Welcome to
Iburi, Hokkaido

The Iburi area, located in south-central Hokkaido, is blessed with wonderful natural environments such as the UNESCOGlobal Geopark and Ramsar Convention-registered wetlands, and you can enjoy outdoor activities here all year round. Lake Toya, the venue for the 34th G8 Summit held in Hokkaido in 2008, is known as a leading resort area in Hokkaido, while Noboribetsu Hot Spring, which boasts abundant hot spring quality and quantity, is a popular hot spring area in Japan. You can also experience the various appeals of Ainu culture at “Upopoy Ainu Museum and Park”, a national center for the Ainu, an indigenous people of Japan. Another appeal of Iburi is the ease of access from New Chitose Airport, the gateway to the skies of Hokkaido, and many tourists from within and outside Japan come to visit Iburi. Nature, scenic views, food, experiences, and personal encounters… In the Iburi area, thrilling, treasured experiences await you.

Enjoy the seasons
From Spring to autumn

There are various activities to do in Iburi during the refreshing seasons from spring to autumn.
Enjoy a variety of experiences, from outdoor to cultural.

Shinrin-Yoku (Forest Bathing)

Forest bathing, an activity that lets you enjoy the gorgeous scenery and interact with nature, can easily be enjoyed by anyone. There are hiking trails in the Iburi area where you can immerse yourself in the abundant nature. Get your backpack and trekking boots ready, and head out.

Yoga (Lake Toya / Nakajima Island)

Nakajima Island (Lake Toya)

From April to October, you can go ashore Nakajima Island in Lake Toya via a sightseeing boat. Invigorate yourself by taking a trip to the Toyako Forest Museum, having a walk amid nature through the footpath, or bringing a yoga mat to experience yoga in nature.

321 518 377*44

Approx. 10 min by taxi from JR Toya Station

toyakokisen http://toyakokisen.com

Poroto Recreation Forest: NEO FOLK Guided Tour (Shiraoi Town)

This is a guided tour through the Poroto Recreation Forest in Shiraoi Town. Take a walk along the beautiful shores of Lake Poroto while learning about the forest’s flora and fauna, as well as the lifestyle and culture of the Ainu people who live with the abundant nature.

545 252 612*33

Approx. 10 min by taxi from JR Shiraoi Station

NEO FOLK Guided Tour
Customer support hours/
8:30 – 17:15 (Japan time, English support available)

Poroto Recreation Forest: NEO FOLK Guided Tour (Shiraoi Town)

Cape Chikyu Walking Trail (Muroran City)

A 30-minute slow-walk course in front of Cape Chikyu. You can enjoy a forest bath while viewing the primeval-feeling gigantic trees, pretty wildflowers, and wild birds such as falcons and woodpeckers.

159 195 015*30

Approx. 6 min by taxi from JR Bokoi Station

Atsuma Town


If you enjoy surfing in Hokkaido, Atsuma Town is the place for you. The Hama-
Atsuma coastal shoal is a very favorable spot, being a danger-free sandy beach with no rocks and having topographically stable waves, and many surfers visit the area throughout the year.

Hama-Atsuma Seaside Park

455 370 124*44

Approx. 6 min on foot from JR Hamaatsuma Station

Lake Toya

Lake Toya is a magnificent caldera lake created by a volcanic eruption over 110,000 years ago. The water is crystal clear and driftwood on the bottom of the lake can be clearly seen in some places. Lake Toya is also a “non-freezing lake,” where the surface of the lake does not freeze even in the intense cold of Hokkaido.

321 518 377*44

Approx. 10 min by taxi from JR Toya Station


After receiving a lecture at the shore, you will be rowing out to Lake Toya. Even a complete beginner will be able to row as they want. Enjoy the wonderful scenery from the canoe, a scenery you can only enjoy by going out into the lake!

Lake Toya Zero Point

There are several spots in Lake Toya, called “zero points,” that make it look like visitors are standing on the lake. How about taking a canoe to a rocky spot just below the surface of the water and taking pictures of your unforgettable memories?

Toya Guide Center

Toyako Museum of Art

On display are works by Bikki Sunazawa, one of Hokkaido’s leading sculptors, and small sculptures by general public participants of the “Toyamura International Sculpture Biennale.” Experience works of art amid nature on the shores of Lake Toya.

