Southern Tokachi’s agricultural flatlands and views of the Hidaka Mountains feel the grandeur of Hokkaido. Route 236 from Obihiro running south towards the Pacific Ocean, passes through the rural villages and the foodie michi-no-eki (roadside stations). From the port town of Hiroo, the coastal road leads to Erimo-misaki. You can enjoy exhilarating drive and cycling on this great plain.
DURATION: 2.5 hours +
BEST TIME: May to October.
BUSES: Tokachi Bus 60 runs on Route 236 between Obihiro Station stop 11 and Hiroo (10-14 daily / 2.5hrs / ¥1880).
Kofuku ›› Entrust message of happiness at the old train station near Tokachi-Obihiro Airport.
Nakasatsunai ›› Tasting a variety of local specialities at the attractive michi-no-eki.
Churui ›› Relaxing at the scenic hilltop cafe and recharging in a modern onsen.
Tokachi Region’s capital and transport hub, Obihiro boasts numerous reputable restaurants, sweet shops and onsen sento (public bathhouses). A well-laid-out city center was modeled on Washington DC, which makes an ideal for pleasant strolling.
From Obihiro Station stop 11, take the Tokachi Bus 60 bound for Hiroo.
0km to 21km
Obihiro to Nakasatsunai
Passes through Southern Obihiro’s lively residential area and cross the Satsugai-gawa bridge, Aikoku (愛国: the country of love) is known for its a lovely old train station.
Kofuku (幸福: meaning happiness) is also well-known for an old train station comprises a restored wooden waiting room with vintage trains in a rural village. Tokachi Bus 60 stops here on Route 236 (about 300m east of the bus stop). Tokachi Bus airport shuttle (only available to airport users) also stops here at the entrance.
Nakasatsunai is a perfect place for cycling in the rural village overlooking the Hidaka Mountains. The bus stops at the Michi-no-eki Nakasatsunai (道の駅なかさつない) on Route 236 that has good eateries, historic agricultural buildings and bike rentals.
Tokachi Bus 60 makes a 5-minute toilet break at Churui (忠類). The next stop is Naumann-zo Kinenkan-mae (ナウマン象記念館前) at the michi-no-eki with the museum of Naumann’s elephant and a modern onsen. Enjoy fabulous views of the agricultural fields from the hilltop scenic cafe during the summer weekend.
At the southernmost town of Tokachi Region, Hiroo (広尾) is the region’s only commercial port and far from a tourist hot spot. The main reason to stopover this town is a round trip to or from Hidaka Region.
From Hiroo bus terminal, JR Bus runs to Samani Station (様似駅: 1hr 50min) via Erimo-misaki (えりも岬: 50min). Otherwise, you can take the highway bus Kosoku Hiroo Santa-go to Sapporo (1 daily / 4hrs 40min / Compulsory reservation).