10 Things to Do in Akabira City

10 Things to Do in Akabira City

Akabira (赤平市) is a city in the Sorachi Subprefecture of Hokkaido, Japan. The name Akabira came from the Ainu language. However, there are several theories about its origin like “furepira" which means "red rock". Another theory is that it's from "wakkapira'' which means "water and cliff".

For those planning to visit the city of Akabira to check what it has to offer, here are the 10 Things to Do in Akabira:

Akabira City manhole covers
Akabira manhole covers

1. Take a picture of the manhole cover of Akabira. So far, I have seen two unique manhole covers. The first one is common in the central part of the city. The colored manhole cover is displayed in Akabira Base.

赤平市 交流センター みらい
Akabira Town Exchange Center “Mirai”

2. Visit the Akabira Town Exchange Center “Mirai” (赤平市 交流センター みらい). It looks like a castle in the heart of the city. Sadly, in my opinion, it is not fully utilized as tourists have almost nothing to do with it. Luckily it doubles as the Akabira Station so you can get the eki stamp there.

Akabira Shrine

3. Visit the Akabira Shrine (赤平神社). You can pay your respects and offer prayers here any time of the day. You can also get a goshuin here.

Akabira Tokugawa Castle

4. Visit and take pictures of the Akabira Tokugawa Castle (赤平徳川城). You can’t go inside it and there is nothing to do here but simply satisfy your curiosity.

Akabira Park 

5. Take a relaxing stroll around Akabira Park (
赤平公園) in spring or autumn and feast your eyes on the beautiful foliage around the pond. 

Akabira City Coal Mine Heritage Guidance Facility

6. Learn about the history of Akabira City by visiting the Akabira City Coal Mine Heritage Guidance Facility (赤平市炭鉱遺産ガイダンス施設). If it is possible, join the guided tour to appreciate and learn more about the coal mining history of the city.

Akabira Base 

7. Visit the Akabira Base (情報発信基地AKABIRAベース) and buy the famed hot leg. It’s very delicious. If you’re a Filipino, it would remind you of Max’s Chicken back home.

エルム高原温泉 ゆったり
Elm Highland Onsen

8. Take a dip in the onsen of Elm Highland Onsen (エルム高原温泉 ゆったり). It’s a good place to go if you are camping in Elm Highland Resort.

Zuriyama Observation Square

9. Walk the 777 steps going up to Zuriyama Observation Square (
ズリ山展望広場) and enjoy the panoramic view of the city and the surrounding mountains from the top. Don’t forget to ring the lucky bell.

Elm Highland Resort

10. Pitch a tent and stay overnight at Elm Highland Resort (エルム高原リゾート). It’s vast and has beautiful views. There is also a nearby onsen if you want to take a dip. Speaking of which, pitch a tent near the onsen as it has one of the best sunset views.

I hope my list of the 10 Things to Do in Akabira gave you an idea and inspiration to visit this beautiful city in central Hokkaido.


Read more:

Japan Diaries 4: Summary


  1. Thanks for sharing about my former workplace. Brings back memories.


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