Rugged sea cliff, pleasant beaches and nostalgic fishing villages, the Kameda Peninsula (亀田半島) juts into the Pacific Ocean on the east coast of Hakodate. The area is designated as Esan Prefectural Natural Park that makes a worth-visiting another day trip from Hakodate.
(大森浜) Hakodate’s gently curving sandy beach along the Tsugaru Strait, between Hakodate Station and Yunokawa Onsen, is called Omori-hama. Takuboku Park (啄木小公園: Takuboku Sho-koen), named after one of Japan’s most famous poets who lived in Hakodate in 1907, is a good place to look over the beach. His sitting statue was curved by Hongo Shin in 1958. The Takuboku family grave is set near Tachimachi-misaki.
To the Takuboku Sho-koen (in front of the park), take bus 6 or 96 from Hakodate Station stop 3 or Yunokawa Onsen.
(汐首岬) The southernmost point on the Kameda Peninsula, this cape is the closest point between Hokkaido and Honshu (just 17.5km). On a clear day, you can easily visable the Shimokita Peninsula (Aomori Prefecture). About 450m west of the cape on Route 278, there is a beautiful concrete arch bridge on the former Toi Line. The nearest bus stop is Shiokubi Todai (汐首灯台).
(日浦海岸) Route 278 running east from Hakodate along the scenic coastline, but Hiura is the most stunning that has seven man-made domon (洞門: tunnels) carved in 1929. All buses between Hakodate and Esan run on this coast.
Esan Kaihin Park
(恵山海浜公園) Curved sandy beach overlooking the Diamond Head-shaped volcano E-san, this coastal park (kaihin koen) is something like ‘Hokkaido’s Hawaii’. Strong currents prohibit swimming, but it is a good spot to surfing and camping (May-Sep). It has a shop, seasonal restaurant and showers inside the Michi-no-eki Natowa Esan. Get off the bus at the Natowa-Esan-mae (なとわ・えさん前).
More info www.natowaesan.com
(恵山岬) On the easternmost of the Kameda Peninsula, Esan-misaki is the prettiest cape of Southern Hokkaido, framed by a pleasant lawn park. It has a photogenic white lighthouse.
From Todohokke Shisho-mae (椴法華支所前) bus stop, it is about a 4.5km (one-hour) walk to the cape along the coastal Prefectural Road 231. Don’t go to Esan-Misaki (恵山御崎) bus stop (there is no road to the cape) from Hakodate. Having your wheel is better.
Mizunashi Kaihin Onsen
(水無海浜温泉) About 600m down from Esan-misaki, this mixed-gender rock onsen pool by the sea can be bathing at low tide (three times a day). Check out time schedule for bathing on the web before you go. Kaihin Onsen has changing facilities and you will need to wear swim or bathing suit, especially busy seasons.
More info about the best bathing time www.city.hakodate.hokkaido.jp/docs/2014041800107/
Choshi Surf Beach
(銚子サーフビーチ) One of Hokkaido’s best surf spots, Choshi has a scenic stretch of sand and consistent waves with perfect mountain views. Opposite the beach, you will find the pretty cafe Surf Side (11am-3pm Tue-Sun). The surf beach is about 1.5km north of Todohokke Shisho-mae (椴法華支所前) bus stop. For Choshi, you can get here by bus from Hakodate.
(南茅部) About 30km northeast of Hakodate, Minamikayabe is famous for its high-quality konbu (seaweed). The scenic road stretches from Minamikayabe to Todohokke.
About 5km east of Minamikayabe on Rote 278, Osatsube (尾札部) has a scenic fishing port and a cape overlooking the volcano Koma-ga-take.
If you plan to go around the Kameda Peninsula from Hakodate by bus, we recommend traveling counterclockwise (Hakodate – Minamikayabe – Todohokke – Hinohama Danchi – Toi – Hakodate). All buses to Esan-misaki and Minamikayabe stop by Yunokawa Onsen dentei-mae (湯川温泉電停前: tram stop) in Hakodate near the hot springs town.
From Hakodate Station bus terminal stop 6, Hakodate Bus runs to Esan-Misaki (恵山御崎: 7 daily; 2hrs) via Toi (戸井: 70min) and Hinohama Danchi (日ノ浜団地: 1hr 40min).
Several buses run between Hinohama Danchi and Todohokke Shisho-mae (椴法華支所前: 4 daily; 12min).
There are also local buses from Hakodate to Minamikayabe Shisho-mae (南茅部支所前: 6 daily; 73min; ¥1040) and continue to Shikabe Kanketsusen Park (40min) or Todohokke Shisho-mae (34min) via Osatsube and Choshi.