Betsukai (別海町: also called Bekkai to locals) is two times larger than Tokyo’s 23 wards. Some 15,000 people and 120,000 cows (!) living this grand-scale town.
Points of interests in Betsukai
Hokuto Kotsu and Nemuro Kotsu operates the night bus Aurora-go (オーロラ号) daily between Sapporo Odori Bus Center and Betsukai Purato (別海ぷらと: 7.5hrs).
Nemuro Kotsu operates local buses between Nakashibetsu and JR Attoko Station (2-5 daily; 70min) via Betsukai Purato bus terminal. Note: on weekdays the first and the last buses don’t stop at the Kyogijo-mae in Betsukai.
Old Okuyuki Relay Station
(旧奥行駅逓所) Halfway between Betsukai and Attoko (in Western Nemuro), this wooden ekiteisho was built in 1910 as a relay station of the region with a ryokan, a post office and horses. It has eight guest rooms and historical artefacts.
About 200m south of the ekiteisho, you will find the nostalgic Old Okuyukiusu Station (旧奥行臼駅) on the disused JR and municipal railways.
Near the old train station, there is also an old rolling stock of the municipal railway (別海村営軌道: Betsukai Son’ei Kido).
The ekiteisho is 150m south of Okuyuki (奥行) stop on the bus route for Nakashibetsu.
Old Shibetsu Line Footpath
(旧標津線跡フットパス) This rail trail passes through forest and glassy meadow runs on the disused Shibetsu Line, connects Betsukai and the Old Okuyukiusu Station (12km).
From Okuyukiusu, Akesato Path (明郷パス) leads south to Akesato-Ito Farm (9km).
Betsukai Historical Museum
(別海町郷土資料館 · 加賀家文書館) This museum is split across two adjacent houses: the Historical Museum has historic artefacts and stuffed animals; the Kaga Family Archives set up display the documents of the Notsuke Peninsula written from the late Edo to Meiji periods.
(べっかい郊楽苑) On a pleasant hill about 2.5km southwest of the town center, Korakuen is worth to stay and soak for relax. Japanese-style rooms have good views across the town.
The communal onsen (day bathing 11.30am-10pm; ¥100) is cozy and 100% moor water contains organic matter of vegetable origin. On-site restaurant (11.30am-1.30pm & 5pm-7.30pm; Closed Mon) serving a la carte dishes.
It is a 10-minute walk uphill from the Kyogijo-mae stop (競技場前) on the bus route between Nakashibetsu and Attoko Station (All airport shuttle buses and a few local buses don’t stop here: See also Getting There).