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Tales of my Tongari town

vol.16 People who support dreams and people who are supported by dreams


【Tales of my Tongari town】

In 2019, we started the project “Team Tongari” in collaboration with Tongari Road Wide-area Cooperation Council and Hokkaido Camera Girls’ Association.
Team Tongari has been working on a project to promote the charms of Urakawa, Samani, Erimo, and Hiroo through photography and words to supplement.
“Team Tongari” was initiated by a group of camera-loving local girls.
23 women living in Tongari Road area have been taking photographs while rediscovering the beauty of their hometowns.
“Tales of my Tongari town” is a new series of reports about the team’s recent discoveries of local gems of Tongari Road.
Starting from the 10th issue, we will introduce “people, objects, and things” that our members would like to recommend to you.


【Tales of my Tongari town】
vol.16 People who support dreams and people who are supported by dreams

 


■ The first “fateful encounter” and to Urakawa



Mr. Dat is from Vietnam.


He came to a company in Hiroshima more than ten years ago as a technical intern trainee.

At the same time, the daughter of Daikokuza, a movie theater in Urakawa Town, spent her college life in Hiroshima, the hometown of Director Obayashi, who made many films set in Onomichi.

She happened to get a job and worked for the same company as Mr. Dat.

Then they met and married.
 Later, they made a return to Urakawa, where they currently live with their two children.

■ To the second “fateful encounter” and the “Panpakapan”



Mr. Dat has no experience owning a restaurant, but he is a good cook and has always had a dream of owning a Vietnamese restaurant.

So, I invited him to join the staff of my bakery “Panpakapan” in order to help him in any way I can.

Since then, we have sold Vietnamese sandwiches several times while making announcements on social media. It has been very successful!

Mr. Dat now has many fans, and I have more opportunities to talk with customers who come to the store looking for his sandwiches.

I am beginning to believe that Mr. Dat will eventually leave our store and open his own store in Urakawa.

Recently, the Daikokuza has been showing a series of films based on the stories of Vietnamese technical interns and Myanmarese families.

Those of us who are in Panpakapan are watching these films with a greater sense of familiarity with the immigration issues in Japan.

Spot Information

・Panpakapan
Location: 1-1-1 Sakai-cho Higashi, Urakawa-cho, Urakawa-gun, Hokkaido 057-0033
TEL:0146-22-4595
URL:https://www.facebook.com/panpakapan0/

・Daikokuza
Location: 2-18 Odori, Urakawa-cho, Urakawa-gun, Hokkaido 057-0013
URL:https://www.daikokuza.com/

Website

■Urakawa town homepage
https://www.town.urakawa.hokkaido.jp/chousei/urakawa-character.html

Photos・Written by

Ake-san(Urakawa/Team Tongari)


Urakawa Town is a cozy and convenient town with a harbor, shopping district, library, Daikokuza, cafes, and restaurants. 


I was born in this town and grew up watching movies at the movie theater as a matter of course.


The light of the movies continues to light up the pleasant glow of culture. 
I am a baker who loves movies.

This is the last issue of “Tales of my Tongari town” for this season. 
We will continue to introduce local attractions in various ways. Please look forward to the upcoming posts!

The location information is also available on Google Map as “Tales of my Tongari town”!

Thank you for enjoying this series of stories.
You can find all of our previous stories at the links below, so please take a peek!

Check out all our blogs here

vol.15  A must-see photo spot for photography enthusiasts


【Tales of my Tongari town】

In 2019, we started the project “Team Tongari” in collaboration with Tongari Road Wide-area Cooperation Council and Hokkaido Camera Girls’ Association.
Team Tongari has been working on a project to promote the charms of Urakawa, Samani, Erimo, and Hiroo through photography and words to supplement.
“Team Tongari” was initiated by a group of camera-loving local girls.
23 women living in Tongari Road area have been taking photographs while rediscovering the beauty of their hometowns.
“Tales of my Tongari town” is a new series of reports about the team’s recent discoveries of local gems of Tongari Road.
Starting from the 10th issue, we will introduce “people, objects, and things” that our members would like to recommend to you.


vol.15 Hiroo
 A must-see photo spot for photography enthusiasts

 


① Recommended photo shooting locations

 

Seaside Park Hiroo is a great place to photograph Tokachi Harbor, the Milky Way, and the full moon.



It is also the largest habitat of the Ohbananoenreisou (Trillium camschatcense) in Japan.

Its pretty white flowers bloom from May to June, attracting many photographers from outside of the town.

② A place where you can go every day and never get bored.

Daimaruyama Forest Park holds an azalea festival every May, and a photo contest is also held there.
Many people from out of town participate, and they snatch up all the gorgeous prizes (lol).

It is not very well known but there is also a small wisteria trellis in this park.

The best time to visit is around mid-June when the azaleas are about to finish blooming.
You will never get bored of visiting every day because of the variety of flowers in bloom.

Spot Information

■ Seaside Park Hiroo
Address: 989 Aza-nozuka, Hiroo-cho, Hiroo-gun, Hokkaido 089-2561
URL: https://www.town.hiroo.lg.jp/kyouiku/koukyoushisetsu/sports_shisetsu/

■ Daimaruyama Forest Park
Address: 689 Hiroo, Hiroo-cho, Hiroo-gun, Hokkaido, 089-2600
URL: https://www.town.hiroo.lg.jp/kankou/leisurespot/flower_spot/daimaruyamakouen/

Website

■Hiroo town homepage
https://www.town.hiroo.lg.jp/

Pthotos・Written by

Mami(Hiroo/Team Tongari)


I have lived in Hiroo Town for 25 years.
 I love people, and I am very happy to have met so many different people since I started photography.


