Halfway between Obihiro and Kushiro on Route 38 (and on the JR Nemuro Line), the modest towns of Toyokoro (豊頃町) and Urahoro (浦幌町) has a few stopover points to break up a long distance driving.
Points of interests in Urahoro and Toyokoro
There are local trains to Urahoro from Obihiro (6 daily; 1hr), stopping at Toyokoro.
(ハルニレの木) A pleasant riverside setting, Toyokoro is a quiet gateway of the Tokachi Coast. If you are driving on Route 38, stop by the town’s iconic symbol of Harunire-no-ki elm trees on the vast embankment of Tokachi-gawa. This place is about 2.5km south of JR Toyokoro Station.
(浦幌神社) Known as the ‘nipple shrine’ on Route 38 not far from JR Urahoro Station, this tourist-friendly shrine (8am-7pm; Free) is popular with young women and motorcyclists.
More info www.urahorojinja.org
Urahoro Town Museum
(浦幌町立博物館・らぽろ21) About 600m east of JR Urahoro Station, this museum displays archaeological finds, local history, photos and ecosystem of aosagi (grey heron). The entrance is on the 2nd floor of the town library Raporo 21.