321 820 346*47

Approx. 20 min by taxi from JR Toya Station


Noteworthy attractions around the area

Singing Sand in Itanki Beach (Muroran City)

Itanki means “bowl” in the Ainu language. It is also known as a beach with precious “singing sand” that makes a squeaking sound when you slide your feet on it.
Citizens hold conservation activities such as beach clean-ups here.

159 288 510*55

Approx. 10 min by taxi from
JR Higashi-Muroran Station

Scenery with horses (Abira Town)

About 30 minutes by car from New Chitose Airport, Abira Town is a stopover for sightseeing in Hokkaido and is also famous as a horse-breeding area. In addition to the breeding ranch, there is also a ranch where stallions graze. Not far from there is the “Northern Horse Park,” where you can interact with horses.

Northern Horse Park

North Gate Inn Abira

Hobetsu Museum (Mukawa Town)

The fossils found in the Hobetsu area of Mukawa Town, including the dinosaur “Kamuysaurus Japonicus” which was announced as a new genus and new species in 2019, are stored and exhibited in the museum. You can experience a sense of ancient history through these genuine fossils.

567 331 592*55

Approx. 60 min by taxi or bus from JR Mukawa Station

Historic Site Kita-Kogane Shell Mound Park (Date City)

“Kita-Kogane Shell Mound”, a settlement ruin centered on five shell mounds, are the main ruins of the “Jomon Prehistoric Sites in Northern Japan” aiming to be registered as a World Heritage Site. It is maintained and open to the public as a historic site park where visitors can experience Jomon culture.

159 514 807*28

Approx. 5 min by taxi from JR Kogane Station

Waterwheel Park Salmon Run Tour (Toyoura Town)

From September to November, you can observe the salmon running upstream before spawning and fertilizing at the salmon catching facility. Would you like to learn while enjoying a salmon run, a sight that can only be seen in autumn, with a local guide?

662 354 468*17

Approx. 5 min by taxi from JR Toyoura Station

North Gate Inn Abira
For inquiries about tours, contact
info@toyoura-feel.com (English support available)

Enjoy the
Winter season

From trendy activities to classic staples, let us show you how to enjoy the winter in Iburi.
Soak up the winter sun amid the clear air and have your fill of outdoor experiences.

Winter camping

Even in Hokkaido, with its intense cold, winter camps attract attention. In the off-season, the campsites are empty and there are few people, allowing for a relaxing immersion, and the feeling of the winter cold on your skin makes you re-experience the original charm of camping, which is to get close to nature. Also, the cold, clear air of winter makes the stars look more beautiful than in any other season. Enjoy a luxurious moment around a bonfire and drinking hot coffee or liquor while gazing at the breathtaking winter starry sky.

Recommended spots

Arten Auto Resort Tomakomai[Tomakomai City]

545 414 747*60

Approx. 50 min by bus from JR Tomakomai Station

Smelt fishing

“Smelt fishing” is a premium experience that can only be done in cold regions, where you can drill a hole in a frozen lake’s surface and throw in a fishing line. At Lake Poroto in Shiraoi Town, the smelt fishing season opens when the ice on the surface of the lake reaches a thickness of 20 cm. Its charms lie in the fun of fishing, its simplicity that does not require special skills, and being able to eat your newly caught smelt fresh out of the water. The taste of smelt you caught yourself is sure to make your winter memories of Hokkaido special.

Recommended spots

Lake Poroto [Shiraoi Town]

545 223 419*85

Approx. 5 min by taxi from JR Shiraoi Station

Smelt fishing (Shiraoi Town)

Bird watching

Winter, when the leaves of the trees have fallen and the entire surrounding is covered with snow, is the perfect season for bird watching. You can see birds perched on branches even from a distance, and in quiet winter forests where the snow absorbs sound, you can clearly hear the calls and feel the presence of wild birds. Lake Utonai, where many wild birds can be observed, is also known as a stopover for migratory birds such as the greater white-fronted goose and the tundra swan. In winters when the surface of the lake freezes, Steller’s sea eagles can be seen resting on the ice. At the adjacent “Roadside Station Lake Utonai”, you can easily enjoy bird watching through the window with binoculars.

