Japan's largest sandbank provides for breathtaking sightseeing. Fir trees washed and withered by seawater are glorious sights.
The Notsuke Peninsula has a strange shape said to be like that of a shrimp's bent back. It is formed by sea currents moving the sand and earth flushed out by the Shibetsu River. Located in eastern Hokkaido, this expanse of land stretches out like a fine thread between the Nemuro Strait and Notsuke Bay. It is made up of fields and marshes, and at 28 kilometers in length, it is Japan's largest branching sandbank.
On this peninsula can be seen woods of withered trees called Todowara (fir straw) Woods. This is the result of fir trees growing on the Notsuke Peninsula that were washed by seawater until they withered. Their trunks and roots have become like skeletons, and stand exposed in clumps in the green marsh. There are also woods called Mizu-nara (oak trees) and Nara-wara (oak straw), which were formed by trees that had been blown and withered by strong winds till they bent. There is a wooden path there that takes only about 20 minutes to walk along, which makes it easy for visitors to see the woodland.
Near Todowara Woods is the Notsuke Peninsula Wild Flower Garden, where many varieties of flowers bloom in summer, such as Japanese bush clover, sweetbrier and the Hokkaido yellow day lily. At the end of Todowara Woods is a wharf from which pleasure boats depart for trips around the 1- to 5-meter-deep shallows of Notsuke Bay.
[Air] 1h 45 min from Haneda (Tokyo) to Nemuro-Nakashibetsu Airport/ approx. 10 min by bus from Nakashibetsu Airport to Nakashibetsu bus terminal/ approx. 40 min by bus from Nakashibetsu bus terminal to Shibetsu bus terminal/ approx. 30 min from Shibetsu bus terminal to Todowara.