Senbodai at Night 2022

Senbodai at Night 2022

My first visit to Senbodai was on February 11, 2022, my 15th Week in Japan as an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) in the JET Program. My first visit was unforgettable since it was in the midst of winter and there was a lot of snow. I returned to Senbodai on June 12, 2022, which was my 32nd Weekend here. I was with my wife and daughter this time. When we went, it was a gorgeous clear sunny day.

Senbodai details


Senbodai (千望台), also known as Senboudai, is a hill in Rumoi City, Hokkaido Prefecture. It is well-known for its panoramic view. It rises 180 meters above sea level and is surrounded by undulating hills. On a clear day, tourists may see the northern islands of Teuri and Yagishiri. Apart from that, Senbodai boasts a stunning sunset vista. 
During my first visit, the snow that blanketed the city below was a sight to behold. However, the lone establishment, a wooden log cafe called Heartland Cafe, was closed and there was nothing to do on Senbodai but admire the view and survive the deep snow.

Lion's Club Marker

Senbodai at dusk

When I visited with my family, the snow was already replaced with the lush green leaves of the trees teeming with life. We were also able to try the food in Heartland Café. I told my wife that we should come back at night to see the night lights of the city. She agreed but on one condition, that we drive up Senbodai.

Senbodai at Night

That opportunity came on August 4, 2022, my 40th Week here. Senbodai was one of the first places that we drove to after acquiring the car from Guy. In a way, it was a practice drive for my wife before we planned to drive long distances. We arrived at Senbodai a little before 6 PM. Just in time for the sunset. We brought food and drinks and set up our table on the rock with the name Senbodai carved in it.

Team Nicerio visits Senbodai at Night

We enjoyed the view and the food. What we didn’t enjoy was the swarm of mosquitos that came to feed on us. Because of that, we decided to pack up at 7 PM. It was a good idea that we brought our car for the night visit as it was very dark on the way down. We even saw some foxes along the way.

Overall, this is my third visit to Senbodai. We finally got to see how the city looks at night, and my wife got to put her driving skills to the test. Maybe, on my fourth visit, I'll be able to witness the fall scenery as well as obtain my Japanese driver's license and drive up Senbodai.

Read more:

Senbodai Revisited 2022

Senbodai Entrance Fee

It's FREE to hike and explore Senboudai (no registration fee and environmental fee required). However, you might want to bring your food or some money to buy food at Heartland Cafe.

Senbodai Operating Hours

Senbodai is open 24/7, however, it is highly recommended that you visit in the morning until late evening for safety reasons. The road up to Senbodai is covered with snow during the winter months hence you can reach the top only on foot.

HeartLand Cafe is open from 10 AM - 5 PM. It is closed during the winter months.

Why visit Senbodai at night?

Rumoi City does not have a mountain to hike so Senboudai is the next best thing if you are looking to hike something. The hill is a place to go if you want to see a panoramic night view of the city. It’s better to arrive before sunset and stay until night. However, when you visit, make sure to bring food and insect repellant. The mosquitos here are as big as dragonflies (exaggeration).

Getting to Senbodai

From JR Rumoi Station, the only direct transportation up to Senboudai is by taxi. However, keep in mind that taxis are the most expensive mode of transportation here in Japan. The best option is to go up the hill on foot. You need to walk for about 3.4 kilometers to reach the top of the hill. Heads up, the path up the hill is covered with deep snow during winter, and you might want to wear snow boots.




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