Discover drift ice and fantastic scenery
Mombetsu is most famous for the fabled drift ice that bears down on its secluded shores every winter. With its own icebreaker boat tours, it makes a great alternative to the busier areas along the Sea of Okhotsk coast.
How to Get There
Fly to Okhotsk Mombetsu Airport direct from Tokyo.
Buses from Sapporo take five and a half hours, or three and half hours from Asahikawa.
Mombetsu is a sparsely populated area, so rent a car to enjoy the fantastic scenery and pristine nature along this wild stretch of the Okhotsk coast.
Discover the world of ice
Mombetsu is one of the best places to witness the incredible sight of miles of Ryuhyo drift ice floating south in winter. The Garinko-2 icebreaker makes daily excursions out into the ice for you to get closer to this extraordinary scene, and is easily the equal of the busier Abashiri cruises .
Even if you come in summer, you can still learn about drift ice at the Okhotsk Sea Ice Museum. You can even experience it first hand in a specially chilled chamber containing blocks of real drift ice.
While you're in the area
In summer or winter, take an hour or two to visit the Okhotsk Tokkari Center—a hospital for injured seals—for a dose of cuteness. Drive along the coast to admire the vivid array of native seaside flowers in summer, or the frozen landscape of drift ice hugging the shore in winter. Go to the secluded Lake Komuke or the Omusaro Genseikaen wildflower garden either side of Mombetsu for the best views.