The greatly-curved Tokachi Coast (十勝海岸) along the Pacific Ocean is quiet and off-the-beaten-track, stretched out from Hiroo to Urahoro, dotted with brackish marshes, lonely dunes and wildflower gardens. The whole area has become a prime destination for local anglers, countless fishing rods stand on the sandy beaches and fishing ports. In winter, photogenic ‘jewelry ice’ washes onto Otsu.
01 SCENIC ROAD
昆布刈石 / Konbukariishi, Urahoro-cho
Traveling on Route 336 from Otsu to the eastward and passes the sleepy fishing village of Tokachibuto (十勝太), you will find a signpost for the scenic coastal gravel road of Konbukariishi on the right side. From the Konbukariishi Viewpoint (昆布刈石展望台), you can overlooking the wonderful ocean and winding road.
02 COAST & JEWELRY ICE
大津海岸 / Otsu-Motomachi, Toyokoro-cho
From late January to late February, clusters of clear ‘jewelry ice’ washes onto Otsu’s vast sandy coast near the mouth of Tokachi-gawa. They are flows from the river and shines in the morning sun (6.30am to 7am). The coast is cold in winter (lowest averages -15C), so dress warmly. There is no accommodation in Otsu and you can’t do a day trip by bus from Toyokoro, but Obihiro’s tour agents offer bus or taxi tours for Otsu.
Tokachi Coast’s Four Lakes
Route 336 is connected by lonely roads to Horokayan-to (ホロカヤントー), Oikamanai-numa (生花苗沼), Yudo-ko (湧洞湖: road closed from December to late April) and Chobushi-ko (長節湖).
04 ONSEN & SLEEPING
晩成温泉 / 2 Bansei, Taiki-cho / 8am-9pm, from 9pm Oct-Mar / Closed Tue Oct-Mar / ¥500
Set on a coastal hill overlooking the ocean, Bansei Onsen is remote but attractive location near Horokayan-to and Oikamanai-numa. It also has a shokudo (11am-2pm & 4-8pm) that serves the cheese-salmon-don. A free shuttle bus runs from the Michi-no-eki Cosmall Taiki (道の駅コスモール大樹) on Thursday and Sunday at 10.05am.
This Onsen operates the budget accommodation Bansei-no-yado (晩成の宿) across the building. It looks like a school and has budget tatami-mat rooms. Prices include a day bathing ticket. Check-in is available in the onsen reception.
Tokachi Coast Map
There is no useful public transport for the coast, your own wheel will allow you to explore the area.