Japan Diaries 4: Day 287

Day 287: August 15, 2022

Monday- Drive Up North Day 4

Good morning everyone! With the looks of it, there would be a lot of rain later as huge dark clouds loom south of Wakkanai City (稚内市). This is also confirmed by the weather forecast. Hopefully it won’t affect our trip today as we are planning to stay overnight in Hamatombetsu (浜頓別町) later.

Checking out of The Stays Wakkanai

North Breakwater Dome

Team Nicerio visits the North Breakwater Dome

After breakfast, we checked out of The Stays Wakkanai. We then placed all our luggage in the car but instead of driving to our first destination for the day, we simply walked toward it. The North Breakwater Dome is one of the most recognizable and visited tourist spots in the central part of Wakkanai. We didn’t stay there long though as we were afraid that the incoming rain might ruin our itinerary.

White Path
Path of White Shells

Team Nicerio visits Path of White Shells

From there, we drove to the eastern side of Wakkanai. As a side trip, we visited the scenic Path of White Shells. It was a beautiful place to visit. There were many motorists and even bikers who visited this place. We then headed back to the main road to continue our drive to Cape Soya.

Route 238 to Cape Soya

Cape Soya - Northernmost Point of Japan Monument

Saihoku Kanko Co., Ltd. Kashiwaya

Checked out what souvenirs to buy for our friends

Sadly, the rain finally caught up to us when we reached Cape Soya luckily there were times when it stopped, so we could take photos at the Monument of the Northernmost Point of Japan. Regardless, we were still able to explore the area around the monument. We went to the nearby Saihoku Kanko Co., Ltd. Kashiwaya to buy some souvenirs and omiyage for our friends.

From there, we drove up to Cape Soya Park where we took photos of and with the following:

Prayer Tower for The Downing of KAL 007

World Peace Bell

Cape Soya Lighthouse

Former Imperial Navy's Watchtower

Other monuments that we saw in Cape Soya

🟇 The Monument of Peace
🟇 Cenotaph for KIA military personnel of the Imperial Navy in the Soya Sea area
🟇 Akebono Statue
🟇 La Pérouse Monument
🟇 Cape Soya Observatory
🟇 Site of Omisaki Junior High School

Guesthouse Almelia

We tried the soft cream of Guesthouse Almelia

Soyamisaki Shrine

Time to say goodbye to Cape Soya

We continued to 
Guesthouse Almelia, a restaurant resembling a Dutch windmill. We bought additional omiyage and also tried out their soft cream. We then headed back down to Cape Soya to visit Soyamisaki Shrine to pay respects and offer some prayers.

Next stop: Sarufutsu village (猿払村)

Sarufutsu Manhole Cover

Onishibetsu Shrine

After our visit to Cape Soya, we left Wakkanai heading to the village of Sarufutsu (猿払村). Our first stop was the Onishibetsu Shrine located inside the village, where we took in the beauty of the shrine's traditional architecture and serene atmosphere.

Wind and Snow Tower

Sarufutsu Roadside Station “Sarufutsu Park”

Next, we made our way to the Wind and Snow Tower located along Route 238 near the Sarufutsu Roadside Station “Sarufutsu Park”. The tower was an impressive sight, standing tall and proud amidst the surrounding landscape.

Sarufutsu Marugotokan

Sarufutsu Milk

My wife and daughter enjoyed the rich taste of the Sarufutsu milk

After getting my roadside station stamp, we decided to take a walk around the area and explore more of what Sarufutsu had to offer. We stumbled upon Sarufutsu Marugotokan, a quaint little shop where we bought some Sarufutsu milk, which was simply delicious. We also made a quick stop at the Sarufutsu souvenir store and picked up some more omiyage, which are Japanese souvenirs to bring back to our friends and family.

Fisheries Monument 

Russian Ship Indigirka Victim Cenotaph

Just across the Sarufutsu Roadside Station, we discovered the Fisheries Monument and the Russian Ship Indigirka Victim Cenotaph. We spent a few moments there, paying our respects to the monument and taking in the history and significance of the site.

Sarufutsu Village Road - Sarufutsu-Esanuka Road

This is probably one of the most scenic roads in Hokkaido

From there, we drove to the last town on our itinerary for today which is the town of Hamatombetsu. Before reaching the town proper, we made a quick stop at Sarufutsu Village Road - Sarufutsu-Esanuka Road which is one of the scenic roads here in Hokkaido. We didn’t miss taking the opportunity to take photos there before leaving.

Hamatombetsu Manhole Cover

Hamatombetsu Roadside Station

Meet Swatton, the mascot of Hamatombetsu

Upon our arrival in Hamatombetsu (浜頓別町), our first stop was the Hamatombetsu Roadside Station. We eagerly collected the roadside station stamp for our ever-growing collection. Each stamp serves as a tangible reminder of the places we've visited, evoking cherished memories with a simple ink impression.

We do the proper bowing before entering the shrine grounds

Hamatombetsu Shrine

Next, we made our way to Hamatombetsu Shrine. As part of our travel traditions, offered our prayers and paid our respects. The serene atmosphere of the shrine infused us with a sense of peace and connectedness to the spiritual world.

Yearning for more natural beauty, we embarked on a drive to Lake Kutcharo. It was a serene haven, exuding an air of tranquility that instantly captivated our souls. At the Kutcharo Lakeside Campground, we gladly paid the camping fee of 400 yen per person, securing our spot amidst nature's embrace.

Seicomart Hamatombetsu

After setting up our cozy camp, my beloved wife and I decided to explore the town center and find a place to dine. Our culinary adventure led us to Seicomart 😂😂😂, where we bought bento and ready to make ramen for dinner. With our nourishment in tow, we set up our portable dinner table along the shore of Kutcharo Lake.

Dinner time at Kutcharo Lakeside Campground

As we savored our meal, the ambiance of the place elevated our dining experience, transforming it into something truly special. The soothing sound of gentle waves lapping against the shore, coupled with the picturesque view of the lake, created a serene backdrop for our intimate feast.
With contented bellies, we ventured to the nearby Hamatombetsu Onsen Wing. Eager to unwind and rejuvenate, we immersed ourselves in the therapeutic waters of the onsen. The warmth seeped into our weary bones, melting away the stress and weariness accumulated from our travels.

As nightfall approached, a sense of apprehension washed over us. The weather forecast predicted rain at 11 PM, casting a shadow of uncertainty over our camping plans. However, our worries were appeased by the waterproofing of our trusty tent. Although some rainwater managed to seep in through the relentless downpour, we remained snug and dry, shielded from the elements.

Bonding time before calling it a day

Despite the rain, we found solace in the rhythmic sound of raindrops on our tent. The pitter-patter lulled us into a peaceful slumber, ensuring that we obtained the rest we needed to continue our adventures.

As I reflect upon this day, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the experiences we shared and the beauty we encountered. Hamatombetsu has etched itself into the tapestry of our memories, forever reminding us of the serenity and harmony we found in this little corner of the world.

Read more:

Japan Diaries 4: Week 42
Japan Diaries 4: Weekend 42
Japan Diaries 4: Day 288
Japan Diaries 4: Day 291
North Breakwater Dome


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