The location information is also available on Google Map as “Tales of my Tongari town”!

Tongari will continue to publish this “Tales of my Tongari town” until the third week of October.
Stay tuned!

Check out all our blogs here

vol.14 Highly recommended spots for both mind and body satisfaction


【Tales of my Tongari town】

In 2019, we started the project “Team Tongari” in collaboration with Tongari Road Wide-area Cooperation Council and Hokkaido Camera Girls’ Association.
Team Tongari has been working on a project to promote the charms of Urakawa, Samani, Erimo, and Hiroo through photography and words to supplement.
“Team Tongari” was initiated by a group of camera-loving local girls.
23 women living in Tongari Road area have been taking photographs while rediscovering the beauty of their hometowns.
“Tales of my Tongari town” is a new series of reports about the team’s recent discoveries of local gems of Tongari Road.
Starting from the 10th issue, we will introduce “people, objects, and things” that our members would like to recommend to you.


vol.14 Urakawa
Highly recommended spots for both mind and body satisfaction


【A place to fill your heart along with your stomach】

A bakery where you can enjoy delicious bread made with hearty Hokkaido ingredients.

Its name is “Panpakapan”.


Not only bread, but you can also buy local honey, fresh vegetables, and strawberries. An eat-in cafe space is also available.

The owner’s personality is charming, and all the food is so good that I can’t decide what to recommend.

It may seem like just a bakery, but for me, it is more than just a bakery.

When my eldest son was one year old, he would not eat anything and I was at a loss. When I was left with no options, the only thing he was happy to eat was bread made with “Haruyo koi” (wheat) produced in Hokkaido.

The loneliness, helplessness, and negative loop of not knowing what to do that I felt back then, it was the bread of Panpakapan that shined a ray of sunshine on me.

I will never forget the view I saw while I was sitting on a bench with a feeling of relief from the back of the store after buying the bread back then.

【Where you can’t help but take a deep breath】

On a nice day in June, this is the place where you can’t help but stretch your legs.

Its name is “Lupinus Hill”.

At the beautifully maintained setting, you can enjoy the flowers, listen to the birds, and take in the panoramic view below!

You can enjoy your time to your heart’s content.

It’s also a place where you can take a nice deep breath and let your daily stress slip away!

This Lupine hill is a privately owned place but the owner, a couple named Sawaya-san, has graciously opened it to the public.


It made me feel once again grateful for this environment and wish to cherish it.

Spot Information

■ Pampakapan
Address: 1-1-1 Sakai-cho Higashi, Urakawa-cho, Urakawa-gun, Hokkaido 057-0033
TEL: 0146-22-4595
URL: https://www.facebook.com/panpakapan0/

■ Lupinus Hill Address: Shiomi-cho, Urakawa-cho, Urakawa-gun, Hokkaido 057-0021

Websites

■Urakawa town homepage
https://www.town.urakawa.hokkaido.jp/index.html

Photos・Written by

Shelly(Urakawa/Team Tongari)


I am originally from Asahikawa and came to Urakawa Town after getting married.

Urakawa has a pleasant climate throughout the year, and you can find scenery everywhere that makes you want to take pictures throughout the four seasons.

In spring, you can enjoy the magnificent rows of cherry trees, in summer, the spectacular view of lupine hills, in autumn, the changing leaves, the setting sun, the cosmos, and in winter, Steller’s sea eagles, white-tailed sea eagles, fluffy animals, and fluffy, round, striped eagles.
I don’t have much time for photography, but this town makes me want to improve my photography skills!

The location information is also available on Google Map as “Tales of my Tongari town”!

Tongari will continue to publish this “Tales of my Tongari town” until the third week of October.
Stay tuned!

Check out all our blogs here

 

vol.13 A History of Greenery and Big Festivals that Continue into the Future


【Tales of my Tongari town】

In 2019, we started the project “Team Tongari” in collaboration with Tongari Road Wide-area Cooperation Council and Hokkaido Camera Girls’ Association.
Team Tongari has been working on a project to promote the charms of Urakawa, Samani, Erimo, and Hiroo through photography and words to supplement.
“Team Tongari” was initiated by a group of camera-loving local girls.
23 women living in Tongari Road area have been taking photographs while rediscovering the beauty of their hometowns.
“Tales of my Tongari town” is a new series of reports about the team’s recent discoveries of local gems of Tongari Road.
Starting from the 10th issue, we will introduce “people, objects, and things” that our members would like to recommend to you.


vol.13 A History of Greenery and Big Festivals that Continue into the Future

 


Erimo Town is famous for Cape Erimo, a windy polar region located in southern Hokkaido. 
Here are some things you should know when you visit Cape Erimo, and it’s autumn festivals.


① Erimo greenery

In the past, the Cape Erimo area was richly forested.

After the Meiji period (1868-1912), however, the trees were cut down for fuel by settlers.
 In addition, overgrazing by livestock and the arrival of grasshoppers caused the area to become desolate, and it eventually came to be known as the “Erimo Desert”.

Gotha is being transported in a wheeled cart and allotted.


Wind speeds of more than 10 meters per second (22mph) blow more than 260 days a year in Cape Erimo.
 When strong winds blow, the soil is blown into the sea and becomes muddy, making it impossible to farm kelp and fish.

So, in 1953, a full-scale greening project began, and after about 70 years, the area took on its current appearance, and kelp and fish returned to the sea.

