The southernmost town of Central Hokkaido, Erimo (えりも町) is well-known for its scenic cape juts out into the Pacific Ocean. The coastal road between Samani and Hiroo skirts the edges of long panoramic beaches. This town is far away from any cities but makes a good place to meet the natural wonders.
Points of interests in Erimo
Three (two on weekends) JR buses run between Samani Station and Hiroo (1hr 50min) via Erimo-misaki (1hr; ¥1410). There are also several local buses between Samani Station and Erimo-misaki. Japan or Hokkaido rail pass holders can use this bus line.
Note that the weekday early-morning bus from Samani to Hiroo doesn’t go to Erimo-misaki (runs on Route 336 via Kami-Utabetsu).
Erimo Town Museum
(えりも町郷土資料館 · 水産の館) If you want to know about the local history and nature, stop by this small museum in the town center near the local schools. There are old fishing gear, life tools and a variety of kelp in two rooms. This museum has a map of Saruru mountain path (猿留山道) between Meguro and Kami-Utabetsu overlooking the heart-shaped lake Toyoni-ko.
Japan’s most windy point on the level, the 60m-high cliff cape Erimo-misaki (襟裳岬 or えりも岬), beautiful form in Ainu, is the most dynamic coastal point in Hidaka juts out into the ocean. The mountain rocks are continued under the seabed, you might be able to watch the zenigata-azarashi (harbor seals) through binoculars.
From the cape, the sun rises and sets on the same horizon, but sea fog occurs about 100 days in a year. Note: at the edge of the cape (there is a memorial) is a fisherman’s private property, no entry.
Museum of Wind
(風の館) Museum of Wind (Kaze-no-Yakata) is located in the semi-underground of the cape. You can watch harbor seals and experience the artificial strong wind on the tunnel.
Erimo Greening Museum
(えりも緑化資料館みどり館) Formerly Erimo-misaki’s natural forest was devastated with kelp by grazing and development. A half-century greening project has been undertaken from the 1950s, the eastern coast is covered with black pine today. This small museum has displays on greening gear and old photos of ‘Erimo Desert’. From here, there is a short footpath extends to the 1st Viewpoint on the scenic hills. It is about 1km north of the cape.
(百人浜) This 15km-long sandy beach stretches from Erimo-misaki to the northeast fishing port of Shoya. Strong currents prohibit swimming, but it is a good spot to surfing throughout the year.
Near Hyakunin-hama bus stop, you will find the observation tower (9am-5pm late Apr-mid Oct; Free) and small marsh of Hiren-numa (悲恋沼) overlooking the mountains.
The Golden Road
(黄金道路) One of Hokkaido’s most famous national roads connect Shoya and Hiroo, the coastal Golden Road (Ohgon Doro) was constructed in 1934 with a huge amount of money. Today there are a number of long tunnels and sheds on this scenic road.