Southern Hokkaido

Shakotan Peninsula [積丹半島]

Rocky cliffs of Shakotan Peninsula
Rocky cliffs of Shakotan Peninsula

Unidon (Bowl of rice topped with sea urchin)
Unidon (Bowl of rice topped with sea urchin)

Shakotan Peninsula is a mountainous peninsula extending from the west of Otaru city to the northwest.
The length is about 30 km and the width is about 20 km.

From the late 19th to the early 20th century, the sea around this peninsula was a good fishing ground of herring.
Now a fishing industry is main around this peninsula, and especially fresh sea urchins are tasty.

Basically main sightseeing spots of Shakotan Peninsula are along the north coast, and mainly these are natural scenery.

General entrance to the peninsula is Yoichi town on northern base of the peninsula.
It is located about 20 km west of Otaru city.

Dokkoi Shakotan

Yoichi Distillery
Yoichi Distillery

Candle rock
Candle rock

Yoichi Distillery [余市蒸溜所]

Yoichi Distillery is a whisky distillery owned by Nikka Whisky Distilling Co. Ltd.
It is in the center of Yoichi town.

It is the first Japanese whisky distillery and began operations in 1934.
Taketsuru Masataka (1894-1979, the founder of the distillery) selected this place because the natural features and climate is similar to Scotland.

In 2007, a whisky of this distillery became the No.1 of "World Whiskies Awards" held in Great Britain.

You can observe the inside of the distillery.
Many buildings of the factory were built at the time of establishment and some of them are designated Important Cultural Properties.

Of course, you can taste the whisky.
The entrance is located about 200 meters west of JR Yoichi station.
(The train is operated every about 1.5 hours and about 25 minutes from Otaru.)

Nikka Whisky

Candle rock [ローソク岩]

It is a unique rock which is 46 meters high and stands on the sea like a big candle.
The Japanese name is "Rôsoku-iwa".

It is located 12 km northwest of Yoichi town, and stands about 0.7 km off the coast.

View from Cape Ogon
View from Cape Ogon

Sea of Shakotan blue
Shimamui Coast of "Shakotan blue"

Cape Ôgon [黄金岬]

It is a cape near Bikuni fishing port, which is located 25 km northwest of Yoichi town.

After you walk about 400 meters along the path, you reach the observatory.
You have a good view of the port, an island and the Sea of Japan.

From Bikuni port, a pleasure ship leaves for seeing into the sea.

Shimamui Coast [島武意海岸]

It is a coast near the Cape Shakotan (積丹岬).
Cape Shokotan is located at the northern edge of the peninsula, and Shimamui Coast is located about 1 km east of the cape.

The cliffs are lined, but there is a small sandy shore and you can go down there.

The water of sea is very clear and the color is called "Shakotan blue".

Cape Kamui
Cape Kamui

Kamui rock
Kamui rock

Cape Kamui [神威岬]

It is a cape located at the northwestern edge of the peninsula.
It is about 10 km west-southwest of Cape Shakotan.

We can have a splendid view of the Sea of Japan.

A rock like a tower stands in the sea off the cape, and is called "Kamui rock".
It is believed that a broken-hearted girl thrown herself into the sea became this rock a long time ago.

How to get here

By route bus, from JR Otaru station, about 1 hour and 25 minutes to "Bikuni" stop, about 2 hour and 20 minutes to "Kamui-misaki" stop (Cape Kamui).

Other Tourist Attractions in Southern Hokkaido

Otaru city Lake Shikotsu Lake Toya Mt. Usu volcano Showa-shinzan volcano Noboribetsu hot spring resort Cape Chikyu Niseko ski resort Mount Yotei Hakodate city Onuma Quasi-National Park Matsumae Castle Okushiri island

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