投稿者北海道新聞社

  • A bear and its cub walking during daylight hours, taken from video footage (courtesy of Prof. Sato)

    Do you know the method of surveying the population of brown bears? In mid-May, we accompanied Professor Sato Yoshikazu of Rakuno Gakuen University on a survey of the population of brown bears in Sa...

  • Visitors enjoyed a spectacular sea of clouds that appeared early in the morning of June 9 at the Tsubetsu Pass Observatory overlooking Lake Kussharo in the Okhotsk region of eastern Hokkaido.

  • On June 13, shipments of the specialty high-end ‘Densuke’ watermelon began in the town of Tohma in the Kamikawa region of northern Hokkaido. Due to continued fine weather, this year’s watermelons are slightly larger than usual, and at the first auction of the season at the Asahikawa Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable Market, one 4L-size (9 kg) watermelon fetched 600,000 yen, the third highest price ever.

  • The shipment of small Himawari (sunflower) watermelons, a specialty of the town of Hokuryu in the Sorachi region of central Hokkaido, began on June 10. The yellow flesh is reminiscent of a sunflower, the flower of the town, and the harvest and shipping facilities were filled with a slightly early summer atmosphere.

  • This season's landing of sea urchins, a specialty of Okushiri Island in southern Hokkaido, has begun. The first sea urchins are farmed but, from mid-July, they will be replaced by natural ones. Every morning at the processing factory, fishing industry workers are busy cracking open and shipping the sea urchins, and a new initiative will be launched to offer tourists the chance to experience hands-on sea urchin cracking activities.

  • The State Railway of Thailand has unveiled one of the 17 ‘Kiha 183 Series’ diesel trains that has been refurbished after it was imported from Hokkaido. The body of the carriage has been repainted in the same design as the ‘Okhotsk Limited Express’ (Sapporo – Abashiri), which was operated by JR Hokkaido at the time, to recreate a ‘Japanese railway’. The train will begin operating as a sightseeing train from late August.

  • The 31st YOSAKOI Soran Festival concluded after holding its final competition at Odori Park in Chuo-ku, Sapporo City on the final day of June 12. This festival was the first installment after a two-year absence due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The YOSAKOI Soran Grand Prize, which is the highest festival prize, was won by Sapporo City adult team "Kita Subaru", which entered its ninth year since formation. This was their first Grand Prize.

  • With the government reopening foreign tourist entry, the Japanese tourism industry is rushing to prepare for the influx. And Hokkaido is no exception. The flood of group lodging inquiries from foreign travel agencies to hotels and the like is increasing rapidly. Domestic Japanese travel agencies, which are responsible for accepting tourists into the country, are being overwhelmed with the work of checking on the thorough implementation of virus control initiatives and response measures for cases when Covid-19 infection is discovered among incoming tourists.

  • A flying balloon carrying a hamster has been launched into the stratosphere to an altitude of 23 kilometers and returned safely, a Sapporo-based space venture said recently as it aims to realize "space travel" using balloons.

  • Ishikawa Genzo Shoten, a long-established sake retailer, which was established in 1891 and closed-down eight years ago, has been ‘revived’ as a standing bar. The owner, Ishikawa Yoshinori became aware of the historical value and charm of his family's store and returned to Otaru after retiring from a major automobile manufacturer, to become the fourth-generation proprietor. The building is 85 years old, and Ishikawa hopes to rekindle the retro atmosphere of the store and “attract people who love the history of Otaru.”

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