bus (占冠村営バス) daily runs between Shimukappu (via the village hall and the train station) and JR Furano Station (3 daily / 70min / ¥870) via Yunosawa Onsen and JR Kanayama Station.