Recommended Travel Plan

COURSE 05
The history and culture of Sorachi, the town of the coal mine 4 days

"Yubari Coal Mine Museum" and "Yubari Rokumeikan" are valuable places where you can feel the history of Yubari in the time when the coal mining industry reached its peak. In Bibai, which flourished as a town of coal mines, the "Bibai Yakitori" is famous for its delicious taste of chicken and its guts. It is a local gourmet originally produced for miners who use physical strength, and it is a must-try item when you visit there. Also, after you enjoy the spectacular view of Hokuryu Sunflower Farm whose best season is from July to August, why don't you feel the art by visiting "Arte Piazza Bibai", which is the art museum of Kan Yasuda, a sculptor from Hokkaido and visiting "Kobushi Toen" pottery that keeps creating pots rooted in the climate of northern country?

  • "⇒" indicates the route.
Schedule
Day 1: Sapporo ⇒ Yubari Coal Mine MuseumYubari Rokumeikan ⇒ Yubari
Day 2: Yubari ⇒ Takinoue Park ⇒ Yuni Garden ⇒ Iwamizawa(Bibai yakitori
Day 3: Iwamizawa ⇒ Hokuryu Sunflower FieldKan Yasuda Sculpture Museum Arte Piazza Bibai ⇒ Iwamizawa
Day 4: Iwamizawa ⇒ Kobushi Toen (Kobushi Kiln) ⇒ Sapporo

SPOT01

Yubari Coal Mine Museum

A facility, where you can learn about the history of Yubari City that flourished as a city of coal mines which has supported Japanese industry, was renovated in approximately two years and renewed in 2018. In addition to the material pictures, panels and the diorama exhibition which realistically expresses the mining scenery across time, the unique "simulated tunnel" which exists only in Japan is a must-see. The Old Hokutan Yubari Coal Mine Tunnel which had been actually used has been arranged for inspection, so you can touch the real coal layer with your hands. Also, "The Large-Scale Coal Exposure of Yubari 24-shaku (7.2m) Layer" where you can closely look at massive coal beds is also designated as a natural monument of Hokkaido.

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Yubari Rokumeikan

This sumptuous historical building is reminiscent of the glorious days of Yubari as a coal mining town. It is an authentic Japanese-style structure built by combining technologies of those days, but it has a combination of Japanese (and Western) style rooms. The large windows of the building command seasonal views. Highly artistic interior decorations and historical furniture are a must-see. It is also known as a place where Emperor Showa and the Empress stayed. It was designated as a tangible cultural asset by the national government in 2011.

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Bibai yakitori (skewered chicken)

This dish consisting of the whole chicken is the traditional soul food of Bibai’s citizens, Bibai yakitori, loved by miners in Bibai which used to prosper with coal mining, uses not only chicken meat, but also the liver, heart, gizzard, ovarian egg, skin and various other parts, broiled on one skewer with onion. It is seasoned only with salt and pepper, and each mouthful tastes different. Motsu (chicken offal)-soba noodles with yakitori on top and Torimeshi (seasoned rice with Motsu and chicken meat) should also be enjoyed at the same time.

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Hokuryu Sunflower Field

This is one of Japan’s largest sunflower fields. The best season to see the town’s sunflowers is between late July and early August. Especially recommended is Himawari-no-Sato (sunflower garden), where 1.5 million sunflowers bloom on the extensive hill. The view of a yellow carpet of flowers spreading as far as the eye can see is overwhelming. Popular features include a tractor-towed car to tour leisurely around the sunflower field and a "sunflower maze" to walk through sunflowers grown to a man’s height. There are also many photo spots. The annual "Sunflower Festival" attracts many guests from both home and abroad.

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Kan Yasuda Sculpture Museum Arte Piazza Bibai

This is a sculpture museum exhibiting works of world-famous sculptor Kan Yasuda from Bibai City. The extensive park adjoining a forest is dotted with approximately 40 sculptures, which blends with the beautiful nature and creates a unique and diverse space. The wooden building and gymnasium of a closed elementary school are also used as facilities for exhibitions and concerts. It is a precious place where magnificent nature that changes with the seasons can be experienced with art at the same time. There is also a café where homemade sweets can be enjoyed.

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Kobushi Toen (Kobushi Kiln)

Iwamizawa City is a little more than a 1 hour-drive from downtown Sapporo. This oldest pottery maker in Hokkaido is making colorful vessels that reflect the lives of locals. The makers are particular about creating works based on the local culture, and many fans love the vessels that color the table. At the studio in the facility, visitors can watch the production process using pottery wheels and the kiln, do their shopping and have hands-on experience of pottery making by making a prior reservation. You can choose from hand-turning a potter’s wheel or painting. Why not make a one and only vessel in the world?