Abashiri boasts of the breathtakingly beautiful Koshimizu Gensei-kaen garden. The town becomes surrounded by ice floes in winter.
Abashiri, the largest town on the Okhotsk Coast of northeastern Hokkaido, is a product of fishing and tourism. In addition to an abundance of seasonal seafood available throughout the year, it is also blessed with natural beauty, such as primeval flower gardens, lakes and ice floes.
Abashiri has lots of places to enjoy: Koshimizu Gensei-kaen (wild flower preserve), where about 40 kinds of flowers bloom in spring and summer; Lake Notori-ko, where coral weed makes the surface red as if a carpet had been laid over it; Lake Saroma-ko, which is separated from the sea by a long, thin sandbar; and Lake Tofutsu-ko, famous for its swans.
Mt. Tento-zan in the suburbs is a great place from which to view Abashiri. In the Okhotsk Ryuhyo-kan (ice floe museum) you can see real ice floes even in the middle of summer, and experience a temperature of minus 15 degrees Celsius. You can also see a type of conch there called a clione, whose back is plumed like a fairy tale angel, and is known as the "angel of the ice floes."
Ice floes arrive in Abashiri every year in late January. A tourist icebreaker departs from Wakkanai Port, enabling you to see the beautiful, rough blue ice floes.
From Tokyo :
[Air] 1h 40 min from Haneda to Memanbetsu Airport.
From Osaka :
[Air] 2h 5 min from Kansai International Airport to Memanbetsu Airport.
From Sapporo :
[Rail] 5h 19 min to Abashiri Station by JR Hakodate Line (limited express) and Sekihoku Line.