Conveniently situated between Furano and Akan-Mashu National Park in southeastern Hokkaido, Obihiro is an ideal base for exploring the area. The well-planned city is known for its colorful gardens and natural spas.
The Obihiro area can be accessed directly from Tokyo or by public transport from Sapporo.
Fly from Tokyo for direct flights to Tokachi-Obihiro Airport. It takes 50 minutes by car or one hour by bus to Obihiro Station from the airport. From New Chitose Airport or Sapporo Station, it takes around three hours to reach Obihiro Station by train.
The first settlers in the early 1900s brought horses to Tokachi to use in the development of farming in the area. Banei horse racing, in which the strongest horses compete to pull heavy sleds, is a unique local tradition that can be seen at the Obihiro Racetrack.
Visit Hokkaido Obihiro Museum of Art in Midorigaoka Park to learn more about the region through the works of artists with strong connections to the area.
Just outside Obihiro, Tokachikawa Onsen hot spring resort draws its water from a source on the bank of the Tokachi River. This special location on the riverbank produces soft waters infused with plants and other botanicals that have accumulated in the groundwater. The indigenous Ainu people called the hot springs here "kusuri no yu," or medicine water, for their healing properties and beneficial effect on the skin.
Tokachi is the farming heartland of Hokkaido, known for its fresh air, rich soil and wide open plains. Take a walk or drive to discover a friendly farm cafe serving Tokachi's famous buta-don (pork on rice). The Obihiro area also enjoys many pretty gardens, including Shichiku Garden, Tokachi Hills, Rokka no Mori and Manabe Garden, that become a riot of color in spring and summer.
Take a day trip to the majestic Hidaka Mountains, which extend south of Obihiro to Cape Erimo and Hokkaido's stunning east coast.
To the northeast of Obihiro, the Tokachi plain stretches up to the Tokachi Mountains and Daisetsuzan National Park. Tomamu and Sahoro, two excellent ski resorts, are just a one hour drive from Obihiro. To the northwest, relish the quiet beauty of Lake Shikaribetsu, the highest lake in Hokkaido, or soak in the mineral-rich waters of Nukabira Gensenkyo near Lake Nukabira.