Japan Diaries 4: Day 284

Day 284: August 12, 2022

Friday – Drive Up North Day 1

We are all set for the Drive Up North road trip

It’s the start of my 5-day Summer Break. My wife and I planned to spend these on a road trip to Wakkanai which we dubbed the “Drive Up North” road trip. With my wife at the helm, we aimed to visit as many cities, towns, and villages along the way. Another objective for this trip is to get the roadside station stamps for the Hokkaido Stamp Rally.

First destination: Obira

We left our home in Rumoi City at around 8AM. We drove northwards via Route 239. Our first stop was in the town of Obira. This town is currently known for its agricultural products such as corn and melon but decades ago, Obira was one of those that benefited from the herring boom of western Hokkaido.

Obira Shrine

Obimaru Square

My daughter and I had fun making our own Jurrasic Park-worthy reenactments

Our first stop in Obira is the Obira Shrine inside the town proper. We then drove to Obimaru Square. It has a statue of a giant duck-billed dinosaur and a nearby onsen and campground. 

We didn’t stay there long though as Obira Roadside Station “Nishinbanya” is still 12.7 kilometers away. We parked at the parking lot of the Herring Cultural Historical Park across the street from the roadside station.

From there, we continued on to the town of Tomamae. This town is known for the 1915 Sankebetsu Brown Bear Incident which killed 7 settlers. Ironically, Tomamae’s mascot is a cute bear with a blue hat.

Tomamae City Hall

Tomamae Bear

Tomamae Local Museum

Inside the Tomamae Local Museum

Sankanbetsu Brown Bear Incident display

Tomamae Local Museum
Check out the size of this seal

We first visited the Tomamae City Hall to have our picture taken with its famed Tomamae Bear. To see more bears and learn more about the town, we headed to the Tomamae Local Museum

Tomamae Shrine main torii

Tomamae Shrine

Before leaving the town, we went to Tomamae Shrine to offer prayers and pay respects. The next town from Tomamae was Haboro. However, since we visited it last July 16, 2022 (Weekend 37: Day 257), we decided to skip it and go straight to Shosanbetsu.

Arrived at Shosanbetsu Village

Shosanbetsu Inari Shrine

Shosanbetsu is the only village in Rumoi Subprefecture. It is famous for its observatory, hot springs, and camping grounds. We first visited the Shosanbetsu Inari Shrine to offer prayers and pay respects. 

Shosanbetsu Roadside Station “Roman-Kaido”

We tried the pink soft cream of Shosanbetsu

Crossing the bridge going to Misakidai Park

Misakidai Park 

Misakidai Park Camping Ground

Shosanbetsu Observatory

From there we drove to the Shosanbetsu Roadside Station “Roman-Kaido”. Tried its soft cream before exploring the nearby Misakidai Park and Shosanbetsu Observatory which was still closed during our visit.

We continued on to Route 232 to Embetsu

Gimpo Primeval Flower Garden

Since it was almost lunch, we decided that we would eat lunch in the next town Embetsu. However, before we reached the town center we made a brief stop at the Gimpo Primeval Flower Garden on the outskirts of town. The place is truly very scenic. 

From there we drove a few more kilometers to Embetsu Roadside Station “Fujimi” where we had lunch. Our last stop in Embetsu was Embetsu Shrine where we offered a prayer and paid respect.

Farmlands along Route 232 going to Teshio

Teshio manhole cover

The last town for the day is Teshio. It is where my farthest visit school is located. The town is known for its basket clams and also for the Teshio River which is the northernmost major river in Japan

Teshio Roadside Station

We saw the Teshio Pokemon manhole cover outside the roadside station

Our first stop in town is the Teshio Roadside Station where I got the roadside station stamp for the Hokkaido Roadside Station Stamp Rally

Teshio History Museum

Inside the Teshio History Museum

We then headed to the Teshio History Museum and learned about the history of the town of Teshio.

Kagaminuma Seaside Park Camping Ground

We pitched our tent at Kagaminuma Seaside Park Camping Ground

Teshio Onsen Yubae

Onsen time!

Wrapping up the day. See you tomorrow!

We set up our tent at Kagaminuma Seaside Park Camping Ground and then went to Teshio Onsen Yubae for an evening onsen dip. For dinner, we bought some bento meals at the nearby Seicomart. Since we were all tired from the long drive, we decided to sleep early officially wrapping up Day 1 of our Drive Up North.

Please join us again tomorrow!


  1. I'm excited to read the Day 2 of your Drive Up North article.

    1. Thank you! It might come out after 2 weeks. There are plenty of articles about the places we have visited in the Day 1 of our Drive Up North article that is lined up to be published. =)


Post a Comment

Book your hotel thru KLOOK

Subscribe and get updated with the latest travel articles of The Backpack Adventures

Popular posts from this blog

A Guide to Collecting Eki Stamps

Akabira Tokugawa Castle - Hokkaido

National Shrine of St. Padre Pio - Batangas

Ashibetsu Roadside Station - Hokkaido

10 Things to Do in Utashinai City

10 Things to Do in Ashibetsu City

Utashinai Roadside Station - Hokkaido

Toji - Kyoto

Kimono Forest - Kyoto

Umekoji Park - Kyoto