On the southwestern of Abashiri, Tento-zan (天都山: 207m) has panoramic views over the city, ocean, lakes and the Shiretoko Mountains. There are Abashiri’s ‘must see’ sights around here.
(オホーツク流氷館) On the summit of Tento-zan, the Okhotsk Ryuhokan offers informative exhibits of real sea ice and local fishes, with a dramatic film. There is an observation deck on the top floor with breathtaking views over the ocean. There is also a scenic cafe-restaurant. More info www.ryuhyokan.com
Hokkaido Museum of Northern Peoples
(北海道立北方民族博物館) About a 10-minute walk from the Ryuhyokan, this well-presented museum focuses on native northern people around the world, including Ainu, Nivkh, Russia, Scandinavia and Alaska. Exhibits include cloths, artefacts, languages, hunting tools and the Okhotsk Culture. You can rent a free audio guide. More info hoppohm.org
Abashiri Municipal Museum
(網走市立郷土博物館) Located in an imposing 1936 building (designed by Tanoue Yoshiya) on the old Ainu fort, this municipal museum traces local history with an engaging mix of cultural artefacts from the Paleolithic Age, 300 species of birds and staffed local animals. More info www.city.abashiri.hokkaido.jp/270kyoiku
Moyoro Shell Mound Museum
(モヨロ貝塚館) On the mouth of Abashiri-gawa, Moyoro was a site of fishing settlement about 1300 years ago. This museum has archaeological finds, shell mounds, a cemetery and an exhibit on the history of the Okhotsk Culture (5th- to 9th-century). There are also sites of dwellings and cemeteries on the ground. It is about a 10-minute walk from Abashiri bus terminal. More info moyoro.jp
Abashiri Municipal Art Museum
(網走市立美術館) The city’s art museum presents collection of local art and paintings such as Igushi Kaichi (1911-1955). Temporary exhibits change every months.
From Abashiri bus terminal via JR Abashiri Station, the tourist attractions sightseeing bus (1-day pass ¥800) runs to the Hokkaido Museum of Northern Peoples (18min; ¥420) via the Okhotsk Ryuhyokan. From 20 July to 8 October, buses continue to the Hana Tento hillside flower garden. In winter buses run from and to the Michi-no-eki Ryuhyo Kaido Abashiri (道の駅流氷街道網走) at the drift ice cruise terminal.