Enjoy Lake Saroma and drift ice in Mombetsu.
An overnight course from Abashiri, Lake Saroma and Mombetsu

Lake Saroma, the largest lake in Hokkaido, is one of the best spots for a drive. Going up further north from Lake Saroma, there is Mombetsu Marine Park where Okhotsk Tower and the drift ice science center “GIZA” are located. We show you an overnight course while having popular gourmet foods such as crabs and fish cake.
An overnight course from Abashiri to Lake Saroma & Mombetsu
An overnight course to go up to the north from Abashiri to Lake Saroma and Mombetsu. After stopping by Cape Notoro, drive along the coast of Lake Saroma. In Monbetsu, go to the marine park for drift ice sightseeing, and purchase fish cake made from scallops and crabs for souvenirs. Finish up the course by taking photos at a scenic point.
▼ About 60 km (37 ml) via the National Highway 239▼
▼ About 50 km (31 ml) via the National Highway 239 ▼
▼ About 2 km (1.2 ml) via the National Highway 239 ▼
▼ About 3 km (1.9 ml) via the National Highway 239 ▼
▼ About 700 m (0.5 ml) on foot ▼
▼ About 3 km (1.9 ml) via the Prefectural Road 304 ▼
The videos are in Japanese only.
Go to Cape Notoro where the black and white lighthouse rises
It is a panoramic view spot located about 10 km (6.2 ml) from downtown Abashiri. The black-and-white border lighthouse towering over the vast grasslands is impressive. The Sea of Okhotsk spreads out before your eyes, and Lake Notoro and the Shiretoko Mountain Range can also be viewed. It’s one of the best spot to see drift ice filling the Sea of Okhotsk from late January to mid-March.
Address: Misaki, Abashiri
▼ About 60 mins by car ▼
Drive around the Hokkaido’s largest lake, Lake Saroma
It is the largest lake in Hokkaido located in Abashiri Quasi-National Park, and is the largest brackish lake in Japan. It straddles Saroma, Kitami, and Yubetsu, and is known as a great place of oyster and scallop farming. It is also a famous place for sunsets. The time when the lake surface turns orange reflecting the sun is so romantic. There are observatories and view spots of beautiful sceneries including Wakka Primeval Flower Garden.
▼ About 55 mins by car ▼
Learn about drift ice at Okhotsk Sea Ice Museum of Hokkaido “GIZA”
It is the only science museum of drift ice in the world, and it introduces knowledge about drift ice and information about the Sea of Okhotsk from various perspectives. It exhibits fish and clione living in the Sea of Okhotsk. The most popular attraction is “Severe Cold Experiencing Room” where you cann experience a world of -20 degrees Celcius (-4 degrees Farenheit.) There is also a restaurant which serves the local special dish “Mombetsu White Curry” and more.
Address: 11-6 Moto-mombetsu, Mombetsu
▼ About 5 mins by car ▼
Smack your lips over a bowl full of snow crab at Monbetsu Ryoshi Shokudo
It is a directly managed shokudo (a diner) of “Maruma Matsumoto Shoten” that sells seafood and processed products of Mombetsu. The specialties are “Zuwaigani-don (snow crab bowl)”, “Hotate-don (scallop bowl)”, and “Mombetsu Ryuhyo Makanai-don” which comes with scallops and grilled crab meat in a shell. Have seafood and find sourvennirs here.
Address: 40-55 Shinsei, Mombetsu
▼ About 7 mins by car ▼
Meet seals at Seal Land, Okhotsk Tokkari Center
Okhotsk Tokkari Center, meaning “seals” in the Ainu language) is a facility that breeds only seals. There are currently 26 seals of various kinds including harbor and ringed seals. During feeding time, the seals can be observed up close while receiving explanations from the staff. Feeding is scheduled about 5 times a day.
Address: 2 Kaiyo Koen, Mombetsu
▼ About 15 mins on foot ▼
“Frozen Sea Observatory Okhotsk Tower” at Okhotsk Sea Ice Museum of Hokkaido
A tower built in the Sea of Okhotsk. During the drift ice season, the world under drift ice can be seen from the window at a depth of 7.5 m (24.5 ft.) You get to observe fish swimming under drift ice. Seals may be seen as well. There is a video hall on the 2nd floor and an observatory on the 3rd floor where you can view the Sea of Okhotsk from 24 m (79 ft) above sea level.
Address: 1 Kaiyo Koen, Mombetsu
Breaking drift ice with a drill! Go on a cruise on Icebreaker Garinko!
Ice Breaker Garinko operates from early January to late March every year. The feature is that the screw attached to the bow rotates and crushes the drift ice. The vibrant sound and vibration of breaking ice is so powerful. The latest icebreaker, Garinko III IMERU was completed in July 2020. IMERU means “light” in the Ainu language. It started its operation in January 2021.
▼ About 8 mins by car ▼
Rich flavor of scallops and snow crabs! Find souvenirs at Dezuka Suisan
A long-established kamaboko (fish cake) shop in Mombetsu. The fish cake is made from seafood of the Sea of Okhotsk and Hokkaido. Freshly fried kamaboko can be purchased in this shop and can also be eaten on the 2nd floor while viewing the scenery. The best selling flavors are scallop and crab & mayonaise.
Address: 3-23 Minatomachi 5-chome, Mombetsu
Must-see spots around Mombetsu
Okhotsk Ryuhyo Park
This park is located by the Sea of Okhotsk and popular for its Okhotsk Lavender Field which lets you view lavenders and the sea. The flowering season is from the end of June to the end of July. For those who would like outdoor activities, playthings and park golf course are available.
Address: 101 Motomombetsu, Monbetsu
Crab Claw Statue
Crab Claw Statue, located in Mombetsu Marine Park, is a landmark of Mombetsu and a popular photo spot. It is giant with the height of 12 m (39 ft) and the width of 6 m (19.6 ft.)
Address: Motomombetsu, Monbetsu
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