Transport

Otaru to Iwanai on the Shakotan Peninsula | Bus Trip

Best known for both dramatic cliffs and cobalt blue ocean, the Shakotan Peninsula (積丹半島) juts out into the Sea of Japan on the northeast of Shiribeshi Region. This peninsula is famous for its tasty uni (sea urchin) that caught in summer. You can easily make a day trip from Otaru or Niseko.


THE ROUTE

DISTANCE: 104km

BEST TIME: Mid April to mid October, when the seasonal buses to Kamui-misaki are operated.


BUSES

HIGHWAY BUSES

▶︎ KOSOKU SHAKOTAN-GO Sapporo – Otaru – Yoichi – Bikuni (Year-round) ● Kamui-misaki (Mid Apr–mid Oct ● 3hrs 13min)

OPERATOR Chuo Bus // DURATION Sappoto – Bikuni 2hrs 20min ● Sapporo – Kamui-misaki (3hr 13min) // SEAT Non-reserved

▶︎ KOSOKU IWANAI-GO Sapporo – Otaru – Yoichi – Iwanai

OPERATOR Chuo Bus // DURATION 2hrs 40min // SEAT Non-reserved

LOCAL BUSES

▶︎ CHUO BUS 18 Otaru – Yoichi (Umekawa Shako-mae)
▶︎ CHUO BUS 20 Otaru – Yoichi – Bikuni
▶︎ CHUO BUS 21 Otaru – Yoichi – Bikuni – Shakotan-Yobetsu ● Kamui-misaki (Mid Apr–mid Oct)
▶︎ CHUO BUS KAMOENAI LINE Iwanai – Omori ● Kawashira ● Kamui-misaki (Mid Apr–mid Oct)


ORIENTATION

Guranburu Shiribeshi Free Kippu (ぐらんぶる・しりべしフリーきっぷ): this 2-day seasonal pass (late Apr-late Oct) allows unlimited travel on Chuo Bus (except Otaru City Lines and Akaigawa Line) and Niseko Bus routes in Shiribeshi Region (including Oshamanbe). Sells at the Chuo Bus ticket offices at Sapporo Terminal, Sapporo Station and Otaru Station Terminal.


BUS STOPS

LEGEND ⬇︎︎ Route Info // ☆ Attractions // ♨︎ Onsen // ☞ Transfer

OTARU TO YOICHI

⬇︎︎ 0min

Otaru 小樽

Otaru is a nostalgic port town and a convenient base for exploring the Shakotan Peninsula. A number of major trading companies and banks opened branch offices. Today the historic buildings and stone warehouses still remain throughout the city.

☞ JR Hakodate Line (for Sapporo, Niseko) ● Asarigawa Onsen (30min) ● Otaru Aquarium (26min) ● Tengu-yama Ropeway (18min)

☆ Otaru Canal (0.8km)

☆ Otaru Museum Unga-kan (0.8km) Housed inside the city’s oldest warehouse.

☆ Tengu-yama (530m) Fine views of the town. There is also a ski area.

◎ POP Otaru-shi 112,000

⬇︎︎ 21min

Ranshima 蘭島

Ranshima is famous for its scenic sandy beach (mid Jul–late Aug) near the train station.

☆ Ranshima Beach (0.3km)

⬇︎︎ 35min

Yoichi Station 余市駅前

Chuo Bus 18, 20 and the highway bus for Shakotan stop here.

JR Hakodate Line (for Niseko) ● Akaigawa (24min)

⬇︎︎ 36min

Yoichi Station Crossroads 余市駅前十字街

Just 20km west of Otaru, the engaging town of Yoichi is a gateway to the Shakotan Peninsula east coast and has a train station. The main attractions here are the whisky distillery and the old fishing houses. All buses for Yoichi Stop here.

☆ Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery (0.1km) Home to Japanese malt whisky founded in 1934.

⬇︎︎ 37min Yoichi Uchu Kinenkan-mae 余市宇宙記念館前

⬇︎︎ 38min

Yoichi Yakuba-mae 余市役場前

♨︎ Yoichigawa Onsen (0.2km)

Yoichi Fishery Museum (0.7km)

☆ Old Shimo-Yoichi Unjoya (2km) Once a trading post between Ainu and Japanese people.

◎ POP Yoichi-cho 18,000

⬇︎︎ 40min

Hamanaka-cho 浜中町

Only local buses for Yoichi (18) and Shakotan (20 and 21) stop here.

☆ Old Yoichi Fukuhara Herring House (0.1km)

⬇︎︎ 44min

Yoichi Umekawa Shako-mae
余市梅川車庫前


YOICHI TO KAMUI-MISAKI

⬇︎︎ 56min Toyohama 豊浜

⬇︎︎ 1hr 05min Furubira Hama-cho 古平浜町

⬇︎︎ 1hr 10min

Furubira Shihchi-cho 古平新地町

♨︎ Furubira Onsen Shiokaze (0.9km)

◎ POP Furubira-cho 2900

⬇︎︎ 1hr 20min

Bikuni 美国

Most of Chinese travelers associate the kanji name of Bikuni with USA, this fishing town is the center of Shakotan-cho. This is the terminus of the year-round regular highway buses from Sapporo. The next stop for the seasonal bus to Kamui-misaki is Shimamui-kaigan-iriguchi.