It started with the planting of black pines, and now broadleaf trees are being planted to return the area to its original vegetation.

The project was carried out by the people who live on the Cape, and their deep understanding of “greenery” is evident.


This greening project has caught the attention of foreign countries as well, and inspectors visit the site every year.

In 2006, the Emperor of Japan also visited the site and composed a poem about greening.

The history of Erimo Greening will be made into a movie in the near future.

The view from the observatory is beautiful with the blue sea and greenery.


② The Erimo Shrine Autumn Festival

The Erimo Shrine Autumn Festival, held every fall, is a major day-long event for the entire community.

This is a festival unique to the countryside.

Yoimiya is a night of entertainment, culminating in the traditional performance of “Erimo Kagura”.

This Erimo Kagura is a dance to pray for the safety of ships sailing around Cape Erimo and a bountiful catch of fish and is dedicated to the Erimo Shrine’s annual festival.

The dance is characterized by lions (Shishi) and Hyottoko (masked men) dancing to the rhythm of taiko drums, flutes, and Kane (a type of Japanese bell).

Erimo Kagura has been handed down from parents to children and from children to grandchildren, and now there is also a “Youth kagura” performed by the children of Erimomisaki Elementary School.

During the main festival, local residents walk around Cape Erimo in the morning, and in the afternoon, they are on the beach and carry the Omikoshi (portable shrines) to the sea.
The sight is very moving.

Please come and witness such a beautiful and powerful festival once in your life.

 

Spot Information

① Cape Erimo 
Location: Cape Erimo, Erimo-cho, Horosen-gun 
*The black pine forest by the road from Hyakuninohama to Cape Erimo is a plantation area.

② Erimo Shrine
Location: 170-9, Cape Erimo, Erimo-cho, Horosen-gun

Websites

■ Erimo town homepage (Sightseeing Navi)
https://www.town.erimo.lg.jp/kankou/pages/k9mfea0000000bnv.html

 

Photos・Written by

HITOMI.Y (Erimo/Team Tongari)

I was born and raised in Erimo. I have been mainly photographing the fishermen of Erimo, the flora and fauna of Erimo National Park in the Hidaka Mountains, and children’s sports.

Erimo is home to the emerald green heart lake Toyonikoko, and is the most pointy town on the Tongari Road.

I would also like to introduce Erimo’s fresh seafood and other delicacies from the sea and mountains.
 I’m confident in my physical strength, so I’ll use my nimble footwork to share the wonderful moments of Erimo with you.

 

The location information is also available on Google Map as “Tales of my Tongari town”!

Tongari will continue to publish this “Tales of my Tongari town” until the third week of October.
Stay tuned!

Check out all our blogs here

vol.12  My favorite places where you can have a peaceful moment


【Tales of my Tongari town】

In 2019, we started the project “Team Tongari” in collaboration with Tongari Road Wide-area Cooperation Council and Hokkaido Camera Girls’ Association.
Team Tongari has been working on a project to promote the charms of Urakawa, Samani, Erimo, and Hiroo through photography and words to supplement.
“Team Tongari” was initiated by a group of camera-loving local girls.
23 women living in Tongari Road area have been taking photographs while rediscovering the beauty of their hometowns.
“Tales of my Tongari town” is a new series of reports about the team’s recent discoveries of local gems of Tongari Road.
Starting from the 10th issue, we will introduce “people, objects, and things” that our members would like to recommend to you.


vol.12 Urakawa
 My favorite places where you can have a peaceful moment

 


①blueSWcoffee+ (BlueSwitchCoffeePlus)

The first one I would like to introduce to you is the blueSWcoffee+, or the Blue Switch Coffee Plus.


blueSWcoffee+ is a home-roasted coffee shop that pre-opened last fall and officially opened in May of this year.

Until then, there were not many coffee shops in Urakawa where you could purchase home-roasted coffee.

Now that we can make a quick stop to purchase home-roasted coffee here, blueSWcoffee+ has become an indispensable store for coffee lovers in Urakawa and the surrounding area.

The coffee roasting hut was originally a storage room of his house.
 When you step into the shop, you’ll always be surrounded by the delicious aroma of coffee.

You can purchase coffee in your desired form, whole beans or grounds, and you can also enjoy coffee as a take-out from the shop. 
Personally, I’m always delighted when my car is filled with the aroma of coffee on the way home.

And now, there’s a limited summer takeout menu available!


② Koshoji Temple, Soto Shu (a.k.a. Yamadera-san)

 


The second recommendation is Soto Zen Buddhism’s Koshoji Temple (also known as Yamadera-san).


The temple is a historic temple in Urakawa. The garden of the temple is constantly changing with the seasons, and it is very beautiful.

The garden, tended with care by the temple’s master, naturally brings you a sense of peacefulness.

The water lilies are in full bloom this season.

This article has been published with the permission of the temple.
 When you visit the garden, please contact the temple in advance, or if you go there directly, please be sure to ask the temple staff for permission to visit. Respectful manners are expected and appreciated.

Spot Information

①BlueSWcoffee+
Location: 273-98 Nishi-horobetsu, Urakawa *On the national highway leading to Samani and Erimo
Business days: Open irregular 11:00-16:00 *Please check the store’s Instagram.
Instagram:@blue.sw.coffee

②Kosho-ji Temple, Soto sect of Buddhism
Location: 20 Tokiwa-machi, Urakawa
Phone:0146-22-2062

Website

■Urakawa Town Homepage
https://www.town.urakawa.hokkaido.jp/chousei/urakawa-character.html

 


Photos・Written by

Ryoko Jimba (Urakawa/Team Tongari)

This is my 5th year since I married into Urakawa.
I am a yoga instructor.
I suddenly fell in love with observing wild birds, and since then I am taking pictures of wild birds, my son, and things I love in my everyday world.

