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.
Kushiro to Nemuro (JR Hanasaki Line)
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
Akkeshi & Hamanaka ›› These serenely coastal towns are designated as a prefectural natural park that contains gentle wetlands, wildflower gardens, scenic cliffs, capes and marshes.
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.
BOARDING ›› The line passes through the deep forest among the hills, look out for wild deer (ezo-shika). From Monshizu (41.7km) 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).
BOARDING ›› Soon after Akkeshi, the train follows the beautiful shoreline of the brackish lake Akkeshi-ko (厚岸湖) continue to the Bekanbeushi-gawa (別寒辺牛川) on the wetland.
About 10km south of JR Hamanaka Station, the foggy town center of Kiritappu (霧多布) sits on the tied island with two scenic capes. The poetic natural landscape and fishing villages fascinates travelers from long ago. The coastal wetland of Kiritappu Shitsugen is full of colorful wildflowers from June to July. There are three buses to Kiritappu Onsen on weekdays.
BOARDING ›› The train passes the area of dairy farms with countless cows. You enter Nemuro Region shorty beyond Anebetsu (83.9km).
On the western edge of Nemuro, Attoko is a starting point of the 10.5km circumference footpath goes along the disused railway track, through the forest and pleasant pastures. From the train station, buses run to Nakashibetsu and Furen-ko.
BOARDING ›› A few kilometers after Bettoga (106.1km), the train runs on the grassy coastal hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean and the flat cape Ochiishi-misaki.
From Ochiishi Station, two scenic footpaths head east to Hamamatsu Coast and head west to Ochiishi-misaki overlooking the ocean.
BOARDING ›› One stop before the terminus, Higashi-Nemuro (133.9km) 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.
CONNECTIONS ›› From the train station, there are several return buses each day to Nosappu-misaki (44min).