Take a carefree drive down a single road stretching on and on. Let the scenery refresh you, body and soul. Hokkaido is filled with gorgeous scenery. Why not come find your own special view?
#1 Mikuni Pass (Kamishihoro)
Superb views of lovely forests from the stunning bridge
Looking down over this deep valley, with the single road stretching out in front of you, is like being pulled into the landscape itself. It’s all part of this scenic drive through an enchanting landscape under the endless sky. The heart of this enchanting area is the Mikuni Pass, the highest pass on Hokkaido’s national highways.
This route follows the Nukabira Highway (National Route273) running north-south through the Daisetsuzan National Park, just to the east of the heart of Hokkaido. The Jukai Road, stretching from Lake Nukabira to Mikuni Pass is embraced by deep green forest in summer, and from September offers an early taste of autumn foliage.
The view of the forest interwoven with the Matsumiohashi Bridge is like a painting, with that single red path drawn through the grand natural landscape.
The log-house style cafe by the observation platform is popular for its hand-drip coffee and soft-serve ice cream.
This is truly a dream route for those who love to drive.
Address: Aza-Mitsumata Bangaichi, Kamishihoro-cho
For More Information: http://www.visit-hokkaido.jp/spot/detail/289
#2 The Road to Heaven (Shari)
A ramrod-straight highway going on forever.
The scenic Road to Heaven can be found in World Natural Heritage Site Shiretoko.
This is a 28km long straight section of National Route 334 coming off National Route 244, the gateway to the Shiretoko Peninsula, stretching from Shari’s Minehama to the Taiei district.
The route got its name for the way the straight road ahead of you seems to go on and on, all the way to the sky,
and those who’ve visited often exclaim “It really was like we went to heaven,” after following it to the end.
The road looks like it stretches all the way past the horizon and into the sky.
Naturally, the Road to Heaven is beautiful on clear sunny days, but it’s also famous as a spot to watch the sunset. In particular, the period from late September to early October sees the sun set directly along the road, making it look like the Road to Heaven leads right into the setting sun itself. It’s truly a stunning sight.
Address: Minehama, Shari, Shari district, Hokkaido
For More Information: https://www.shiretoko.asia/
#3 Roller Coaster Road (Kamifurano)
A gentle path leading to sudden drops and rises.
A straight road through rural landscape against the grand backdrop of the Daisetzuzan mountain range.
Kamifurano, where you’ll find the Roller Coaster Road, is near Biei and its popular patchwork hills, and in summer is blessed by lavender and other brilliant flowers in bloom. The entrance to the Roller Coaster Road is marked by a sign reading Rural Route West 11 (西11線農免農道), along National Route 237 from Furano past Asahikawa, coming down Miyama Pass from Kamifurano on the Biei side.
Just like the name implies, the 2.5km stretch of straight highway is full of steep hills, with sharp rises and drops one after the other. The view of the beautiful hills, rural landscape, and the Tokachi-dake Mountain range has been chosen as one of the 8 Sights of Kamifurano.
The mix of beautiful hills and rural farming landscape truly captures the spirit of Hokkaido.
Address: Nishi 11 Sen, Kamifurano, Sorachi district, Hokkaido
For More Information: http://www.visit-hokkaido.jp/spot/detail/890
A scenic drive down the coast to Wakkanai known only to a select few!
#4 Ororon Line (Otaru-Wakkanai)
A scenic drive packed with must-sees!
Not everyone agrees on the exact route, but the Ororon Line is a highly scenic path following the Sea of Japan coast for 380km from Otaru to Wakkanai known and loved by a select few of die-hard fans.
Ride along looking over the Sea of Japan. This drive gives you chance to enjoy more than just the grand spaces of Hokkaido, it includes everything from Japan’s northernmost sake brewery to the largest herring fisherman’s house in Hokkaido, dedicated to the memories of those who made their dreams of success come true in the plentiful herring waters off Hokkaido. Get a full taste of all the best of the island!
If you want to take all the best of the Ororon Line, we recommend taking the route north to Wakkanai, so your car stays in the ocean-side lane.
Most recommended sights along the Ororon Line
■ Watch the sun set in the Sea of Japan! Cape Ogon
The Ororon Line offers lots of views of the sunset in the Sea of Japan. Our recommendation, though, is to catch it from Cape Ogon.
This cape once hosted a watchtower to spot approaching schools of herring. The cape’s name, Ogon, means “gold,” and it got its name from the way approaching schools of herring would sparkle golden in the setting sun as the massed around the cape.
The magnificent sunset here is considered Japan’s best, and the way it colors the landscape orange moves the hearts of visitors over and over.
■The Road Stretches On: Sweeping scenery of meadow, sea and sky. Sarobetsu Genya
The Sarobetsu Genya also holds Hokkaido’s northernmost wetland, spreading out over 23,000ha. The Sarobetsu Wetland, in its center, boasts of about 6,700ha of area and from early Summer into Autumn is brilliant with the blooms of alpine plants.
The endless straight road here shows only the meadows, sea and sky for a truly stunning landscape you truly can’t find anywhere else. If you take the Ororon Line, you really must stop here!
■A truly unusual view at Otonrui Wind Power Plant
When you drive along the Ororon Line with its view of the Sea of Japan, you’ll eventually see a 3km expanse of countless white towers lined up across the landscape. The orderly arranged white towers are actually wind turbines.
This field of turbines is known as Otonrui Wind Power Plant. There are 28 turbines here.
The combination of all these tall white towers in their orderly spacing, the great length of the field, and the perfectly straight line creates a sight that’s more than just foreign, it’s positively unearthly! This is truly a unique view. Just one more sight you can’t find anywhere else on your Hokkaido drive!
The sight of Rishiri Fuji rising over the horizon is a true trip highlight!
The sight of Rishiri Fuji against the pure blue sky, with Rebun Island floating just to the west of it across the wide Sea of Japan makes a truly fitting conclusion to your scenic drive across Hokkaido!