Sorachi Region’s capital and transport hub founded in 1878, Iwamizawa is a good base of visit the old coal mine towns of the region.
Highlights Iwamizawa Park Rose Garden, Kitamura Onsen
Tourist Information & Bike Rentals Iwamizawa Tourism Association (岩見沢観光協会): 9am-5.30pm / Bike rentals (9am-5pm mid Apr-Oct) / iwamizawa-kankou.jp
01 ROSE GARDEN
いわみざわ公園 / 794 Shibun-cho, Iwamizawa-shi / 9am-5pm mid Apr-early Nov / FREE / Wi-Fi / www.iwamizawa-park.com
Rose fans should visit this park, with more than 8000 lovely blooms set in the 4-hectare bara-en (バラ園) from late June to mid October. There is also a greenhouse Shikisai-kan (四季彩館: 9am-5pm / ¥100) that is open throughout year.
From Iwamizawa bus terminal next to the train station, take the Chuo Bus 13 (10:35) for Moyo Koryu Center (毛陽交流センター) and get off at Iwamizawa Koen (10:51 / ¥210).
From the rose garden, you can climb up to the hilltop Miharashidai (見晴台: 137m) observation deck overlooking the Ishikari Plain.
02 ONSEN & CAMPING
北村温泉 / Kitamura-Akagawa / 6am-11.30pm / ¥510 / www.kitamuraonsen.com
One of Sorachi’s best onsen about 9km north of Iwamizawa, this place boasts pleasant open-air and indoor baths with 100% fresh hot water. It has a restaurant (11am-9pm). Behind the onsen is a grassy plots for tents (free) facing a marsh. Take a Tsukigata-bound Chuo Bus from Iwamizawa bus terminal (16min).
GETTING THERE & AROUND
TRAIN: Limited express trains run to Iwamizawa from Sapporo (25min) and Asahikawa (1hr) on the JR Hakodate Line. Frequent local trains runs between Sapporo and Iwamizawa (40min). There is also a rail link between Tomakomai and Iwamizawa (1.5hrs) on the JR Muroran Line.
BUS: Iwamizawa bus terminal (岩見沢バスターミナル) is located inside the community plaza next to the train station. Highway buses run from and to Sapporo Station (1hr) every 15 minutes.
From Iwamizawa, local buses run to Tsukitaga via Kitamura Onsen, Ikushunbetsu-cho via Mikasa Shimin Kaikan, Bibai, Kuriyama, Naganuma and Shinshinotsu Onsen (via JR Kami-Horomui Station).