New Shakotan-go Pier (0.3km) From here, a 40-minute underwater observation ship runs around the scenic coasts.

Kogane-misaki (0.5km) Overlooking the blue ocean and Takara-jima.

◎ POP Shakotan-cho 1900

⬇︎︎ 1hr 29min

Tozanguchi 登山口

This bus stop (only local buses stop here) is the trailhead of Shakotan-dake (1255m), the peninsula’s only climbable mountain From here, a 10km (4.5hrs) hike to the top with an ocean view. There is a free mountain cabin (May-Oct) at 400m above sea level.

⬇︎︎ 1hr 30min Fumi 婦美

⬇︎︎ 1hr 41min Shakotan-Horomui 積丹幌武意

⬇︎︎ 1hr 46min

Shimamui-kaigan-iriguchi
島武意海岸入口

About a 15-minute hike up from Shimamui-kaigan-iriguchi bus stop and pass through the narrow tunnel, you can overlooking brilliant blue ocean with unusual rocks and countless seabirds. From here, Shakotan-misaki Nature Trail (4.7km s) connects Shimamui Coast and 650m west of Shakotan-Horomui local bus stop, with great views.

Shimamui Coast (1km)

⬇︎︎ 1hr 52min Shakotan-Nozuka 積丹野塚

⬇︎︎ 1hr 54min

♨︎ Misaki-no-yu Shakotan 岬の湯しゃこたん

⬇︎︎ 2hrs 08min Raikishi 来岸

⬇︎︎ 2hrs 10min Shakotan Youth Hostel 積丹ユースホステル

⬇︎︎ 2hrs 10min

Shakotan-Nozuka 積丹野塚

This is the final stop of the regular bus (21) from Otaru, about 3km east of Kamui-misaki. From Mid April to mid October, some buses extend to Kamui-misaki.

⬇︎︎ 2hrs 13min // 1hr 38min (to Iwanai)

Kamui-misaki 神威岬

The northwestern edge of the peninsula is a 100m-high impressive rocky cape of Kamui-misaki. From mid April to mid October, seasonal buses from Otaru and Iwanai meet here. In winter there are no any buses from and to Kamui-misaki.

Kamui-misaki (0.1km)


KAMUI-MISAKI TO IWANAI

⬇︎︎ From mid April to mid October, Chuo Bus Kamoenai Line extends between Kawashira and Kamui-misaki, passes through near the rocky hallowed ground of Sai-no-kawara.

⬇︎︎ 1hr 11min (to Iwanai) Kawashira 川白

⬇︎︎ 1hr 03min Sannai 珊内

⬇︎︎ 57min Omori 大森

⬇︎︎ 49min

Kamoenai Yakuba-mae 神恵内役場前

◎ POP kamoenai-mura 800

⬇︎︎ The bus runs on the coastal Benzaima-ohashi Bridge.

⬇︎︎ 45min Benzaima 弁財澗

⬇︎︎ 42min

Sakazuki Kaisui Yokujo 盃海水浴場

Just a short walk from the bus stop, the legendary small island of Benten-jima has unusual geographic features. Iwanai-born famous painter Kida Kinjiro (1893-1962) much loved this rocky island.

Benten-jima (0.1km)

⬇︎︎ 41min

Sakazuki Onsen Yumoto 盃温泉湯元

♨︎ Sakazui Onsen Chokasou (0.3km)

⬇︎︎ 29min

Horin-ji 法輪寺

This bus stop (just 150m north of Tomari bus stop) is located in front of Horin-ji temple.

Horin-ji (0.1km) Founded in 1862 as a Soto-sect temple.

Herring Palace Tomari (0.5km) Built from 1884 to 1916. Closed in winter.

⬇︎︎ 29min

Tomari

Today the small coastal village of Tomari is well-known for the location site of Hokkaido’s only nuclear power plant (operation stopped from 2012). The old fishing village has a few tasteful historic buildings.

◎ POP Tomari-mura 1500

⬇︎︎ 26min Kayanuma 茅沼

⬇︎︎ 10min Hattari-kyoku-mae 発足局前

⬇︎︎ 0min

Iwanai 岩内

The fishing town of Iwanai is both the gateway to the Western Shakotan Peninsula and the Raiden Coast. Views of the Niseko Mountains are never far away. It is easily accessible by bus from Kutchan, Otaru and Sapporo.

Sapporo (2.5hrs) via Otaru (1.5hrs) and Yoichi (1hr) ● Kutchan (45min) ● Suttsu (1hr)

Kida Kinjiro Museum of Art (0.1km)

Kiko-in (0.7km) Enshrined a 6.8m-high golden Daibutsu completed in 1921.

◎ POP Iwanai-cho 11,000


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