eastern hokkaido

  • Wooden spoons made from white birch by Aitomi Mokuzai-kakou Corporation in the town of Tsubetsu in the Okhotsk region of eastern Hokkaido, which are used at five shops that sell dairy products in the town of Okoppe and the like, are proving popular among customers for their ‘cute’ cow designs. The spoons are part on an initiative derived from an Okhotsk Regional Promotion Bureau project, and the cost of manufacturing the spoons is covered by a forest environment transfer tax that the national government allocates to local governments for the purpose of maintaining forests in the region. As the trend shifts away from the use of plastic, the plan is to promote the warmth of wooded products.

  • Atop a cliff facing the Pacific Ocean in the Mombetsu area of Hiroo Town in Eastern Hokkaido’s Tokachi region, there is a concrete mass that looks like it might crumble apart at any moment. It is a "tochka" (defensive fortification) constructed by the now-defunct Japanese Army built to prevent US forces from invading Japanese territory.

  • In response to numerous incidents of brown bear attacks on cows in the town of Akkeshi in the Eastern Hokkaido Kushiro region, the Kushiro Ohta Agricultural Cooperative has introduced a small, unmanned drone equipped with an infrared camera and speaker. On September 11, the drone was deployed for the first time in a field of animal feed dent corn that is about to be harvested. It spots and intimidates bears, and lowers the risk of bear attacks on people. The idea is for the drone to help ensure safety as well as assist in biological research and capturing bears.

  • The work of thinning-down the ‘Yamasachi’ vines – developed especially for wine-making – is reaching its peak in the vineyards of Chiyoda in the town of Ikeda in the Tokachi region of eastern Hokkaido.

  • In order to photograph brown bears off the coast of the tip Shiretoko Peninsula, where there are no roads, a boat departs from the Utoro port in the town of Shari. We had received information from the crew of a Shiretoko sightseeing boat, of “sightings of bears swimming in the sea”, and requested boat-owning colleagues to take us there. There are no fears of suddenly approaching brown bears from a boat, and many brown bears have been confirmed walking along the coastline, but it’s not easy to encounter a swimming bear.

  • The first attempt at producing orange wine has begun at the Infeeld Winery in the Tanno-cho district of the city of Kitami in the Okhotsk region of eastern Hokkaido.

  • The Onbetsu Town Administrative Center in the Eastern Hokkaido city of Kushiro started selling two new folding fans made from "fukigami paper" and featuring Ainu designs. Fukigami paper is a type of Japanese paper made from the peels of butterbur, a special plant grown in the town. Two artists from the Akanko Hot Spring area created the design with assistance from General Incorporated Association Akan Ainu Consulting. The designs were inspired by butterbur growing in Onbetsu.

  • The "lake bottom railroad" in the town of Shikaoi is garnering attention from both inside and outside of the town. The railroad extends from the lakeside to the offing of Lake Shikaribetsu in the town, which is located in Eastern Hokkaido's Tokachi region. When a major Hokkaido travel agency introduced the railroad as the Grand Prix award for a photograph contest for beautiful summer scenery, it became a hot topic across the Internet. Numerous tourists have come to see it.

  • The "All Japan Mamachari Five Hour Endurance Race" in which riders cruise the circuit on bicycles with shopping baskets (commonly called "mamachari-bicycles") was held on September 5 at the Tokachi Speedway in Tokachi region's Sarabetsu Village. Under an autumn sky, approximately 200 participants in 32 teams from around Hokkaido competed against each other for the highest number of laps on the 3.4 kilometer circuit course.

  • As autumn approaches, Japan's largest natural glasswort area in Ubaranai, Abashiri City is beginning to change colors. The annual September "Lake Notoro Coral Grass Festival" has been cancelled for the second year running in response to the State of Emergency Declaration for Hokkaido as a COVID-19 countermeasure, but tourists are still enjoying the colorful vermillion scenery with the lake as a backdrop.

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