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Obihiro

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Asia : East Asia : Japan : Hokkaido : Obihiro
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Location of Obihiro in Hokkaido

Obihiro (帯広) is a city on the northern island of Hokkaido, It is the capital of Tokachi sub-prefecture on the Tokachi Plain, a major agricultural area.

Understand[edit]

Founded by settlers from Honshu in 1883, and designated as a city in 1933, Obihiro is architecturally undistinguished except for a few kitsch pachinko (pin ball) palaces. To the visitor it appears a city of car dealers and cake shops.

Arranged on a regular north south grid, most of the city lies in the south western quadrant. Two main features lie diagonal to the grid: the railway line with the main JR station and Midorigaoka Park, a green hill where some of the cities main attractions (the museum, zoo etc.) are located.

Most Japanese visitors from the south are attracted to the dairy farms of the Tokachi Plain, however foreign visitors already familiar with cows and wheat fields may be more interested in the high volcanic peaks of Daisetsuzan with its extraordinary alpine flora, or the wildlife in Shiretoko Peninsula. For these major attractions Obihiro is a gateway, conveniently bypassing Sapporo and western Hokkaido.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

  • Tokachi Obihiro Airport (とかち帯広空港), Naka 8-41, Nishi 9-sen, Izumi-cho (25 km south of Obihiro City.), +81 0155 64-4078, [1]. Has flights to and from Tokyo (Haneda), Kansai International Airport and Nagoya. The phone number for JAL, the primary carrier at this airport, is +81 0155 64-5681.  edit

By train[edit]

  • JR Obihiro Station, +81 0155 23-8176. Obihiro is on the main JR Nemuro Line between Sapporo and Kushiro. There are trains to Sapporo (207 km, 2:15 hours), Asahikawa (183 km, 3:30 hours), Hakodate (461 km, 6:30 hours), and Kushiro (120 km, 1:45 hours).  edit

By bus[edit]

Long distance buses are a good way to get to Obihiro. These buses all leave from in front of JR Obihiro Station.

  • Chuo Bus, +81 011 231-0600.  edit
  • Obihiro Station Bus, +81 0155 23-3489.  edit
  • Chuo Bus Oyachi, +81 011 891-6388.  edit

Get around[edit]

The center of Obihiro, located between JR Obihiro Station and Fujimaru Department Store, is small and walkable, though most of the larger shopping areas are outside of this. The city as a whole is large and spread out, though easy to navigate. Similar to Sapporo, it is laid out on a grid, and intersections are signed in both Japanese and English (e.g., West 1 South 10). The north-south axis (which lies close to the city center) is called Ōdōri.

City buses exist, though services are less frequent than on the more densely populated island of Honshu.

By car[edit]

A car is ideal, since the main attractions are outside the city. There are some rental car companies at the airport.

  • Toyota, (At Tokachi Obihiro Airport.), +81 0155 64-5210.  edit
  • Nippon, (At Tokachi Obihiro Airport.), +81 0155 64-5065.  edit
  • Nissan, (At Tokachi Obihiro Airport.), +81 0155 64-5323.  edit
  • Mazda, (At Tokachi Obihiro Airport.), +81 0155 64-5600.  edit
  • Orix, (At Tokachi Obihiro Airport.), +81 0155 64-5543.  edit

See[edit][add listing]

  • Obihiro Racecourse (帯広競馬場), Nishi 13, Minami 9, +81 0155 34-0825, [2]. Obihiro has a unique type of draught horse racing called Banei (ばんえい) . The horses drag steel 'sleighs', each weighing around 500 kilograms, along a 200 metre sand track with two humps in the middle of the course. The sport originated in a test of strength for farm animals. Most of the horses are a crossbreed of French Percherons and Bretons and Belgian horses. The 'jockeys' lash the horses repeatedly with the reins - animal lovers be warned!  edit
  • Hokkaido Obihiro Museum of Art (北海道立帯広美術館), Midorigaoka-koen, Midorigaoka 2, +81 0155 22-6963 (fax: +81 0155 22-4233), [3].  edit
  • Obihiro Centennial Memorial Hall (帯広百年記念館), Midorigaoka-koen, Midorigaoka 2, +81 0155 24-6963, [4]. City historical and natural history museum.  edit
  • Obihiro Zoo (帯広動物園), Midorigaoka-koen, Midorigaoka 2, +81 0155 24-2437 (fax: +81 0155 24-2439), [5]. Apr 28-Nov 4.  edit
  • Obihiro Wild Flower Garden (帯広市野草園), Midorigaoka-koen, Midorigaoka 2, +81 0155 24-2434, [6]. May-Oct.  edit
  • Nakasatsunai Bijutsumura (中札内美術村), [7]. Apr-Nov. Five art galleries and two restaurants in a daimyo oak (kashiwa) wood. Owned by the Rokkatei Confectionery Company of Obihiro.  edit
  • Obihiro Shimin Bunka Hall (帯広市民文化ホール), Nishi 5, Minami 11 (5 minutes on foot from JR Obihiro Station.), +81 0155 23-8111. This is a common venue for concerts and recitals.  edit
  • Ice Festival. Late Jan. Festival with ice sculptures.  edit
  • Heigen Festival. Mid Aug. Bon Dance festival.  edit
  • Chrysanthemum Festival. Early Nov.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

