Japan Diaries 4: Weekend 41

Weekend 41: August 13 -14, 2022

Day 285: August 13, 2022

Saturday – Drive Up North Day 2


It's Day 2 of our Drive Up North road trip. We were worried about today because there is a probability that it will rain at night according to the weather forecast. It was worrisome as we only plan to camp tonight and we haven’t tested how good the waterproofing is of our tent. Regardless, we pushed on hoping that everything would be ok. First, we visited some parts of the town of Teshio (天塩町) like the following:

Teshio Itsukushima Shrine main torii


Teshio Itsukushima Shrine


For the 2nd day of our Drive Up North road trip, we left Kagaminuma Seaside Park Camping Ground in the town of Teshio at around 9PM. However, before leaving Teshio, we first visited the Teshio Itsukushima Shrine to give respect and offer a prayer.

We then followed Route 106 going to the town of Horonobe (幌延町). Here are some of our side trips before reaching Horonobe Town Proper:

Otonrui Wind Farm

This reminds us of the Bangui Wind Farm in the Philippines

🦌Otonrui Wind Farm

🦌 Horonobe Visitor Center and the Sarobetsu Marsh

Horonobe Town Hall

The rock art installation in front of the Horonobe City Hall

When we reached the town proper, we went to Horonobe Shrine to offer a prayer and also to pay respect. We walked around for a bit and saw the Horonobe Town Hall and a nice park in front of it. 

Route 121 going to Tonakai Reindeer Ranch

Tonakai Reindeer Ranch


Restaurant Poro

One of the reindeer of Tonakai Reindeer Ranch

We then continued along Route 121 and before leaving Horonobe, we stopped at Tonakai Reindeer Ranch. Since it was lunchtime, we decided to eat lunch at Restaurant Poro which is also inside the ranch. After our meal, we went to the ranch area to check out the reindeer who were all resting under the shade.

One of the farms along Route 84 going to Toyotomi

From there, we continued our drive north. We then proceeded to the town of Toyotomi (豊富町). The town is known for its hot springs and vast plains. 


Here are the places that we visited in Toyotomi:

Toyotomi Pokemon Manhole Cover

Toyotomi Settlement Support Center (Pokemon Manhole Cover)


Ferme

Ferme


We wanted to try out the famed soft cream of Ferme but since it was celebrating its 8th anniversary, there was a long queue. It meant that we needed to wait. Sadly, we were pressed for time so we decided to skip it and proceed to our next destination.

Route 40 going to Wakkanai City

Our next and last place to visit today is Wakkanai City (稚内市). However, since the city is quite vast, we decided to explore only its western side for today.

Here are the places that we visited in Wakkanai City:




Akikawa

You can buy Hokkaido's famed hairy crabs and king crabs at Akikawa

🀃 Akikawa (Souvenir Shop)



🀃 Noshappu Aquarium



Wakkanai Centennial Memorial Tower

Viewing Wakkanai City from Wakkanai Centennial Memorial Tower


For the last stretch of our trip, we drove to Wakkanai Centennial Memorial Tower in Wakkanai Park which is on top of the hill overlooking the city and Soya Bay. We went up its observation deck and were amazed by the beautiful view.

Wakkanai Forest Park Camping Ground

From there, we drove to the nearby Wakkanai Forest Park Camping Ground and set up camp there hoping that it wouldn’t rain as announced by the weather forecast.

Preparing to call it a night at Wakkanai Forest Park Camping Ground

It did drizzle at around 3AM but it was brief. Overall, we are thankful as we were given generally good weather the whole day. We are praying that it will be the same tomorrow.


Day 286: August 14, 2022

Sunday – Drive Up North Day 3

We woke up to a beautiful sunny day. For today’s itinerary, we would stay in Wakkanai City (稚内市) and explore Central Wakkanai and other nearby tourist spots on the outskirts of the city.

Here are the places that we visited in Wakkanai:

🀃Gate of Ice and Snow


🀃The Northernmost McDonald’s in Japan


Wakkanaishi Port Service Center

Took a bath at Wakkanaishi Port Service Center

From there, we drove to the Wakkanaishi Port Service Center for cheap but quality baths. We then continued our trip by driving eastward to Wakkanai Animal Land.


Wakkanai Animal Land




We enjoyed the interactive exhibits of Wakkanai Animal Land. It's a place where kids and kids at heart can get up close and personal with the animals.

Route 238 going back to Wakkanai City

After enjoying the interaction with the animals there, we went back to Central Wakkanai to visit the following places:




Wakkanai Roadside Station


🀃 Wakkanai Roadside Station


Lunch at Fujita Shokudo

We had lunch at Fujita Shokudo inside the roadside station. We spent some time in the playground on the second floor waiting for the 3PM check-in at The Stay Wakkanai where we will spend the night.


The Stay Wakkanai

Room 103 The Stay Wakkanai

Wakkanai Roadside Station in the afternoon

Dinner from Seicomart

Before calling it a night, we bought bento dinner at the Seicomart across the street from our place. Overall, even though we planned to camp the whole trip, we needed to check in today as most of our devices were drained including our 2 portable chargers.

See you on the 4th day of our Drive Up North Road trip!

Read more:

Japan Diaries 4: Week 41
Japan Diaries 4: Day 285



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