Abashiri is acclaimed for its unique museums, from a former prison for felons to a museum where you can see real ice floating in freezing cold temperatures. Positioned along the Okhotsk Coast, it boasts an abundance of natural beauty and is known for its blooming flower displays and fresh seafood.
Things to do
Home to drifting sea ice, Abashiri offers nature enthusiasts the chance to marvel at this natural wonder from sightseeing boats in winter. However, you can visit the Okhotsk Ryuhyo Museum throughout the year to experience a simulated drift ice experience in a room with -15 degrees-Celsius temperatures and observe creatures that live in Okhotsk Sea.
The only prison museum in Japan, the Abashiri Prison Museum was used as a prison in the Meiji period. It illustrates what life was like as a prisoner and exhibits more than a dozen buildings, including a law court and bath house.
Want to learn more about the regional history? Visit the Hokkaido Museum of Northern Peoples to see the subarctic lifestyle of people living in the northern region. It showcases the traditional attire, cuisine, transportation and tools used for hunting.
Unwind in the natural landscapes of Abashiri Quasi-National Park, where you can spend an afternoon fishing or observing beautiful swans in Lake Abashiri. If you fancy a day of birdwatching, visit the nearby Lake Tofutsu.
Memanbetsu Airport, about 20 minutes’ drive from Abashiri, provides flights to and from major cities, such as Tokyo, Sapporo and Nagoya. The best way to explore Abashiri is by taxi, bus or car.