Kikonai Rising in Popularity after Opening Hokkaido Shinkansen Line | FAST JAPAN
Cape Saraki
Hokkaido

Kikonai Rising in Popularity after Opening Hokkaido Shinkansen Line

Kikonai came into the spotlight after the Hokkaido Shinkansen Line opened in March 2016. Relax while being surrounded by nature and get involved with a traditional Japanese Festival.

Kikonai is a small town located to the south west of Hokkaido. The town has a population of about 4,500 people and the total area of 221.87 square kilometers. Before there were only a few sight-seeing spots but the town has made improvements to develop more attractions.

 

Cape Saraki

Cape Saraki
Photo Credit: daiwahouse.co.jp

Cape Saraki is one of the most impressive sight-seeing spots in Kikonai. It is well-known as the place where a Dutch Warship, the Kanrin-maru sailed around and sank on the way from Edo to Hakodate. The Shogunate army tried to escape from  the New Government army.

Cape Saraki
Photo Credit: japankankou.jp

A replica of the Kanrin-maru is displayed in front of the tulip garden. In the beginning of May, the garden is full of tulips and Tulip Fair is held, many tourist come to view the flowers in bloom.
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Cape Saraki

Address: Kamekawa, Kikonai-cho, Kamiiso-gun, Hokkaido

Access: 25 minutes by bus from Kikonai Station to Daisenji Station (Then walk 15 minutes)

Website: Cape Saraki  (Japanese)

 

Mt. Yakushi Observatory Platform

Mt. Yakushi Observatory Platform
Photo Credit: tacky-sky.com

While the tulips in Cape Saraki are in bloom, in May Mt. Yakushi is full of Moss Phlox. As Mt. Yakushi is 80 meter in elevation, it takes about 10 minutes to go to the observatory platform on the top of the mountain. A part of Mt. Yakushi is covered by beautiful pink from the Moss Phlox. The streets of Kikonai Town, Tsugaru Strait, Mount Hakodate and the Shimokita Peninsula can be viewed from the observatory. There is a superb view of the contrast of colors from the pink Moss phlox, the fresh green trees, and the blue sea and sky.
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Mt. Yakushi

Address: Kikonai Yakushiyama, Kikonai-cho, Kamiiso-gun, Hakkaido

Access: 5 minute drive or 20 minute walk from JR Kikonai Station

Website: Mt. Yakushi  (Japanese)

 

Kanchu Misogi Matsuri

Kanchu Misogi Matsuri
Photo Credit: hakodate-fc.com

Kanchu Misogi Matsuri means “festival of purification ceremony during the cold season” is the biggest event in Kikonai held from 13th to 15th of January every year since the 1800’s. 4 young men selected as disciples are naked except for a loincloth. They purify themselves by pouring cold water to pray for a good harvest and good catch of the fish. From the first day, they pour cold water in Samekawa Shrine to purify their bodies.

Kanchu Misogi Matsuri
Photo Credit: hakodate-fc.com

Kanchu Misogi Matsuri
Photo Credit: hakodate-fc.com

On the last day, they walk from the shrine to Misogi Beach through a 2 kilometer Misogi Road illuminated by lanterns and the festival reaches its climax by them diving into the cold winter sea. Something about the whole festival is very mysterious and masculine. In addition, there are some food stalls selling fresh seafood, ramen noodles, sake, and other delicious local foods in the Misogi Square and there is a performance of traditional Misogi Daiko.

 

Michi no Eki “Misogi no Sato Kikonai”

Misogi no Sato Kikonai
Photo Credit: town.kikonai.hokkaido.jp

Michi no Eki (Roadside Station) “Misogi no Sato Kikonai” is a new sightseeing spot in Kikonai and it has become the most crowded spot. It is located in front of JR Kikonai Station. Donan des Ocuda Spirits is the Italian restaurant opened in January 2016.

Misogi-no-Sato Kikonai
Photo Credit: daiwahouse.co.jp

In Michi-no-Eki local products such as meat, seafood and vegetables are used. They serve fresh products and it is a way to bring out the flavor of the ingredients. As well as restaurants, there is a shop selling light meals such as croquettes and soft ice cream. Both of the restaurants and shops provide food made with local products and you can buy those local products including Hakodate beef and Sake named Misogi-no-Mai at the shop. They are popular souvenirs that you would make great gifts.
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Michi-no-Eki “Misogi-no-Sato Kikonai”

Address: 388-14 Hon-cho, Kikonai-cho, Kamiiso-gun, Hokkaido

Access: In front of JR Kikonai Station

Hours: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Phone: 01392-2-3161

Website: Misogi-no-Sato Kikonai (Japanese)

 

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