The location information is also available on Google Map as “Tales of my Tongari town”!

Tongari will continue to publish this “Tales of my Tongari town” until the third week of October.
Stay tuned!
Check out all our blogs here

 

vol.11 A place where you can admire the different expressions of the four seasons 〜 “Oyakoiwa (parents and a child rocks)” and the pastureland~


【Tales of my Tongari town】

In 2019, we started the project “Team Tongari” in collaboration with Tongari Road Wide-area Cooperation Council and Hokkaido Camera Girls’ Association.
Team Tongari has been working on a project to promote the charms of Urakawa, Samani, Erimo, and Hiroo through photography and words to supplement.
“Team Tongari” was initiated by a group of camera-loving local girls.
23 women living in Tongari Road area have been taking photographs while rediscovering the beauty of their hometowns.
“Tales of my Tongari town” is a new series of reports about the team’s recent discoveries of local gems of Tongari Road.
Starting from the 10th issue, we will introduce “people, objects, and things” that our members would like to recommend to you.


vol.11 Samani
A place where you can admire the different expressions of the four seasons ~ “Oyakoiwa (parents and a child rocks)” and the pastureland~

 


【Various expressions of the Oyakoiwa in each season.】

I would like to introduce you to a popular spot in Samani Town, the Oyakoiwa.


On the coast of Nishimachi, Samani, there is the Oyakoiwa, a group of large, medium, and small rocks that look like a father, mother, and child lined up side-by-side.

Oyakoiwa is made of volcanic rock, and it is said that the surrounding sandy soil disappeared a long time ago, leaving only the hard volcanic rock there.



In summer, the sea breeze is so soothing, and in autumn, the sunsets are mysterious.
In the winter, ice cubes called “jewel ice” are washed up on the shore as the ice from the river breaks up and drifts across the sea.

Even in the very same place, each season brings a different appearance.

You will not be disappointed experiencing a different seasonal expression of nature every time.

【It is spring! Run, Tonekko, run!】


I like to drive around in scenic nature views, and I have a favorite spot in Samani to share.
It is the pastureland where thoroughbreds are born in early spring.


It is also the time of year when the grass turns green, and it is such a pleasant season.
I can feel that summer is just around the corner, and I enjoy the ride while looking at the scenery with the horses in it.


This is a familiar sight in Tongari area, but it will always be my favorite scenery.

Please ask permission from the ranchers before taking pictures. Please be mindful not to get too close, use flash, or make loud noises to protect the horses from being startled.

Spot Information

・Oyakoiwa: Nishimachi, Samani
・Pastureland: Aza Tashiro, Samani

Website

■Samani town homepage
http://www.samani.jp/kanko/

Photos・Written by

Hiroko Ogura(Samani/Team Tongari)

I have been shooting for four years. Samani resident.
 My hobbies are driving and solo camping, which I started recently.
 I would like to go to Lake Shumarinai campground someday.

The location information is also available on Google Map as “Tales of my Tongari town”!


Team Tongari will continue to publish this “Tales of my Tongari town” until the third week of October.
Stay tuned!
Check out all our blogs here


vol.10  A therapeutic spot where you can spend some quality quiet time


【Tales of my Tongari town】

In 2019, we started the project “Team Tongari” in collaboration with Tongari Road Wide-area Cooperation Council and Hokkaido Camera Girls’ Association.
Team Tongari has been working on a project to promote the charms of Urakawa, Samani, Erimo, and Hiroo through photography and words to supplement.
“Team Tongari” was initiated by a group of camera-loving local girls.
23 women living in Tongari Road area have been taking photographs while rediscovering the beauty of their hometowns.
“Tales of my Tongari town” is a new series of reports about the team’s recent discoveries of local gems of Tongari Road.
Starting from this 10th issue, we will introduce “people, objects, and things” that our members would like to recommend to you.


vol.10 Urakawa
 A therapeutic spot where you can spend some quality quiet time

 


① Lupinus Hill


I have two favorite spots for a therapeutic view.
 One is Lupinus Hill, where you can overlook the Port of Urakawa.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


It is privately owned, but the property is open to the public.

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The owner and his wife tenderly take care of the hill so that visitors can enjoy the scenery, and from June to October, many flowers including lupines, hydrangeas, and cosmos bloom.

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Depending on the season and time of day, you can see different scenery of flowers, boats in the harbor, and sunsets, making it a photo-worthy spot that you will want to visit again and again.

 

② Oromap observatory


The other is the Oromap Observatory, located along the Tenma Kaido (national highway) on Route 236 heading toward Tokachi.


Oromap observatory is a nature-rich place overlooking the ranch where you can hear the soothing sounds of birds singing, the murmuring of the river, and the rustling of plants.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


The best time to visit is early May, when you can drive through the cherry blossom trees and farm scenery that is filled with beautiful greenery.
 Although it is a bit far from downtown Urakawa, it is a relaxing spot to go when you want to spend some quiet time.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


Both Lupinus Hill and Oromap Observatory are furnished with benches, so enjoy a scenic picnic lunch with some of the local delicacies.

