10 Things to Do in Shosanbetsu

10 Things to Do in Shosanbetsu

Shosanbetsu (初山別村) is the lone village in the Rumoi Subprefecture of Hokkaido, Japan. The village name "Hatsuyamabetsu/Shosanbetsu" is supposed to be a corruption of the Ainu word for "sousanbetsu” which means “the river where the waterfall pours." Others believe that it was derived from the words "shush sam petsu” which means “river near Yanagihara".

For those planning to visit Shosanbetsu to check what it has to offer, here are the 10 Things to Do in Shosanbetsu:

Shosanbetsu manhole cover
Shosanbetsu manhole cover

1. Take a picture of Shosanbetsu’s manhole cover. So far, I have seen 1 unique manhole cover. It is common and can be seen at the roadside station area and also in the village proper. The colored version of this can be found along Route 232 but I failed to take a photo of it when we visited last time.

Shosanbetsu Roadside Station / Roadside Station Roman-kaido Shosanbetsu
Shosanbetsu Roadside Station

2. Visit the Shosanbetsu Roadside Station / Roadside Station Roman-kaido Shosanbetsu and buy products that are made in the village and the neighboring towns. You can also get the roadside station stamp here for the Hokkaido Stamp rally booklet.

3. Attend the Shosanbetsu Cape Festival in early August and see some octopus relays, singing, and fireworks.

Shosanbetsu Inari Shrine

4. Visit the Shosanbetsu Inari Shrine. You can offer prayers and also get a goshuin there for your goshuin collection.

5. Witness the procession of portable shrines around town during the Shosanbetsu Shrine Festival every July 11-13.

6. Attend the Shosanbetsu Star Festival held every early August. You get to go star-watching and you can also enter the Shosanbetsu Astronomical Observatory for free.

Misakidai Park Camping Ground

7. Stay for the day and camp at the Misakidai Park Camping Ground. If you don’t have a tent, you can rent one of the cabins there.

Shosanbetsu Onsen

8. Take a dip in the Shosanbetsu Onsen. It is inside the Shosanbetsu Onsen Hotel Misaki no Yu but you can avail of the day-trip bathing options if you won’t stay in the hotel.

Shosanbetsu Astronomical Observatory

9. Go to Shosanbetsu Astronomical Observatory and tour the observatory. On a clear day, you can even watch the stars using the telescope.

Konpira Shrine torii

10. Head down to the beach near the roadside station to see the Konpira Shrine Torii gate. It will remind you of the Itsukushima Shrine Grand Torii of Hiroshima but smaller. If you time it right, you can have a beautiful sunset view as its backdrop.

I hope my list of the 10 Things to Do in Shosanbetsu gave you an idea and inspiration to visit this beautiful village soon.


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  1. Thanks for sharing another little known place in Hokkaido.

  2. I like the design of the Shosanbetsu manhole cover.


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