Japan Diaries 4: Day 307

Day 307: September 4, 2022

Sunday – Mashike to Ishikari Road Trip

It's another lovely morning in Rumoi City. It's time to get back on the road. Today's itinerary will take us south to Ishikari City. We left our Rumoi City home shortly after 6:30 a.m. The Cape Ofuyu Observatory in Mashike (増毛町), near its border with Ishikari City, was our first stop.

Driving south via Route 231 again today

We passed through one of the many tunnels of Route 231

First stop: Cape Ofuyu Observatory

Inside the Cape Ofuyu Observatory

Cape Ofuyu Observatory elevated walking path

The view from Cape Ofuyu Observatory was spectacular, but there were numerous warning signs warning of the possibility of encountering a mamushi, or Japanese moccasin, as well as suzumebachi, or giant hornets. We were watchful because there were hornets along the walkway up to the observation deck.

Shiroganeno Falls

We proceeded from Cape Ofuyu Observatory to the nearby Shiroganeno Falls in Ishikari City (石狩市). The fact that it is so noticeable along Route 231 made it a sight to behold for drivers. During our visit, we were fortunate to be the only people there, so we seized the opportunity to take as many photos as we could.

Passed through another tunnel in Route 231

Ishikari Roadside Station

Ella playing in the outdoor play facility of Ishikari Roadside Station

Ella and I explored Atsuta Park

Atsuta Park Observation Deck

The beautiful glass window of Atsuta Park Observation Deck

We went back to Ishikari Roadside Station to rest a bit before going to our next destination

Our next stop is a bit farther. From Shiroganeno Falls, it took us about 45 minutes to drive to Ishikari Roadside Station. Since it was still closed when we arrived, my daughter and went up the hill of Atsuta Park to see the Atsuta Park Observation Deck. Before leaving, I made sure to get the roadside station stamp of Ishikari Roadside Station for my Hokkaido Stamp Rally.

Next stop: Ishikari Hachiman Shrine

Ishikari Hachiman Shrine

Hamanasu no Oka Park

Hamanasu no Oka Park Visitor Center

We tried the Hamanasu soft cream

We then drove to Ishikari Hachiman Shrine, where we paid our respects and prayed for a safe journey. We then drove to the nearby Hamanasu no Oka Park Visitor Center to see the Ishikari Lighthouse. We also had the pink Hamanasu soft cream before exploring Hamanasu no Oka Park

2nd Street Ishikari

Shopping at 2nd Street Ishikari

Look who bought the most things...

After exploring the park, we headed to the city center of Ishikari which borders Sapporo. There, we went shopping for clothes in 2nd Street Ishikari. There were a lot of good selections of winter clothing here hence we spent some time there before heading out for late lunch.

AEON Ishikari Ryokuendai

Late lunch at Mr. Curry

The curry of Mr. Curry was good.

We bought some donuts to bring home

Looking for a place to eat lunch was a challenge as some restaurants close after lunchtime. We eventually settled for Mr. Curry in AEON Ishikari Ryokuendai. It was a gem. I wasn’t expecting their curry to be that delicious. I thought it was just one of those fast food chains that you go to say you had lunch, but in this case, I enjoyed it.

Back to Route 231, but this time we are driving northwards back to Rumoi

We saw the Ishikari Pokemon Manhole Cover at Hamamasu Onsen

Onsen time at Hamamasu Spa

From there, we decided that it was time to drive back home. Before we concluded our visit to Ishikari City, we went to Hamamasu Onsen to take a dip in its famed onsen.

Last stop for the day before going home: 711 in Mashike

We ordered our favorite 711 iced coffee

When we were all relaxed, we continued our drive home. We did one more stop at 711 Mashike to grab our favorite cold coffee latte. We got home at around 8 PM officially wrapping up our weekend road trip. Overall, we got to visit one new town and also revisit one town this week. I’m looking forward to what next week has to offer.

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  1. I enjoyed reading your article Neil. I feel like I'm your photographer looking at your pictures.


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