Recommended spots

Wild Bird Society of Japan: Lake Utonai Sanctuary [Tomakomai City] *Please inquire in advance for bird watching tours

113 445 228*66

Approx. 10 min by taxi from JR Numanohata Station

Lake Utonai Wildlife Conservation Center [Tomakomai City]

113 413 719*11

Approx. 10 min by taxi from JR Numanohata Station

Steller’s sea eagle (Wild Bird Society of Japan)

Long-tailed tit (Wild Bird Society of Japan)

Snowshoe tour

Lake Toya Snowshoe Tour (Toyako Town)

Lake Toya Snowshoe Tour (Toyako Town)

Wear snowshoes and head out to the snow-piled shores of Lake Toya and the nearby forests. Walk through endless snowfields in the middle of the softly falling snow. Snowshoes can also enter forests that cannot be entered in the summer. The calm and clear surface of the lake, which can be seen from your hill of choice overlooking Lake Toya, makes for picturesque scenery.

Toya Guide Center

321 789 515*03

Approx. 20 min by taxi from JR Toya Station

Otaki Ice Stalagmite Tour (Date City)

Ice stalagmites are buildups of ice that form when water droplets that fall from the ceiling of a cave freeze and gradually build-up, which is a phenomenon that happens only during the severe cold when the inside of the cave is below freezing point. In Otaki-ku, Date City, there is a cave with about 2,500 ice stalagmites, which is one of the most in Japan, and there is a tour to go inside with a guide while wearing snowshoes.

Otaki Outdoor Adventures

759 105 477*03

Approx. 40 min by taxi from JR Datemombetsu Station

Otaki Ice Stalagmite (Date City)

Orofure Pass Rime Watching (Noboribetsu City)

Orofure Pass Rime Watching Tour (Noboribetsu City)

If you walk the Orofure Pass in winter, where a lot of abundant nature remains, you can see the trees mysteriously covered with ice and snow.
A mysterious world called “Rime,” where entire trees are covered with ice spreads out before you.

Noboribetsu Gateway Center

603 257 588*30

Approx. 10 min by taxi from JR Noboribetsu Station

Noteworthy attractions around the area

Noboribetsu Hot Spring

Warm up your body that has chilled after playing in the cold at the Noboribetsu Hot Spring. It is a leading hot spring area in Japan, blessed with plenty of hot spring water and a wide variety of hot springs.
There are plenty of things to enjoy, such as the hot spring district where demons welcome you.

603 257 708*22

Approx. 15 min by taxi or bus from JR Noboribetsu Station

Karurusu Hot Spring (Noboribetsu City)

In Japan, there is a culture called “hot-spring cure,” where bath takers heal the mind and body by staying for a long time in a hot spring abundant in nature. At Karurusu Hot Spring, which is about 8 km further from Noboribetsu Hot Spring, there is an inn where you can easily experience hot-spring cure which has been popular since ancient times.

603 343 848*03

Approx. 20 min by taxi from
JR Noboribetsu Station

A unique experience

Living with Mt. Usu which has had multiple eruptions, the Iburi area,
where the traditional culture of the indigenous Ainu people remains, offer an experience that can only be found here.

Mt. Showa-shinzan (Sobetsu Town)

Learn Bosai

Toya-Usu UNESCO Global Geopark was registered as the first “Global Geopark” in Japan in August 2009. Under the theme of coexistence with the everchanging earth, the geopark works to conserve buildings affected by past volcanic activity and educate people to reduce the risk of natural disasters.

Recommended spots

Volcano Science Museum [Toyako Town]

321 518 337*63

Approx. 8 min by taxi from JR Toya Station

Nishiyama Crater Walking Trail [Toyako Town]

321 486 798*66

Approx. 10 min by taxi from JR Toya Station

Konpira Crater Disaster Remains Walking Trail [Toyako Town]

321 518 242*25

Approx. 10 min by taxi from JR Toya Station

Toya-Usu UNESCO Global Geopark

Mimatsu Masao Memorial Museum [Sobetsu Town]

Masao Mimatsu (1888-1977), who was the postmaster of the local post office, continued to observe the process of the birth of Mt. Showa-shinzan until 1945 from when a lava dome rose from a wheat field after the 1943 earthquake. The observation map he created using an original method was named “Mimatsu Diagram” and became a valuable record of volcanic activity even globally. A private memorial hall was built for Mimatsu, who used his own money to buy out Mt. Showa-shinzan to help the farmers who lost their fields, as a record of his birth and an imparting of his achievements, and his descendants propagated the importance of regional disaster prevention under “Volcano Meister®.”

