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Drift Ice On The Open Sea! 5 Must-See Sights In Abashiri, Hokkaido

Drift Ice On The Open Sea! 5 Must-See Sights In Abashiri, Hokkaido

Translated by Lester Somera

Written by takagi

Hokkaido 2018.03.01 Bookmark

Abashiri in Hokkaido is visited by ice floes from the Arctic every winter. Here are five things to check out if you brave the cold to travel up to Abashiri!

Abashiri, An Area with Delicious Food and Fascinating Sights

In eastern Hokkaido, the city of Abashiri and the area around it are visited in winter by ice floes. It is also home to a designated site of national scenic beauty, Mt. Tento, as well as the Abashiri Prison, which compelled prisoners to do the harshest labor in Japan. Abashiri is well-known as a robust producer of crab, salmon, scallops and other seafood, as well as vegetables like potatoes and onions. You can sample the freshest fish and vegetables at local restaurants and sushi places.Let’s look at five recommended spots to visit in Abashiri.

1. See the Drift Ice on the Okhotsk Sea at the “Aurora-Go”

Photos courtesy of: Doto Kanko Kaihatsu Corp.
Abashiri faces out onto the Okhotsk Sea, and every year, drift ice arrives on its coastline from the far-off Arctic Ocean. We recommend taking a sightseeing ship to go see the ice floes. From late January until late March, you can ride on a ship to see the floating ice, and if you’re lucky, you can see seals lazing atop the ice, as well as the endangered sea eagles.

Photos courtesy of: Doto Kanko Kaihatsu Corp.
The ship interior consists of two floors and an observation deck, and it also has shops and a coffee lounge so you can stay warm during your time on board. However, the observation deck is incredibly cold, so you’ll need to have a scarf, gloves and other protection against the elements. Also, there is not much jolting, since the ship is large. The Aurora-Go operates from January 20th to April 3rd this year (3300 yen fare for adults, 1650 for elementary school-age children). You will need reservations to board, so check the homepage.

How to Get to the Aurora-Go Dock

Take the “City Sightseeing Tour” bus from JR Abashiri Station and get off at the “Michi-no-Eki Saihyosen Noriba” stop, which takes eight minutes (200 yen).

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The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting.

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