JR Nemuro Line’s last section, often called the JR Hanasaki Line (花咲線), affording scenic views of the peaceful waterside and rustic dairy farms. Traveling this 135km route is a perfect for birdwatching, wildlife cruising, footpath hiking and dining on fresh seafood. Nemuro makes a fulfilling day trip from Kushiro.
DURATION: 2.5 hours
ORDINARY FARE: ¥2860 (Valid for 2-day)
BEST TIME: September to February for good weather. July and August for tour the Nemuro Peninsula.
Attoko & Ochiishi ›› Along the JR Hanasaki Line there are several trails known as Nemuro Footpaths with very well signposted.
Kushiro is Eastern Hokkaido’s largest port town and one of Japan’s premier fishing bases facing the Pacific Ocean. Summer is often cool and grey, but a foggy night on the river bank is fantastic. A wide variety of tasty seafood and sushi fascinates many travelers.
For Kushiro, the limited express train Ozora run from Sapporo via the JR Sekisho Line and the local trains run from Abashiri on the JR Senmo Line.
0km to 46.6km
Kushiro to Akkeshi
The line passes through the deep forest among the hills, look out for wild deer (ezo-shika). From Monshizu there are sweeping views of the Akkeshi Bay on the right.
Akkeshi is actually the oldest port in Eastern Hokkaido, the Matsumae clan established a trading post in the 1600s. The town is set on a pleasant gulf coast leading to the brackish lake Akkeshi-ko, best-known for both its tasty kaki (oyster) and asari (clam).
46.6km to 66.8km
Akkeshi to Chanai
Soon after Akkeshi, the train follows the beautiful shoreline of the brackish lake Akkeshi-ko continue to the Bekanbeushi-gawa river on the wetland.
About 10km south of JR Chanai Station, the foggy town center of Kiritappu (Hamanaka) sits on the tied island with two scenic capes. The poetic natural landscapes and fishing villages fascinate travelers. Kiritappu Shitsugen is full of colorful wildflowers from June to July.
On the western edge of Nemuro, Attoko is a starting point of the circumference footpath passes through the forest and pleasant pastures. From the train station, buses run to Nakashibetsu and Furen-ko.
Attoko to Nemuro
A few kilometers after Bettoga, the train runs on the grassy coastal hills. Ochiishi has two scenic footpaths: head east to Hamamatsu Coast and head west to the flat cape Ochiishi-misaki.
One stop before the terminus, Higashi-Nemuro is Japan’s easternmost train station with two monuments.
Japan’s most eastern mainland city, Nemuro is in the closest position to the 1150km-long Chishima Islands that stretches from Eastern Hokkaido to Kamchatka. Nature-rich, the 60km-long Nemuro Peninsula is a perfect place for birdwatching, wildlife cruising, footpath hiking and dining on fresh seafood. From the train station, there are several return buses each day to Nosappu-misaki (44min).