Mimatsu Masao Memorial Museum
(Materials are in Japanese only)

321 433 517*14

Approx. 15 min by taxi from JR Toya Station

Ainu embroidery experience (Shiraoi Town)

Ainu embroidery experience (Shiraoi Town)

Ainu pattern embroidery and engraving

The Ainu people, who regard everything in the world as a god, offered prayers of gratitude for the blessings of nature, and such prayers eventually developed into a unique art culture. Experience Ainu culture, which has both delicacy and strength, in Upopoy Ainu Museum and Park.

Ainu pattern embroidery experience (Shiraoi Town)

Ainu patterns, which are embroidered on items such as kimonos, were passed down by drawing shapes on the ashes of the hearth, learned directly from mothers, or learned by observation. Ainu patterns are still passed down from person to person, and you may even find restored articles. When someone who learned the patterns (embroiderer) is making a kimono for a colleague, they are making it while praying for the safety of that colleague. Would you also like to try embroidering something for yourself or others? Aside from embroidery, you can also experience engraving at Upopoy. You can also observe the Traditional Ainu Dance, which is a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Recommended spots

Upopoy Ainu Museum and Park [Shiraoi Town]

545 194 851*47

Approx. 3 min by taxi from JR Shiraoi Station

Model route

Iburi has a variety of sightseeing spots and experiences.
Let us introduce a model route for summer to enjoy your Iburi trip to the fullest.
Please feel free to use it as a reference.

Day 1 / Muroran: Dolphin watching

Funka Bay around Muroran is known as a place where dolphins can be spotted. You can observe the dynamic sea creatures from a cruise ship. There is also a picturesque view of Cape Chikyu from the sea. You can also hear about the origin of the terrain and place names derived from the Ainu language. Dolphin watching cruises are available from June to mid-August, and Cape Chikyu sightseeing from April to November.

Star Marine Co., Ltd.
Contact us: contact@star-marine.co.jp

159 309 831*74

Approx.10 min by taxi from JR Muroran Station

Dolphin watching (Muroran City)

Day 2 / Shiraoi: Upopoy

Look back on the Ainu culture you heard about on the previous day’s cruise at Shiraoi’s Upopoy Ainu Museum and Park. First, start with the basic exhibition room. Exhibitions follow six themes from the perspective of the Ainu people. In the settlement where houses (chise) are reproduced, check how they are made using familiar natural materials. At the “Experience Exchange Hall”, you can enjoy watching performing arts such as the “Traditional Ainu Dance” registered as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. There are also various experience programs to try out. If you want to know more about Ainu culture, we also recommend a tour.

Contact us: info@nepki.com

Upopoy (Shiraoi Town)

Day 3 / Lake Utonai: Bird watching

Lake Utonai in Tomakomai is a good spot for bird watching. Although located in an industrial city, its Ramsar Convention-registered wetlands extend far and wide. Do come and see this abundant nature, which is our treasure. Based on knowledge gained at the “Lake Utonai Wildlife Conservation Center” and the “Lake Utonai Sanctuary Nature Center,” which introduce the nature and ecosystem of Lake Utonai, you can take a stroll by the lake and enjoy the appearances and songs of wild birds.

Day 4 / Lake Shikotsu: Clear kayak

Enjoy the last day to the fullest. Lake Shikotsu, which is near Shiraoi Town and Tomakomai, is located in a national park and was chosen as no. 1 in the Ministry of the Environment’s Lake Water Quality Ranking. The activity we suggest here is the “clear kayak.” The excellently stable and straight sit-on-top kayaks have a transparent bottom that allows you to look in the water while riding. When you row out into the beautiful clear blue lake, the water is so clear, it will feel as if you are floating in the sky.

Ocean Days

Phenology calendar

With its seasonal attractions and activities, any season is the best season to travel in Iburi.

Average temperature in midsummer (August) 20.5 ℃
Average temperature in midwinter (January) -2.1℃

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