Spot Information

① Lupinus Hill: 10 Shiomi-cho, Urakawa (behind the Family Sports Center)
② Oromap Observatory: Kamikineusu, Urakawa (closed during winter)

Websites

■Facebook “Hokkaido Urakawa Town Navi-Channel” @uraran.kawatan
https://www.facebook.com/uraran.kawatan
■ Urakawa Town HP
https://www.town.urakawa.hokkaido.jp/chousei/urakawa-character.html

Photo・Written by

Saori Uda(Urakawa/Team Tongari)


 

 

Born and raised in Urakawa.
I started photography through work and am still a beginner, but now I am growing to love it!
I am learning to take photos that are unique and only found in Urakawa. I love Japan’s local mascots!

The location information is also available on Google Map as “Tales of my Tongari town”!

 

 

Team Tongari will continue to publish this “Tales of my Tongari town” until the third week of October.
Stay tuned!
Check out all our blogs here

 

vol.9 Daikokuza… Born in a city with a movie theater

 


「Tales of my Tongari town」

In 2019, we started the project “Team Tongari” in collaboration with Tongari Road Wide-area Cooperation Council and Hokkaido Camera Girls’ Association.
Team Tongari has been working on a project to promote the charms of Urakawa, Samani, Erimo, and Hiroo through photography and words to supplement.
“Team Tongari” was initiated by a group of camera-loving local girls.
23 women living in Tongari Road area have been taking photographs while rediscovering the beauty of their hometowns.
As the next series of “Tongari Cuisine Blog”, “Tales of my Tongari town” is a new series of reports about the team’s recent discoveries of local gems of Tongari Road.


 

vol.9 Urakawa

Daikokuza… Born in a city with a movie theater



Established in 1918, Daikokuza has been in Urakawa long before I was born.

When I was 5 or 6 years old, I saw Mothra vs. Godzilla with my father, and that was my first Daikokuza experience.

After that, I grew up watching many movies at Daikokuza, such as “The Ten Commandments”, “The Great Escape”, “The Killing Fields”, “ET” and “My Neighbor Totoro”.



From the big screen, I was able to experience and immerse myself in a foreign culture with stylish kitchens and furniture, sweets and bread I had never eaten before, beautiful clothes, a way of life, a way of living, and a way of thinking.

Although it is a small country town, once I stepped into the movie theater, I found that there was a special world within. 
It always seems to enrich my heart.



I feel lucky to have been born in a city with such a special movie theater. 
I hope I can now share this special experience with you through this blog.

Daikokuza

Address: 2-18 Oodori, Urakawa
Tel: 0146-22-2149

Website:https://www.daikokuza.com/


Phtoto・Written by

Ake-san(Urakawa/Team Tongari)


 

 

 

 


Urakawa Town is a cozy yet very convenient town with a port, shopping district, library, The Daikokuza Theater, cafes, and restaurants in the center of town. I was born in this town and grew up watching movies in theaters like it was a matter of course.
 The lights of the movies continue to provide a pleasant shine to the culture. 
I am a baker who loves movies.


  This is the last issue of “Tales of my Tongari town” for this season.
We will continue to introduce local attractions in various ways. Please look forward to the upcoming posts!

 

The location information is also available on Google Map as “Tales of my Tongari town”!

Check out all our blogs here

▼Hokkaido Camera Girls’ Association Website https://hokkaido-camera.com/

vol.8 A story of how the kelp gets to you


「Tales of my Tongari town」

n 2019, we started the project “Team Tongari” in collaboration with Tongari Road Wide-area Cooperation Council and Hokkaido Camera Girls’ Association.
Team Tongari has been working on a project to promote the charms of Urakawa, Samani, Erimo, and Hiroo through photography and words to supplement.
“Team Tongari” was initiated by a group of camera-loving local girls.
23 women living in Tongari Road area have been taking photographs while rediscovering the beauty of their hometowns.
As the next series of “Tongari Cuisine Blog”, “Tales of my Tongari town” is a new series of reports about the team’s recent discoveries of local gems of Tongari Road.


vol.8 Erimo

A story of how the kelp gets to you



In the town of Erimo, kelp fishing operations are undertaken from July to late September.
The weather plays a very important role in kelp fishing operations.



There are fishermen called “Hatamoto” who decide the kelp harvesting in each territory.
 Hatamoto judges the kelp harvesting of the day based on the weather forecast and their own intuition.
 Once the harvesting is decided for the day, all of the kelp harvesting boats leave the port at once as if they are in a race.

Due to the sun-drying process of the kelp, it is very important to predict the weather for the day, and sometimes sudden rain can still strike.
 In some areas, two-person teams are also being formed.



The kelp is wrapped with an L-shaped hook attached to the end of a 3-meter long stick, and then wrapped around their arms to pull it out. The longest piece of kelp can be more than 10 meters long.

The kelp that has been brought in is transported to the drying area by crane at the port, and with their backs to the wind, the part-time workers, the okamari-san, dry the kelp on the beach.



Even the kids help out in the morning until they leave for school or daycare.



The dried kelp is then collected in bundles, cut and sorted one by one, and shipped to be sold.
 Be sure to try Erimo’s kelp when you visit!


Website(Hokkaido Erimo Town Sightseeing Navi)

Where to buy and taste the Kelp in Erimo
https://www.town.erimo.lg.jp/kankou/buy/qot0ek00000002m2.html


Photo・Written by

HITOMI.Y (Erimo/Team Tongari)



I was born and raised in Erimo. I have been mainly photographing the fishermen of Erimo, the flora and fauna of Erimo National Park in the Hidaka Mountains, and children’s sports. 
Erimo is home to the emerald green heart lake Toyonikoko, and is the most pointy town on the Tongari Road. 
I would also like to introduce the Erimo’s fresh seafood and other delicacies from the sea and mountains.
 I’m confident in my physical strength, so I’ll use my nimble footwork to share the wonderful moments of Erimo with you.


