Renowned for its magnificent sceneries and abundance in dairy produce, there simply isn’t enough time to marvel at all the natural wonders and devour all the delicious sweets from this area!

Iwanai Senkyou Gorge

Extending along the Iwanai River, this gorge is found at the foot of the Hidaka mountain range. The annual Iwanai Gorge Autumn Festival is held here in October, during which visitors are treated to spectacular views of fall foliage.

Mikuni Pass Observatory

At an altitude of 1,139 metres, this is the highest mountain pass in Hokkaido. From its observatory, visitors can feast their eyes on a grand forest of trees which include fir, spruce and white birch.

Tauschwetts River Bridge

Nicknamed “Spectacle Bridge”, the 130-metre-long concrete arch bridge’s reflection on the water surface during warmer months resemble round eyeglasses. During winter however, the bridge is surrounded by a white field of snow that mirrors the azure sky.

Ikeda Wine Castle

Set on a hillside overlooking the town, this “castle” is where Tokachi wine is aged and sold. Learn more about the cultivation of grapes and wine-making processes in the basement and taste some before leaving!

Ikeda Autumn Wine Festival

Held to celebrate grape harvests and the start of wine-making, this merry event features all-you-can-eat Tokachi beef, hamburger steak and chan-chan yaki, as well as all-you-can-drink red, white and rose wines made locally.

Banana Manju

With a history of over a century, this confectionery is a speciality of Ikeda Town and made with wheat flour, eggs and banana essence.

Tokachi Millennium Forest

Established to aid in environmental conservation and to offset carbon emissions, this beautiful area is made up of four individual gardens: Earth, Meadow, Forest and Farm, each cultivating something different.

Shichiku Garden

Created by the sprightly “Flower-blooming Grandma” Akiyo Shichiku when she was 63 years old, this field of flowers changes colour with the seasons. Visitors pay to enter but can pick as many blooms as they like to create a custom bouquet.

Kofuku Station

A closed railway station on the now defunct Hiroo Line, the spot remains popular because of its name, which means “happiness” in Japanese. Climb aboard one of the old train cabins for a trip back in time.

Tenma Kaido Highway

Stretching 139 kilometres from Obihiro City to Tokachi, construction of the highway took 27 years and was carefully integrated with the natural environment. Enjoy the superb view of the Hidaka Range as you drive along this route.

(This feature first appeared on WAttention Singapore magazine, Sep/Oct 2018 Vol. 46) 




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