Obihiro is located close to the Hidaka and Daisetsuzan mountains. There are an impressive range of facilities for outdoor activities: mountain trekking, horse riding, white-water rafting, kayaking, swimming, tennis, 'park golf' etc. during the summer, and skiing, snow boarding, snow shoeing and skating etc. during the winter.

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Fujimaru (藤丸), Nishi 2, Minami 8-1, +81 0155 24-2101, [8]. 10AM-7PM. Nine floor department store in the centre of the city. Food on the basement floor.  edit
  • Hokkaido Chizu, 5th floor Sompo Japan Building, Higashi 1, Minami 10-21. M-F 9AM-6PM. This is the place to buy trekking maps of Hokkaido at scales of 1:25,000 and 1:50,000.  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

Restaurants[edit]

  • Sushi Masa (寿司正), Nishi 2, Minami 19, +81 0155 23-4561, [9]. Traditional sushi restaurant with a quiet atmosphere.  edit
  • Tatsumi-zushi (辰巳寿司), Nishi 1, Minami 7, +81 0155 24-6665. Quality sushi in an unpretentious restaurant.  edit
  • Umi-e (海へ), Alta 2F, Nishi 1, Minami 9-17-2. A seafood izakaya in the city centre. Large menu.  edit
  • Matsuhisaen (松久園), Bisei 1-20, Memuro-cho (30 minutes by car from Obihiro.), +81 0155 65-2321, [10]. Historic trout farm, restaurant and garden.  edit
  • The Soup, Nishi 3, Minami 11-1, +81 0155 28-7171. Serves Hokkaido soup curry.  edit
  • Michinro (美珍楼西家), Nishi 19, Minami 2-25-9, +81 0155 33-0030. This restaurant, whose Chinese name is Meizhenlou Xijia, serves straightforward Cantonese food. It has a large menu with reasonably-sized portions.  edit
  • L'Orange (オランジュ), Nishi 3, Minami 9-2, +81 0155 67-7878, [11]. A French restaurant.  edit
  • Chez Maeda (シェ・マエダ), Nishi 2, Minami 10-2, +81 0155 27-6206. A French restaurant.  edit
  • Le Bordeaux (ル・ボルドー), [12]. A French restaurant.  edit
  • Osteria Alpesca (オステリア アルペスカ), Nishi 1, Minami 12-2-7, +81 0155 28-5663, [13]. An Italian restaurant.  edit
  • Pennylane (ペニーレーン), Nishi 21, Minami 5, +81 0155 36-2300, [14]. Serves mainly pasta and has good bread.  edit
  • Byplane (バイプレーン), Nishi 1, Minami 11 (In Fukui Hotel.), +81 0155 25-1717, [15]. Serves seafood, pasta, and vegetarian food — and also good cheese.  edit

Cake[edit]

  • Rokkatei (六花亭) Nishi 2, Minami 9-6, [16]. The main branch of a nationally famous confectionery company, that is also an important patron of the arts (see Nakasatsunai Bijutsumura above).
  • Ryugetsu (柳月) Ōdōri, Minami 8-15, 0155 23 2101 or 0120 669 669 [17]. Rivals to Rokkatei.
  • Uetliberg (ユトリベルグ) Nishi 17, Minami 4-15-7, tel 0155 33 0134 and 0120 01 3470. Open from 09.30 to 19.30. [18] Flying the Swiss flag, this cake shop specializes in purin, the Japanese custard pudding.
  • Cranberry (クランベリ) Nishi 2, Minami 6, tel 0155 22 6656 [19]
  • Asahiya (あさひや) Nishi 19, Minami 4-24-3, tel 0155 38 2606
  • Akutsu (あくつ) Honmachi 3-9, Taisho, tel 0155 64 5438

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Tokachi Beer (十勝ビール), Nishi 1, Minami 9-6 (In the center of the city.), +81 0155 26-4141, [20]. Not to be confused with the Tokachi Brewery (below), this microbrewery and restaurant is notable for its pizzas and giant tropical plants.  edit
  • Tokachi Brewery and Natural Garden, Higashi 3, Minami 13-2, +81 0155 24-3717.  edit
  • Rancho El Paso (エルパソ), Nishi 16-13-20, Minami 6 (Near Midorigaoka Park.), +81 0155 34-3418, [21]. Restaurant specializing in sausages, ham and bacon.  edit
  • The Galway, Nishi 2, Minami 10-20-5, +81 0155 20-5211. Irish pub with Guinness and Kilkenny.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Budget[edit]

