Japan Diaries 4: Weekend 45

Weekend 45: September 10-11, 2022

Day 313: September 10, 2022

Saturday - 9.9-11 Family Road Trip D2

Good morning everyone! Thankfully, it didn't rain last night but condensation made the inside of our tent wet giving us that Hamatombetsu rainy day camping experience once again. Regardless, the sun came up and helped us dry our tent anyway. 

Sato Auto Campground of Firefly

We bought breakfast at Seicomart Numata

We parked near Numata Agricultural Cooperative Agricultural Warehouse

Numata Shrine

We left the Sato Auto Campground of Firefly a little before 7AM. We then drove to Numata (沼田町) town proper to buy breakfast at Numata Seicomart before heading to Numata Shrine to pay respects and offer some prayers. 

From there we drove south passing through Fukagawa City (深川市). We made a brief stopover at Totoro Pass to see the famed Catbus

Driving through Route 38

Originally, our plan was to spend most of the day in Ashibetsu City but since we got to the city pretty early than planned we decided to push forward and visit the next town in the east which is the town of Nakafurano (中富良野町). 

It was a good decision as most of the flowers were still in full bloom at Tomita Farm. We got to visit other places like the following:

After enjoying the scenery in Nakafurano, we drove back to Ashibetsu City (芦別市). These are the places that we visited on Ashibetsu:

Next stop: Ashibetsu City (芦別市)

Ashibetsu manhole cover

We then drove to the last city in our itinerary for today which is Akabira City (赤平市).

These are the places that we visited in Akabira City:

Bought some food at Lawson Akabira

Next stop: Elm Highlands Resort

We pitched our tent at Elm Highland Resort Kazokuryokomura Camping Ground

We bought some snacks at Lawson Akabira and also tried the famed hot legs from Akabira Base before driving to Elm Highland Resort Kazokuryokomura Camping Ground to set up camp. 

Onsen time at Elm Highland Onsen

After setting up our camp, my family and I went to the Elm Highland Onsen to relax in its onsen after a long day on the road. Like most of our road trips, we returned to our tent and called it a day after our onsen dip. 

Well, that's it for today. See you on the 3rd day of our road trip. 

Day 314: September 11, 2022

Sunday - 9.9-11 Family Road Trip D3

It's another beautiful Sunday morning. Today is the last day of our 9.9-11 Family Road Trip. For this trip, we would be visiting some of the small cities and towns of Sorachi Subprefecture.

Good morning from Elm Highland Resort Kazokuryokomura Camping Ground

Sculpture Park Sakiyama

711 iced coffee

Before leaving Elm Highland Resort Kazokuryokomura Camping Ground in Akabira, my daughter went around and took photos of the sculptures of the Sculpture Park Sakiyama. On our way to our next destination, we made sure to stop at the first 711 that we passed by so that we could fix the 711 Iced Coffee

From there we drove to Utashinai City (歌志内市). These are the places that we visited in Utashinai City:


Myooji honden

Our next stop is the town of Kamisunagawa (上砂川町). These are the places that we visited in Kamisunagawa:

Former Kamisunagawa Station

Former Kamisunagawa Station - Yo8055 Suyuni60 218 Preserved Vehicle

Former Kamisunagawa Station as seen from the back

Driving through Route 115 to our next destination - Sunagawa City

Sunagawa manhole cover

It was noontime when we left Kamisunagawa. My daughter requested to have some playtime. Luckily, I made sure to include a destination in the itinerary for her. Our next stop is Sunagawa City (砂川市). 

These are the places that we visited in Sunagawa City:

Kodomo no Kuni (Children's Country)

Leaning Tower of Pisa replica - Kodomo no Kuni 
Sunagawa Highway Oasis

We tried the pizza at Sunagawa Highway Oasis
  • Sunagawa Highway Oasis

We ordered the creampuff and it was one of the best we've tried so far.
  • Kitakaro (confectionery)
Our next stop is the small town of Naie (奈井江町) south of Sunagawa City. These are the places that we visited in Naie:

Driving along Route 278

After Naie, we crossed the Ishikari River to revisit the town of Urausu (浦臼町). I included it in the itinerary because it is on the way home and the last time we visited it was during a very brief toilet stop at the Urausu Roadside Station last August 22, 2022, during our From Osaka with Love D4 trip. 

Toilet break at the restrooms near the Fureai Plaza

These are the places that we visited in Urausu:

Fureai Plaza

We saw this ginormous calabash inside Fureai Plaza
  • Fureai Plaza

We saw an abandoned railway track on our way to the shrine

Urausu Shrine

Ella found the unique manhole design for Urausu

From Urausu, it's about an hour and 12 minutes drive to get back to our home in Rumoi City. We were all getting hungry but since no one wanted to cook dinner when we got back home, I searched for a nice place to eat dinner along the way home. 

Hinode Drive-in

Dinner at Hinode Drive-in

This is what Ella ordered

My order is on the left / my wife's order is on the right

That brought us to Hinode Drive-in in the town of Uryu (雨竜町), the food was good and the price was reasonable. It was the perfect stop before reaching home. 

Goodbye, for now, Hinode Drive-in

We got home at around 8 PM and just like our previous road trips, we just unloaded our stuff, rested a bit, and then took a refreshing shower before calling it a day. 

Overall, we visited 4 new cities and 4 new towns. We also got to revisit 3 cities/towns. This makes me look forward to where we'll go next weekend.

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