JR Obihiro Station
Obihiro station is the first place to stop when you want to get information about the city. On the first floor of Obihiro Station there is a tourist information centre where you can get all kinds of information.
On the same floor, there is the Obihiro’s speciality store where you can buy souvenirs.
Obihiro station, 2nd floor.
Obihiro’s specialities store.
Nowadays, you can get information all kind of informations on the internet with your smartphone, but here you can have information in a more traditional way. This is one of Obihiro’s characteristic.
Since you are in the countryside, you may actually find more information about the region by stopping by the information centre than by looking on the net.
Obihiro’s local specialities store is selling many products related to their famous “Pork Bowl”.
The NHK drama "Natsuzora" exposition.
At the back of the produce corner, there is a special section dedicated to the NHK morning TV series "Natsuzora", which was set in Tokachi (Obihiro's subprefecture) and has been broadcasted in 2019.
There is also a display of rare materials, so whether you're a fan or not, it's worth a visit.
Curry Shop Indian
Indian’s Memuro branch
Speaking of Obihiro, the first place we would like to introduce is the curry shop "Indian".
Well-liked by Obihiro citizens, this restaurant have 10 shops in Obihiro and 2 in Kushiro, and is considered as a local speciality.
This is the curry of Indian.
It's hard to tell because it's covered with roux, but it's cutlet curry!
It's a casual place with reasonable prices.
There are three types of roux: "Indian Roux," "Basic Roux," and "Vegetable Roux," from which you can choose.
The spiciness of the roux can also be adjusted, with five levels of spiciness to choose from. Ranging from "normal," great for adults and children alike, to "very spicy," for people who have a good immunity against fire.
Pork cutlets and hamburgers can be ordered as a topping and allow you to create your very own curry.
The shop menu.
The take-out menu.
Cheap, tasty and voluminous.
With the 10 restaurants spread in Obihiro's suburbs alone, it's a restaurant easy to stop by when you're hungry.
As an Asahikawa citizen, our writer is thankful for the "takeaway roux,” which allow him to eat some at home with his family.
When you return to Asahikawa after a drive to Obihiro, you may be too tired to cook dinner making this takeaway roux a real lifesaver.
Before you leave Obihiro, you can buy a curry roux from Indian to bring it home. Like this, you just have to reheat it to enjoy the taste of Obihiro.
Whether you eat it there or take it home with you, it’s delicious and that's the charm of Indian.
The Kofuku Station used to be a railway station on the Hiroo Line of the former Japanese National Railways, but it was closed when the Hiroo Line was closed.
However, because of its auspicious name, many people still visit the station even though it is now closed.
At the opposite side of the station building, you can buy a pink "Kofuku-yuki" (To Hapiness) ticket and write your wish, along with the other visitors’.
It's a bit far from the centre of Obihiro, but now that the highway has been extended, it's easy to drop by.
Loitering on the road is one of the best parts of driving, so why not take a look around ?
Tokachi Pork Bowl Ippin
The pork bowl is one of the most famous dishes in Obihiro.
Among the many pork bowl restaurants in Obihiro, we would like to introduce Ippin.
What is so special about Ippin's pork bowl is its delicious charcoal-grilled pork slices.
As you can see from the picture, the surface of the pork is seared until becoming slightly charred and the inside of the meat is soaked in a sauce making each piece of meat very juicy.
The sauce is also delicious, not too sweet but not too spicy neither. As the rice absorbs the sauce too, each grain of rice is savoury and tasty.
The menu is very simple as there is nothing else on the menu except the pork bowl.
If you come with children, you can ask the staff to cut the meat into smaller pieces.
Obihiro is also famously called the “town of sweets”.
There are many famous sweets makers all over the country, among them, we would like to introduce you Cranberry.
The stylish shop is filled with a large variety of sweets
They have all kinds of cakes
The shop is very beautiful and has a large selection of petits fours, cakes and many other sweets.
One of Cranberry's specialities is their famous 'sweet potato'.
The sweet potatoes are literally made from whole sweet potatoes, so they are very large and hearty. Since all the potatoes don’t have the same size, they are sold by weight.
Since they are sold by the piece and not by the slice, choosing the size at the shop is part of the fun.
The infamous sweet potato
Soft and moderately sweetened. The natural taste of the sweet potato is preserved.
The simple and natural texture gives it an exquisite taste.
Cranberry has five shops in the Obihiro area.
We have introduced the main shop this time, but you can also choose a place that is easy to stop by on your drive.
Taushibetsu River Bridge Observatory
We are going to introduce you a place that has nothing to do with Obihiro but since our author drove by that place, he decided to introduce it to you nevertheless.
The Taushibetsu River Bridge Observatory is located along the route 273 from Asahikawa to Obihiro through Mikuni Pass, so it is a good place to stop by and have a rest.
The Taushibetsu River Bridge is one of the concrete arch bridges on the Shihoro Line of the former Japanese National Railways (JNR), and was selected as one of the first Hokkaido Heritage sites.
The bridge was built as part of the Shihoro Line during the JNR era, but when the Nukabira Dam was completed, the railway line was moved to another location because it was submerged in the dam lake. Since the dam has been completed, the bridge has not been used.
Submerging and reappearing as the water level of Lake Nukabira fluctuates, Taushibetsu River Bridge became known as the "Phantom Bridge”.
Every year the bridge begins to be submerged from around June and is completely submerged by October.
In winter, the water level gradually drops and the bridge reappears in January.
It is rumoured that the concrete has deteriorated so much due to this combination of factors that it may collapse completely in a not too distant future.
The bridge itself, on the other side of the lake, is quite difficult to approach. It is safer to observe it from this viewing platform if you are not participating in a tour.
However, please note that you have to walk about 500m from the national road to the observatory.
What did you think of our little trip ?
Obihiro has a lot more to offer than that. This is just a small sample of what the city has to offer.
Now that the weather is warmer and the roads are easier to drive on, how about going on a drive around Obihiro ?
You will surely be amazed by its beautiful natural landscapes !
Translated from Rakuda Ookami’s article.