The rural town of Tokachi-Shimizu (十勝清水) is a key point of road traffic on Route 274, Route 38 and the Doto Expressway from both central and northern Hokkaido.
If you are driving or cycling for Southern Tokachi, the 88.5km Shimizu-Taiki Line (清水大樹線: Prefectural Road 55) via Nakasatsunai (see chapter Southern Tokachi) is one of the most scenic routes of the region. Head out near Tokachi-Shimizu IC on the Dodo Expressway, the trip takes at least two hours by car. Take time to stop and admire the pleasant rural landscapes with the wonderful Hidaka Mountains view.
Points of interests on Shimizu-Taiki Line via Nakasatsunai
For Tokachi-Shimizu, limited express trains run from Sapporo (2hrs), Obihiro (23min) and Kushiro (2hrs). There are also local trains from Obihiro (50min).
(清水円山展望台) About 15km south of the town center, this hilltop place in the picturesque public farm has a spectacular view over the Tokachi Plain on a clear day.
The viewpoint is slightly hard to find, go straight southward from Mikage junior high school on Route 38 and follow the blue signposts. There is no public transport, but you can hire a taxi from JR Tokachi-Shimizu Station. It is closed in winter.
Shin-Arashiyama Sky Park
(新嵐山スカイパーク) Halfway between Shimizu and Nakasatsunai, this hillside observatory with a ski slope is a good stopover point. The people’s lodge Shin-Arashiyama-so (国民宿舎新嵐山荘) is located at the foot of the hill. The lodge guests can use a free shuttle from JR Memuro Station (芽室駅). The observatory is closed in winter.
More info www.shin-arashiyama.jp
(道の駅なかさつない) Tokachi’s most popular michi-no-eki (roadside station) on Route 236 and Shimizu-Taiki Line has plenty of reasonable eateries such as yakitori, karaage (fried chicken), buta-don (pork bowl) and ice cream using local ingredients. Behind the michi-no-eki, the Beans Museum (ビーンズ邸), built in 1947 as an agriculture office, has small exhibitions about local beans.
The Country Plaza (カントリープラザ) has a tourist information center and free rental bikes (9am-4pm late Apr-Oct). You can explore the photogenic countryside at your own pace.
It is about 28km south of Obihiro and just a short walk from the Michi-no-eki Nakasatsunai stop on the bus route for Hiroo.
More info www.michinoeki-nakasatsunai.jp