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If you are the one

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If you are the one is a Chinese movie released in 2008 for the New Year season. It made the greatest hit in the Chinese movie history and became the box-office champion. As the main setting for the latter part of the movie is the eastern part of Hokkaido, the popularity of the movie created a boom in sightseeing tours of Hokkaido in China. In fact, the number of Chinese tourists visiting Hokkaido was increased by 20 times from the previous year under the influence of this movie. How about using this pilgrimage to the film locations as an opportunity to find attractions of eastern Hokkaido?

Start with Kushiro City, a major city in eastern Hokkaido first. Kushiro is famous as the home of birds, especially the red-crowned cranes, living in the beautiful nature of the extensive Kushiro Marsh. As Kushiro faces the ocean, it enjoys abundance of sea foods. “Robata-yaki” is a specialty of Kushiro and is a dish grilling sea foods on top of charcoals burned on sand. It was copied after fishermen eating sea foods grilling on a sand beach. “Robata Renga” across from the Kushiro City Hall is a great Robata-yaki restaurant. It is a location for If you are the one.

Also, Akkeshi-cho near Kushiro is one of the major locations for If you are the one. The scene that Liang Xiaoxiao, Qin Fen and Wu Sang attended the mafia’s funeral by mistake was filmed at Kokutai-ji Temple, a Zen temple, in this town. As Akkeshi is famous for oyster farming, you’d better enjoy oysters here.

After finishing a pilgrimage in Kushiro and Akkeshi, go to the north to the Lake Akan (Akan-ko) area. There is Akan-ko Ainu Kotan Village where the Ainu, Hokkaido’s indigenous people, live. You can see the Ainu culture fostered through their life coexisting with the great nature of Hokkaido. Lake Akan is a crater lake which was formed by the volcanic explosion of Mount Oakan. There is a quiet small town on its lakeshore. Two scenes, “Four Sisters Izakaya” and “ Liang Xiaoxiao (heroine) in the bath,” were filmed in the town on the Lake Akan’s shore.
“Four Sisters Izakaya” is actually an Izakaya (Japanese-style pub) called “Robata Hamakko.” Only regulars used to come to this Izakaya, but it is said that Chinese customers come constantly since the hit of If you are the one. It is said now that this Izakaya, which is run by an old couple, is the most famous Japanese Izakaya in China. And it seems that the old couple is having far busier life than before.

Meanwhile, the bathing scene of Liang Xiaoxiao was filmed at “Hinanoza,” the most famous Japanese-style inn (ryokan) around Lake Akan. How about staying at Hinanoza and having a walk on the romantic Akan-ko lakeshore?

Along with Lake Akan, Lake Kussharo, the largest crater lake in Japan, is in Akan National Park. The confession scene of the hero, Qin Fen, was filmed at a church in the area. The most of the mountain road scenes of If you are the one were filmed in the area between Lake Kussharo and Bihoro-toge Pass.
Shiretoko, a World Natural Heritage site, is also a major location for If you are the one. Shiretoko means “the edge of the earth” in the Ainu language, and it has the extended primeval forest. The scene toward the end of the film Qin Fen and Wu Sang said goodbye was filmed driving on the snow-covered land of Shiretoko. According to Isso Uzaki, the actor for Wu Sang, the road is phenomenally beautiful, straight and long as if it reaches the heaven. At Iwaobetsu Hot Spring, one of many hot springs around Shiretoko, another bathing scene of Liang Xiaoxiao was filmed.
Traveling along the coast of the Sea of Okhotsk from Shiretoko, you will arrive in Abashiri, the largest city in the northeastern part of Hokkaido. Abashiri is famous for sea foods such as salmon and crab. Flower fields in summer, hot springs and sea ice also attract many tourists. If you are the one was also filmed at Cape Notoro and the sunflower field in Ozora-cho, Abashiri City. The scene Liang Xiaoxiao jumped into the ocean was filmed at Cape Notoro. Also, Kitahama Station near the ocean was the location for the scene that Wu Sang greeted Qin Fen and Liang Xiaoxiao upon their arrival. Now, many couples put their wish like “May we be married” on the wall of the small waiting room of Kitahama Station.
In eastern Hokkaido, there are other locations for If you are the one. Please try to travel in this land of the north centering on filming locations and make memories you will never forget for the rest of your life, like Qin Fen and Liang Xiaoxiao did in If you are the one.

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