The location information is also available on Google Map as “Tales of my Tongari town”!

Team Tongari will continue to publish this “Tales of my Tongari town”.
We’ll be updating this regularly from now on, so stay tuned!

▼Hokkaido Camera Girls’ Association Website https://hokkaido-camera.com/

 

 

vol.7 Icefall Ohonai Falls, an ice sculpture created by nature


「Tales of my Tongari town」

In 2019, we started the project “Team Tongari” in collaboration with Tongari Road Wide-area Cooperation Council and Hokkaido Camera Girls’ Association.
Team Tongari has been working on a project to promote the charms of Urakawa, Samani, Erimo, and Hiroo through photography and words to supplement.
“Team Tongari” was initiated by a group of camera-loving local girls. 
23 women living in Tongari Road area have been taking photographs while rediscovering the beauty of their hometowns.
As the next series of “Tongari Cuisine Blog”, “Tales of my Tongari town” is a new series of reports about the team’s recent discoveries of local gems of Tongari Road.


vol.7 Samani

Icefall Ohonai Falls, an ice sculpture created by nature

It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon during the New Year break.
With a cold wind blowing, I went out to witness the special scenery that only appears during this season.


Hidaka Yabakei, where the foot of Mount Apoi at the southern end of the Hidaka Mountains plunges into the Pacific Ocean, there is a group of steep cliffs on a coastline that stretches about 7 km (4.35 miles).

If you take the old national highway that runs along the sea from Route 366, you will be overwhelmed by the view of the 100-meter-high (328 feet high) cliffs that suddenly appear right in front of your eyes.


The house that stands alone at the end of the tunnel is the home of a kelp fisherman named Endate.
 Our destination, “Ohonai Falls” (also known as “Endate Falls”), is located behind this house.

After asking for permission, I carefully walked down the slippery stairs beside the house to look up at Ohonai Falls, which had become an icefall earlier than usual this year.



The clear water constantly flowing down from the V-shaped rocks forms thin icicles, which are layered on top of each other to create this spectacular winter scenery of Ohonai Falls, an ice sculpture created by nature that can only be seen during the long and harsh cold season.

When you listen closely, you can hear the small chirps of birds, usually drowned out by the roar of the fall, and the sound of water trickling quietly beneath the frozen surface.



If the season is on track as usual, we will be able to enjoy the winter scenery of Ohonai Falls until around February.

When visiting, please be respectful of the residents and be kind enough not to interrupt their lives.


Address

Ohonai Falls (also known as Endate Falls)
Location: Horoman District, Samani Town

Website

Hidaka Kanko Navi https://hokkaido-hidaka-kankonavi.com/database/samani/1963/

 


Photo・Written by

Sachi Ohmiya (Samani/Team Tongari)



It has been 5 years since I migrated to Hokkaido from Kanto after graduating college.

My recent favorite thing is to take pictures of my 1 year old daughter who loves to play in the big nature of Hokkaido. She also loves Oyakoiwa Fureai Beach in Samani.


The location information is also available on Google Map as “Tales of my Tongari town”!


Team Tongari will continue to publish this “Tales of my Tongari town”.
We’ll be updating this regularly from now on, so stay tuned!

▼Hokkaido Camera Girls’ Association Website https://hokkaido-camera.com/

vol.6 Urakawa town’s mascot “Uraran & Kawatan”

 


「Tales of my Tongari town」

In 2019, we started the project “Team Tongari” in collaboration with Tongari Road Wide-area Cooperation Council and Hokkaido Camera Girls’ Association.
Team Tongari has been working on a project to promote the charms of Urakawa, Samani, Erimo, and Hiroo through photography and words to supplement.
“Team Tongari” was initiated by a group of camera-loving local girls. 
23 women living in Tongari Road area have been taking photographs while rediscovering the beauty of their hometowns.
As the next series of “Tongari Cuisine Blog”, “Tales of my Tongari town” is a new series of reports about the team’s recent discoveries of local gems of Tongari Road.


vol.6 Urakawa

Urakawa town’s mascot “Uraran & Kawatan”



The Urakawa Town’s signature products are, of course, “horses,” “summer strawberries,” and “Hidaka kelp”.
The mascots that symbolize Urakawa Town are “Uraran and Kawatan”.
As a horse producing town, their theme is horses.


The girl holding her favorite strawberry is “Uraran”.
She is wearing hair ornaments featuring cherry blossoms from the Nishicha Cherry Tree.

The boy holding a large salmon is “Kawatan”.
The salmon is “Ginsei,” a premium brand of salmon, and his mane and tail are made of Hidaka kelp, a specialty of the region.



The two are busy searching for the charms of Urakawa Town and tasting its delicious food.
 We can’ t meet them all the time…but! They do come to visit when there are events such as the Cherry Blossom Festival (May), the Shinzan Festival (July), and the Port Festival (August).

They are extremely popular among children, and when they make an appearance, there is always a line of people waiting to have pictures taken with them! They love to be in photographs too, so if you see them, don’t hesitate to take a picture with them!

These busy-bees (or busy-horses?) are even willing to travel to Sapporo and other events outside of Urakawa to promote the town’s attractions, so they may surprise you somewhere else too! Look out!

