Go for a Drive! Five Fabulous Views on the Ororon Line in Hokkaido
There is a 380km road that runs along the Sea of Japan coast from Otaru to Wakkanai. It is called the Ororon Line, and is a great place for a drive with fabulous views. Around Rumoi, which is just about in the middle of the road, there are many spots where you can experience nature, such as a spot famous for the sunsets that paint the landscape bright red, and a hill where you can feel the wind with the plants and flowers. There are also historic structures where you can get a glimpse of the lives of local people who lived with the sea. Here, we introduce spots along the road that you'll want to stop at to take in the view.
- The Old JR Mashike Station - The Set for the Movie, Eki Station
- Ogon Misaki Seaside Park - One of the Most Beautiful Sunsets in Japan
- Uehira Greenhill Wind Farm - Thirty-nine White Windmills in a Green Pasture
- The Old Hanada Family Fishermen's House Michinoeki Obira Nishinbanya - Enjoy History and Local Produce in One Place
- Reuke Farm - A Hill Where Wind Is Seen in the Swaying Field Mustard
The Old JR Mashike Station - The Set for the Movie, Eki Station
In December 2016, the station closed when the railway line between Rumoi and Mashike was shut down, putting an end to a 95-year history. It became famous as the set for the movie, Station, starring Ken Takakura (deceased) and is a popular spot visited by many railroad fans and tourists. The station building remains as before and is now a rest area with a public toilet and water fountains for visitors to the town of Mashike.
Ogon Misaki Seaside Park - One of the Most Beautiful Sunsets in Japan
This is a spot that is famous for the beauty of the sun setting on the Sea of Japan. The sun sets between 7:00 pm and 7:30 pm in June and July and between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm in August, and on a nice day, you can see the sun slowly setting on the horizon while painting the entire landscape bright red. There is a parking lot that accommodates more than 50 cars and flush toilets, so you can relax and wait for the sunset.
Uehira Greenhill Wind Farm - Thirty-nine White Windmills in a Green Pasture
This is one of two wind farms in Tomamae. The sight of 70m-high windmills on a vast ranch on the coastline is amazing. In particular, the white windmills that stand out against the green pasture is so splendid, you may forget they are electric power generators. If you look carefully, you'll see that there are horses and cows on the pasture that has as many as 39 windmills.
The Old Hanada Family Fishermen's House Michinoeki Obira Nishinbanya - Enjoy History and Local Produce in One Place
The Sea of Japan coast of Hokkaido was once a place that many fishermen came to hoping to strike rich through the flourishing Pacific herring fishing industry. The banya (building where fishermen stayed and worked) that belonged to the Haneda Family, who headed a fishing union, remains on the grounds of the Michinoeki rest area. It is the only banya that is registered as an Important Cultural Property of Japan. The Michinoeki rest area also has a shop selling local produce, toilets that are open around the clock, a tourism center for drivers to rest in and a restaurant serving food made with seasonal ingredients and local produce.
Reuke Farm - A Hill Where Wind Is Seen in the Swaying Field Mustard
This spot, which is famous as a "hill where you can see the wind," is a farm that is run by the local government. Some facilities are open to the public, so anyone can freely enter the farm. There are ten large windmills that are impressive in their stature, and the entire hill is colored yellow with field mustard. The best time to go is from late May through mid-June when the sight of the blooming field mustard swaying in the wind will make you feel as if you are seeing the wind itself.
These are spots on the Ororon Line that you'll want to stop at if you take a drive after enjoying sushi or seafood bowls.
[This article was originally published in Walkerplus on 06.05.2017]
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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