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Scenes of rotating wind turbines

Eco Assets in Hokkaido

Japan In-depth

The Hokkaido area has the largest number of wind-generated power plants in Japan. As of March 2007, 249 plants were in operation. It is expected that this figure will increase in the future in order to provide stable power through operation appropriate for the environment of Hokkaido and to control carbon dioxide emission.

In September 2001, a "Hamakaze-chan" wind turbine was constructed in Hamatonbetsu Town, Hokkaido. This wind turbine was made possible by funding from the citizens, so it is called the "Citizens' Wind Turbine". The message of the leading citizens' organization "Hokkaido Green Fund" is "Help create a friendly future for the earth by donating the price of a cup of coffee".
(C) Hokkaido Green Fund.
 
This message includes efforts such as collecting 5% on top of the monthly electricity bill and using it to help build a citizens' cooperative power plant. Through this project, 3 citizens' wind turbines were built in Ishikari City.
(C) Hokkaido Green Fund.
 
Wind turbines have their own graceful beauty, so they also perform the role of a sightseeing attraction. A good example is the Cape Erimo Wind Power Station where two wind generators stand 35 m high. Cape Erimo is located at the end of the Hidaka Mountain Range and is one of the windiest areas in Japan, with strong winds exceeding 10 m/s for about 300 days of the year. The "Kaze-no-yakata (House of the Wind)" introduces life in Erimo and the people's relationship with the wind. The structure was built partially below ground so as not to intrude on the natural scenery, and the sound of antennas vibrating in the wind is played inside the building. The simulation of 25-m/h winds is particularly popular among visitors.
 
At the "Erimo Takahashi Ranch" extending underneath the Erimo Wind Power Station, Shorthorn cattle, rare in Japan, are raised and allowed to roam free over natural pasture from spring to the early winter. There are huts for grilled beef and a shopping area, as well as accommodation facilities. You can thoroughly enjoy the bounty of nature while viewing the wind turbines.
(C) Hokkaido Tourism Organization
 

Points of interest: Wind power turbines Hamakaze-chan (Hamatonbetsu Town)

[Access]
Sapporo Station (80 minutes by JR Limited Express Super Soya/Sarobetsu) > Asahikawa Station > (80 minutes) > Otoineppu Station > (1 hour 10 minutes by Soya Bus to Onishibetsu, ¥1,800) > Hamatonbetsu Town
 
Wakkanai "Cape Soya Wind Farm"
At the "Cape Soya Wind Farm" situated in the far northern part of Hokkaido with a view of Sakhalin, stand 57 wind turbines. The scene of wind turbines 40 m high on this hilly landscape is like some kind of fantasy world. Total output is 57,000 kW, which is equivalent to approx. 60% of the consumption of Wakkanai City.
(C) Wakkanai City
 
[Access]
Wakkanai Station > (46 minutes by Soya Bus to Omisaki, ¥1,350) > Cape Soya
 
Horonobe Town, Otonrui Wind Power Station
Horonobe is located at latitude 45° north, the same position as Bordeaux, France and Milan, Italy. It is a town blessed with nature, and where dairy farming is the main industry. It is exposed to strong seasonal winds in winter, and the Otonrui Wind Power Station started operation in 2003 to utilize the wind. It is amazing to see the 28 wind turbines, some as high as 99 m, lined up over a distance of 3 km. The town is also working enthusiastically on biomass energy production utilizing agricultural waste and manure compost as well as conducting experiments on converting snow/ice to energy.
(C) Horonobe Town
 
[Access]
Sapporo > (4 hours 20 minutes by JR Limited Express Super Soya/Sarobetsu) > Horonobe
Wakkanai > (1 hour by JR Limited Express Super Soya/Sarobetsu) > Horonobe
 
Wind turbines in Tomamae Town
The town has 3 wind power stations facing the Japan Sea: Yuhigaoka Power Plant, Tomamae Green Hill Wind Park Power Plant and Tomamae Winvilla Power Plant. The latter has an output of approx. 20,000 kW. In the Kamihira area, there is a group of wind turbines using the strong northwesterly winds of winter.
 
[Access]
Sapporo Station > (3 hours 30 minutes by Engan Bus Limited Express "Haboro") > Tomamae
 
Offshore wind turbines in Setana Town "Kazamidori (weathercock)"
The first offshore wind turbine built in Japan is in Setana, a coastal town on the Japan Sea. Because the image of the structure is somewhat birdlike it was nicknamed "Kazamidori (weathercock)". Power generated by these offshore wind turbines is transmitted through undersea cables.
(C) Setana Town
 
[Access]
Sapporo > (4 hours 30 minutes by Ginrei Bus to Setana, ¥5,000) > Setana
Hakodate > (3 hours 30 minutes by Hakodate Bus to Setana, ¥2,600) > Setana