 

Information

■Facebook “Hokkaido Urakawa Town Navi-Channel” @uraran.kawatan
https://www.facebook.com/uraran.kawatan
■ Urakawa Town HP
https://www.town.urakawa.hokkaido.jp/chousei/urakawa-character.html



Photo・Written by

Uda Saori(Urakawa/Team Tongari)



Born and raised in Urakawa.
I started photography through work and am still a beginner, but now I am growing to love it!
I am learning to take photos that are unique and only found in Urakawa. I love Japan’s local mascots!


The location information is also available on Google Map as “Tales of my Tongari town”!


Team Tongari will continue to publish this “Tales of my Tongari town”.
We’ll be updating this regularly from now on, so stay tuned!

▼Hokkaido Camera Girls’ Association Website https://hokkaido-camera.com/

 

vol.5 Capturing the footprint of the cattle

 


 

「Tales of my Tongari town」

In 2019, we started the project “Team Tongari” in collaboration with Tongari Road Wide-area Cooperation Council and Hokkaido Camera Girls’ Association.
Team Tongari has been working on a project to promote the charms of Urakawa, Samani, Erimo, and Hiroo through photography and words to supplement.
“Team Tongari” was initiated by a group of camera-loving local girls.
23 women living in Tongari Road area have been taking photographs while rediscovering the beauty of their hometowns.
As the next series of “Tongari Cuisine Blog”, “Tales of my Tongari town” is a new series of reports about the team’s recent discoveries of local gems of Tongari Road.


vol.5 Hiroo

Capturing the footprint of the cattle

 

I am a staff member at a farm called Kikuchi Farm in Hiroo, Hokkaido.
 I take about 30,000 pictures of cows a year.



Cows are not pets, but economic animals. 
I wanted to capture the lives of these cows in the form of photographs and share them on social networking sites in hopes that people would become more familiar with cows and dairy farming… That’s why I personally created the 2020 calendar using my photography.



Kikuchi Farm, where I am currently working, has a café on the farm, and I had my calendar displayed in the store.



One of our customers saw the calendar and asked for one. 
For that person, we decided to market the 2021 calendar.

It may have been because it was the year of the cow, but it was touching that someone who had never heard of Hiroo Town or Kikuchi Farm bought the calendar.



This year, we also started a new project to have the public name calves that are born on the farm.
I hope that people who named the calves are inspired to visit Hiroo Town and Kikuchi Farm to meet them!
 I love Kikuchi Farm because I can coexist with the cows.

I hope that everyone will visit the Kikuchi Farm Cafe and feel more familiar with cows and dairy farming.


Kikuchi Farm

8-4, Nozuka 11 line, Hiroo-cho, Hiroo-gun
TEL 01558-2-0008
Website: : https://kikuchifarm.jp/


 

Photo・Written by

Suzushii Natsu。(Hiroo/Team Tongari)


 

 

 

 


Born in Niigata Prefecture. After graduating from an agricultural high school, I came to Hokkaido with no friends or acquaintances to fulfill my dream of working on a farm in Hokkaido.
 For the first three years, I worked at a ranch in Shintoku-cho, and thanks to the cows I love and my camera, I was able to find my place here at Kikuchi Farm, surrounded by the people I love and of course, the cows.


The location information is also available on Google Map as “Tales of my Tongari town”!


Team Tongari will continue to publish this “Tales of my Tongari town”.
We’ll be updating this regularly from now on, so stay tuned!

▼Hokkaido Camera Girls’ Association Website https://hokkaido-camera.com/

vol.4 The Hidaka region, home of racehorses

「Tales of my Tongari town」

 

In 2019, we started the project “Team Tongari” in collaboration with Tongari Road Wide-area Cooperation Council and Hokkaido Camera Girls’ Association.
Team Tongari has been working on a project to promote the charms of Urakawa, Samani, Erimo, and Hiroo through photography and words to supplement.
“Team Tongari” was initiated by a group of camera-loving local girls. 
23 women living in Tongari Road area have been taking photographs while rediscovering the beauty of their hometowns.
As the next series of “Tongari Cuisine Blog”, “Tales of my Tongari town” is a new series of reports about the team’s recent discoveries of local gems of Tongari Road.


 

vol.4 Samani

The Hidaka region, home of racehorses


 


About 500 racehorses are born every year at farms in Urakawa, Samani, and Erimo towns. Many of the farms are small and family-oriented. Since they are small and family-oriented, they love each and every horse and take good care of them as if they were their own family.

The birthing season for these horses is in the middle of the winter. After ten months in the belly, the foal is born weighing about 50 kilograms(100 lbs), it stands up in about an hour after being born, and gains about one kilogram every day.

The foal, called “Tonekko”, is always with its mother. From winter to spring, you can see them snuggling up together just like in a nursery rhyme.



As they grow, the foals begin to play with each other, and in the fall they are weaned and separated from their mothers.

In the fall of the following year, they are moved to a farm where they are trained to become racehorses, and when they are two years old, they make their debut as racehorses.



Although they are physically large, horses are sensitive and fearful. Loud noises, flashing lights, and sudden movements may startle them and cause injury to both horse and person.

Come and enjoy your time with the horses, but keep these precautions in mind to make them feel comfortable.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


Website

Samani Kyoei Bokujyo Facebook page Facebook page 



Photo・Written by

Makiko Tsuji(Samani/Team Tongari)


 

 

 

 

 

 


Samani is a town rich in nature and full of seasonal attractions.
Delicious food, charming people, beautiful scenery, cute animals and interesting plants…
I would like to share these wonderful things that can only be found here through my photographs.


