Iburi & Hidaka

Muroran: Nature-rich Industrial Port City

Iburi Region’s capital, the heavy industrial city Muroran (室蘭) sits on the beautiful Etomo Peninsula, between the Uchiura Bay and the Pacific Ocean, with a natural harbor. From the early 20th-century, the city grew as iron and steel works, in its heyday Muroran was 180,000-strong.

It has a dramatic setting, Eastern Japan’s longest suspension bridge of Hakucho-ohashi (白鳥大橋) across the harbor, coastlines and factories make up amazing views. You will find several scenic walks and viewpoints around the town. It is worth a visit en route between Toya-ko and Noboribetsu.


Coastal Walkway

There are several scenic walks and viewpoints around the town, many starting from the coastal Chikyu-misaki Sightseeing Road (地球岬観光道路) runs from the singing sandy beach Itanki-hama to the city center. The excellent coastal walkway (3km), between Tokkarisho Viewpoint to the Muroran Youth Hostel, offering superb views of the ocean and steel factories.


Chikyu-misaki

(地球岬) The city’s most popular viewpoint is known as the ‘Earth Cape’, the beautiful horizontal line appears to be curving by geographical elements of the caldera-shaped Uchiura Bay. You can overlooking the opposite shore and Koma-ga-take on a clear day. The white lighthouse stands on the 120m-high cliff.

If you get here by a Muroran-bound train, get off at Bokoi Station (母恋駅) and transfer the bus 13, 14 or 16 to Chikyu-misaki Danchi (地球岬団地), then walk about 20 minutes up the hill.


Bokoi-fuji

(母恋富士) The pleasant trails to Bokoi-Fuji (156m) are popular for their views of the harbor, towns and steel factories. Walks start at the end of cherry trees street near JR Bokoi Station. You can continue walking to Chikyu-misaki or the Muroran Youth Hostel from Bokoi-fuji.


Sokuryo-zan

(測量山) Some 2km east of JR Muroran Station is a small mountain of Sokuryo-zan (199m) for the city’s great view, where the road survey (sokuryo) was carried out by American engineer AG Warfield in 1872. The broadcasting towers set on a top and its illuminated at night.


Getting There

The limited express train Suzuran (すずらん) runs from Sapporo to Higashi-Muroran (6 daily; 1.5hrs) via Shiraoi and Noboribetsu, continue to Muroran as a local train (¥4690) stopping at all stations.