  • Poroshiri Nature Park Campsites (ポロシリ自然公園), Dai 2 Kisen 2-7, Takuseicho (Near Tokachi Obihiro airport, south of Obihiro.), +81 0155 60-2000, [22]. Open Jun-Sep. Site with electric ¥2500, site without electric ¥1500.  edit
  • Toipirka Youth Hostel (トイピルカ北帯広YH), Higashi 52-8, Kita 4, Shimo-Shihoro, Otofuke, +81 0155 30-4165, [23]. Located outside the city, near Tokachigawa Onsen. YH members ¥3200, non-members ¥4200.  edit
  • Hot Spring Hotel Boston, Nishi 1, Minami 3-15 (Near Ōdōri Bridge.), +81 0155 23-7015 (fax: +81 0155 21-3555), [24]. Single ¥4500, twin ¥8400.  edit
  • Satonoya Ryokan (さとのや旅館), Higashi 1, Kita 3-16, +81 0155 22-0017 (, fax: +81 0155 22-0017), [25]. ¥3000 w/o meals.  edit

Mid-range[edit]

  • Tokachi Gardens Hotel, Nishi 2, Minami 11-6, +81 0155 26-5555 (fax: +81 0155 21-0500), [26]. Single ¥8400, double ¥14,700.  edit
  • Obihiro Washington Hotel (帯広ワシントンホテル), Nishi 1, Minami 12-8, +81 0155 23-5111 (fax: +81 0155 23-5112), [27]. Single ¥7140, double ¥12,705.  edit
  • Hotel Paco Obihiro, Nishi 1, Minami 11, +81 0155 23-8585 (fax: +81 0155 23-0085), [28]. Single ¥7000, double ¥9000.  edit
  • Obihiro Tokyu Inn (帯広東急イン), Nishi 1, Minami 11-2, +81 0155 27-0109 (fax: +81 0155 27-1016), [29]. Single ¥6825, double ¥12,600.  edit
  • Hotel Hero (ホテルヒーロー), Nishi 3, Minami 12-6, +81 0155 26-3161 (fax: +81 0155 26-0642), [30]. Internet connection in rooms. Single ¥6300, double ¥11,550.  edit
  • Fukui Hotel (ふく井ホテル), Nishi 1, Minami 11, +81 0155 25-1717 (fax: +81 0155 25-1746), [31]. Single ¥5900, double ¥9500.  edit
  • Toyoko Inn (東横イン), Nishi 4, Minami 11-4, +81 0155 27-1045, [32]. Single ¥5800, double ¥7800.  edit
  • Hotel Route Inn (ホテルルートイン), Nishi 3, Minami 11-8, +81 0155 28-7200 (fax: +81 0155 28-5770), [33]. Single ¥5400, double ¥9450.  edit
  • Obihiro Grand Hotel, Nishi 2, Minami 3-20, +81 0155 22-4181 (fax: +81 0155 22-1818). Single ¥5250, twin ¥9450.  edit

Splurge[edit]

  • Hotel Nikko Northland Obihiro, Nishi 2, Minami 13-1 (Next to Obihiro Station.), +81 0155 24-1234 (fax: +81 0155 28-3553), [35]. Single ¥13,000, double ¥19,000.  edit

Contact[edit]

  • Tokachi Tourist Information, (Esta Shopping Mall, JR Obihiro Station.). Information mainly Japanese, but they have a number of pamplets and maps in English.  edit
  • Obihiro City Library (帯広市図書館), Nishi 2, Minami 14-3-1 (Next to JR Obihiro Station.), +81 0155 22-4700, [36]. Obihiro's main library has English newspapers. Internet is available, too.  edit
  • International and Domestic Relations Department (帯広市 親善交流課), 3rd Floor, Obihiro City Hall, Nishi 5, Minami 7-1, +81 0155 65-4133 (), [37]. Information in English for foreign residents.  edit
  • Tokachi International Relations Center (森の交流館・十勝), Nishi 20, Minami 6, +81 0155 34-0122, [38]. Library and resource center. Run by the International and Domestic Relations Department (listed above).  edit

Get out[edit]

Beyond Obihiro lie the high volcanic peaks of Japan's largest national park, Daisetsuzan, and the Kushiro Wetlands National Park. Further afield are Abashiri and Shiretoko National Park.

Routes through Obihiro
TakikawaFurano  W noframe E  KushiroNemuro
ChitoseShimukappu  W noframe E  Honbetsu





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