Founded as Hokkaido’s first prison Kabato Shujikan (樺戸集治監) in 1881, this town was named after the first warden Tsukigata Kiyoshi (月形潔). Prisoners carved out the forest and roads of the region. Sorachi’s oldest town is now offers melon and cut flowers.
Points of interests in Tsukigata
Eight buses run between Iwamizawa Terminal and Ishikari-Tsukigata Station (45min) via Kitamura Onsen (25min).
Tsukigata Kabato Museum
(月形樺戸博物館) The old Kabato shujikan prison office near JR Ishikari-Tsukigata Station has been converted into a museum. It showcases with dioramas, photos, items for jailer and prisoner. It is closed from December to March.
(皆楽公園) An old oxbow lake of Ishikari-gawa is now a cheerful playground for locals. You can enjoy boating (¥300), park golf (¥400; closed Tue) and camping (¥200 per person). There are also rental bikes (¥100 per 30min). About 1km east of JR Ishikari-Tsukgiata Station.
After a picnic, take a moment to relax at the cozy onsen Yurikago (月形温泉ゆりかご) facing the Park.