Road Trips

Shakotan Ocean Road

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.

Chuo Bus operates highway buses daily run between Sapporo Station and Bikuni (2 daily / 2hrs 20min) via Otaru and Yoichi stations. From mid April to mid October, there is also a highway bus from Sapporo to Kamui-misaki (3hrs 13min). 


Yoichi to Iwanai (Route 229)

  • DISTANCE: 104km

  • DURATION: 3 hours +

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


Best Stopovers

  • Shakotan (Bikuni) ›› Taking the underwater observation ship and gazing at its clear waters.

  • Shimami Coast ›› Stepping out on the coastal nature trail between Shimamui and Horomui. 

  • Kamui-misaki ›› The spectacular highlight of Shakotan overlooking the candle-shaped rocks.

  • Benzaima-ohashi ›› Enjoy the scenic drive across Shakotan’s most beautiful road-bridge between Kamoenai and Tomari.

START: 0km

Yoichi 余市

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. The Shiribeshi Expressway connects Yoichi with Otaru continue to Sapporo.

TRAVEL BY BUS ›› All buses pass directly through on frequent services from Otaru. From Yoichi Station Crossroads (余市駅前十字街) stop near the Nikka Whisky Distillery, Chuo Bus 20 runs to Bikuni (美国: 8 daily / 83min). Chuo Bus 21 runs to Shakotan Yobetsu (積丹余別: 5 daily / 2hrs 13min) and three buses continue to Kamui-misaki (神威岬: 2hrs 18min) from mid April to mid October.


Bikuni 美国

Most of Chinese travelers associate the kanji name of Bikuni with USA, this fishing town is the center of Shakotan-cho (積丹町). A hilltop cape Kogane-misaki overlooking the blue ocean and Takara-jima, the entrance is left behind the town hall facing the national route.

TRAVEL BY BUS ›› Bikuni is the terminus of the regular highway buses and Chuo Bus 20. The bus terminal has Shakotan Tourist Association.


Shimamui Coast 島武意海岸

From here you can overlooking brilliant blue ocean with unusual rocks and countless seabirds. Shakotan-misaki Nature Trail (4.7km / 1.5hrs) connects Shimamui car park and 650m west of Shakotan-Horomui (積丹幌武意) local bus stop, with great views and scenic places.

TRAVEL BY BUS ›› A seasonal highway bus and Chuo Bus 21 stops at Shimamui-kaigan-iriguchi (島武意海岸), about 1km south the foot of the coast.


Kamui-misaki 神威岬

The northwestern edge of the peninsula is a 100m-high impressive rocky cape of Kamui-misaki, where was a military fortless until WWII. A 50-minute return Charenka Trail (8am-dusk / Closed windy day) extend from the car park to the lighthouse.

TRAVEL BY BUS ›› From mid April to mid October, Chuo Bus 21 and a highway bus runs to Kamui-misaki. During this season, two buses run from Kamui-misaki to Iwanai (1hr 38min) via Tomari (70min) along the west coast. In winter there are no any buses from and to Kamui-misaki.


Tomari 泊

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), but the old fishing village has a few tasteful historic buildings.

TRAVEL BY BUS ›› Chuo Bus Kamoenai Line (神恵内線), between Kamui-misaki and Iwanai, passes through the coastal Benzaima Bridge (弁財澗大橋) and stop at Tomari. If you are traveling from Iwanai, there are several regular buses for Omori (大森) and Kawashira (川白) via Tomari and Kamoenai.

FINISH: 104km

Iwanai 岩内

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

The scenic byway Niseko Panorama Line (ニセコパノラマライン: Prefectural Road 66), between Iwanai and Niseko, is open from late April to late October.

CONNECTIONS ›› Chuo Bus Kosoku Iwanai-go (高速いわない号) makes 16 daily runs to Sapporo Station (2.5hrs) via Otaru (1.5hrs) and Yoichi Crossroads (1hr). Local buses connect Iwanai to Kutchan (倶知安: 9 daily / 45min) and Suttsu (寿都: 6 daily / 1hr).