Outdoor adventures and soothing hot springs
Obihiro, located in southeastern Hokkaido, is a city that offers a perfect blend of outdoor adventures and soothing hot springs. Nestled between Furano and Akan-Mashu National Park, Obihiro serves as an ideal base for exploring the surrounding area. With its colorful gardens, natural spas, and unique local traditions, Obihiro attracts visitors from all over the world.
One of the highlights of Obihiro is its colorful gardens. The city is known for its well-maintained gardens that come alive with vibrant flowers during spring and summer. The gardens surrounding Obihiro, such as Shichiku Garden, Tokachi Hills, Rokka no Mori, and Manabe Garden, offer a riot of colors and provide a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. These gardens are perfect for leisurely strolls, picnics, or simply enjoying the beauty of nature.
In addition to its gardens, Obihiro is also famous for its natural spas. The Tokachigawa Onsen hot spring resort, located just outside Obihiro, is a popular destination for those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation. The hot springs here are known for their healing properties and beneficial effect on the skin. The indigenous Ainu people called the hot springs “medicine water” due to their therapeutic properties. Visitors can soak in the soft waters infused with plants and botanicals that have accumulated in the groundwater, providing a truly unique and rejuvenating experience.
Apart from its gardens and hot springs, Obihiro has a rich cultural heritage and unique local traditions. One such tradition is the Banei horse racing, which originated in Obihiro. Banei horse racing involves strong horses competing to pull heavy sleds, showcasing the strength and endurance of these majestic animals. Visitors can witness this unique local tradition at the Obihiro Racetrack and experience the thrill of watching these powerful horses in action.
For art enthusiasts, the Hokkaido Obihiro Museum of Art is a must-visit. Located in Midorigaoka Park, the museum showcases the works of artists with strong connections to the region. It offers a comprehensive insight into the artistic heritage of Obihiro and its surrounding areas.
Obihiro’s location also makes it an ideal base for exploring the natural wonders of Hokkaido. The city is surrounded by breathtaking landscapes and is a gateway to the Hidaka Mountains, Cape Erimo, and Hokkaido’s stunning east coast. A day trip to the majestic Hidaka Mountains offers panoramic views and an opportunity to explore the untamed beauty of this mountain range. Cape Erimo, known for its rugged coastline and picturesque lighthouse, is a popular destination for nature lovers and photographers. The nearby Daisetsuzan National Park, with its pristine wilderness and stunning mountain peaks, is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.
For ski enthusiasts, Obihiro is conveniently located near two excellent ski resorts – Tomamu and Sahoro. These resorts offer a wide range of slopes for all skill levels and are easily accessible from Obihiro. Visitors can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, and other winter activities in these world-class ski resorts.
For those interested in agriculture, Obihiro is located in the heartland of Hokkaido’s farming region. Known for its rich soil and wide-open plains, Tokachi is a haven for agriculture enthusiasts. Visitors can take a walk or drive through the picturesque countryside and discover friendly farm cafes serving Tokachi’s famous buta-don, a delicious dish of pork on rice. The fresh air, scenic landscapes, and warm hospitality of the locals make Tokachi a delightful destination for a rural escape.
Obihiro is also a gateway to some of Hokkaido’s other attractions. Lake Shikaribetsu, the highest lake in Hokkaido, offers tranquility and stunning natural beauty. Visitors can enjoy a peaceful boat ride on the lake or hike along its picturesque shores. Nukabira Gensenkyo, located near Lake Nukabira, is another hot spring destination known for its mineral-rich waters. The hot springs here offer relaxation and therapeutic benefits, making it a perfect place to unwind and rejuvenate.
To reach Obihiro, visitors can fly from Tokyo to Tokachi-Obihiro Airport, which is conveniently located near the city. From the airport, it takes about 30 minutes by car or 40 minutes by bus to reach Obihiro Station. Alternatively, visitors can also travel by train from Chitose Airport or Sapporo Station, with the journey taking approximately three hours.
In conclusion, Obihiro offers a perfect combination of outdoor adventures and soothing hot springs. From its colorful gardens and natural spas to its unique local traditions and cultural heritage, Obihiro has something to offer for every traveler. Whether you’re looking to relax and rejuvenate in the hot springs, explore the stunning landscapes of Hokkaido, or immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of the region, Obihiro is a destination that should not be missed. Visit Obihiro and experience the beauty and tranquility of this charming city in southeastern Hokkaido.
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