10 Things to Do in Kamisunagawa

10 Things to Do in Kamisunagawa

Kamisunagawa (上砂川町) is a town in the Sorachi Subprefecture of Hokkaido, Japan. The name of the city means Upper Sunagawa. The name Sunagawa is derived from the Ainu words ``Ota, Ushi, Nai'' (sand beach, shore, river) which was transliterated into (suna) – sand and(kawa/gawa) - river.

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

Kamisunagawa manhole cover

1. Take a picture of the manhole cover of Kamisunagawa. So far, I have seen 1 unique manhole cover. It is commonly seen around town.

Kamisunagawa Shrine

2. Visit the Kamisunagawa Shrine (上砂川神社). It’s the main shrine of the town. You can pay your respects and offer prayers here any time of the day. Don’t forget to avail of the shrine’s goshuin if you are collecting them.

旧上砂川駅 ヨ8055 スユニ60 218 保存車輌
Preserved Yo8055 and Suyuni 60218 

3. Take a photo of or with the preserved Yo8055 and Suyuni 60218 (旧上砂川駅 ヨ8055 スユニ60 218 保存車輌) displayed outside the Former Kamisunagawa Station.

Akinobu Temple

4. Visit the Akinobu Temple (彰信寺). You can pay your respects and offer prayers here any time of the day. Don’t forget to avail of the temple’s goshuin if you are collecting them.

Former Mitsui Sunagawa Coal Mine Central Shaft Tower

5. Check out the preserved Former Mitsui Sunagawa Coal Mine Central Shaft Tower (旧三井砂川炭鉱中央立坑櫓). It is one of the remnants of the coal mining era of the town. Sadly, you can only take pictures outside of the facility.

Okusawa Camping Ground

6. Pitch a tent and stay overnight at Okusawa Camping Ground (奥沢キャンプ場). It is conveniently located near an onsen but is quite far from the town center.

Kamisunagawa-dake Panke no Yu Hot Spring

7. Take a dip and relax at the onsen of Kamisunagawa-dake Panke no Yu Hot Spring (上砂川岳温泉パンケの湯) the day trip bath which costs only 500 yen per adult and 300 yen for children. You may choose to stay overnight too if you wish to stay longer.

Kamisunagawa-dake Japanese Garden

8. Stroll around and enjoy the fresh air at Kamisunagawa-dake Japanese Garden (上砂川岳日本庭園). It is highly recommended that you visit in autumn to see the beautiful foliage.

Former Kamisunagawa Station

9. Check out the Former Kamisunagawa Station (上砂川駅(悲別駅)駅舎). It was preserved and repurposed as a mini-museum. You would also see the preserved Yo8055 and Suyuni 60218 train outside.

Kamisunagawa Coal Mine Museum

10. Learn about the history of the coal mining industry of Kamisunagawa at Kamisunagawa Coal Mine Museum (かみすながわ炭鉱館). If you’re lucky, you will be greeted by Shittan. He is an adorable dog who works as the museum director.

I hope my list of the 10 Things to Do in Kamisunagawa gave you an idea and inspiration to visit this former coal mining town in central Hokkaido.



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