The location information is also available on Google Map as “Tales of my Tongari town”!

 


Team Tongari will continue to publish this “Tales of my Tongari town”.
We’ll be updating this regularly from now on, so stay tuned!

▼Hokkaido Camera Girls’ Association Website https://hokkaido-camera.com/


vol.3 A beautiful ordinary life with the Sea


「Tales of my Tongari town」

In 2019, we started the project “Team Tongari” in collaboration with Tongari Road Wide-area Cooperation Council and Hokkaido Camera Girls’ Association.
Team Tongari has been working on a project to promote the charms of Urakawa, Samani, Erimo, and Hiroo through photography and words to supplement.
“Team Tongari” was initiated by a group of camera-loving local girls. 
23 women living in Tongari Road area have been taking photographs while rediscovering the beauty of their hometowns.
As the next series of “Tongari Cuisine Blog”, “Tales of my Tongari town” is a new series of reports about the team’s recent discoveries of local gems of Tongari Road. 


vol.3 Urakawa

A beautiful ordinary life with the Sea


Urakawa Port. I often visit the port on my days off and watch the scenery unfold at peace with myself.
Urakawa Port is one of the “regional ports”.

100 years ago, the construction of the port began, and since then it has served as a base port for many fishermen and as a transfer port for “peridotite,” which is quarried only in two towns in the Hidaka region.

A variety of scenery can be seen throughout the day and year. At dusk on a slightly cloudy summer day, the clouds and waves reflect the light, and the scenery reminds me of students riding their bicycles into the sunset.



On a clear winter’s night, under a starry sky, fishermen unload their catches from their boats, exhaling white breath as they carry them away. 
All of this is routine for this port, but for me, it is a uniquely beautiful sight.



Not being able to visit the people I would love to see, we are still in such a difficult situation. However, nature is not going to reject us.


When the day comes when you are free to travel again, I hope you will stop by Urakawa Port, but for now, I would like you to go and visit the nature close to you.

Urakawa town official website

https://www.town.urakawa.hokkaido.jp/business/suisangyou/minato.html


 

Photo・Written by

Hanako Ito (Urakawa/Team Tongari)



I am a 24-year-old office worker living in Urakawa-town. 
I’m from Hidaka, but I’ve moved around from place to place, including Sapporo and Tokyo. I’ve only been a newcomer for three years in Tongari society. 
I’d like to share the unknown charms of the town with you! 😄


Team Tongari, a local team that is currently promoting local attractions, will hold a summary event for this year!

「Meet up Tongari Road Trip – Let’s get to know Urakawa, Samani, Erimo, and Hiroo! Let’s taste it!」

Saturday, March 6, Online event

Listen to fun stories while eating delicious food from four Tongari towns!

The registration deadline is February 15, so don’t delay!

⇒ For details and registration, click here

 

The location information is also available on Google Map as “Tales of my Tongari town”!


Team Tongari will continue to publish this “Tales of my Tongari town”.
We’ll be updating this regularly from now on, so stay tuned!

▼Hokkaido Camera Girls’ Association Website https://hokkaido-camera.com/

vol.2 One and Only Tour in Erimo

 


「Tales of my Tongari town」

In 2019, we started the project “Team Tongari” in collaboration with Tongari Road Wide-area Cooperation Council and Hokkaido Camera Girls’ Association.
Team Tongari has been working on a project to promote the charms of Urakawa, Samani, Erimo, and Hiroo through photography and words to supplement.
“Team Tongari” was initiated by a group of camera-loving local girls. 
23 women living in Tongari Road area have been taking photographs while rediscovering the beauty of their hometowns.
As the next series of “Tongari Cuisine Blog”, “Tales of my Tongari town” is a new series of reports about the team’s recent discoveries of local gems of Tongari Road. 


vol.2 Erimo
One and Only Tour in Erimo


Although I was born and raised in a family of kelp fishermen, I remember only one time when I was given a ride on my father’s boat.

The ordinary scene seen from the sea looked like another world, and it was very exciting.
He never let me accompany him on a kelp fishing trip, of course.
 The reason for this was that it was a man’s game to go fishing.

The sound of the outboard engine rumbling and the kelp boat dashing out to sea was so cool to me and I always loved it as a child.



The world’s only cruise tour that allows you to ride on such a special boat was launched in Erimo in November 2018.
 The reason for the launch of the tour was that there were a number of requests from tourists who visited Cape Erimo wishing for a ride on a kelp (Konbu) boat.

Mr. Murata, a kelp fisherman who received the requests, approached the vice president of the tourism association with the plan, and made efforts to coordinate with the fishermen’s association and other related organizations. After about two years, the kelp boat cruise was finally launched.



The biggest attraction of this tour is the chance to experience the local wildlife, such as seals, up close and in their natural habitat.




After actually riding on a kelp boat, I was impressed by the 360-degree unobstructed view. The boats’ captains are either a current or a former kelp fisherman who knows the waters of Erimo very well, so I felt comfortable leaving the boat in his hands.

I have visited Cape Erimo many times, but the view from the sea was so dynamic and beautiful that it is very different from what you see from the coast. 
More than anything, I loved that I could feel the great nature on my own skin.



For safety reasons, the tour is largely dependent on weather conditions. If you are coming from far away, we highly recommend staying in the area for several nights.

There is a horse riding facility and the UNESCO Global Geopark in the Tongari area, so there are enough activities to keep you entertained for a several nights stay.

You can also make reservations on the same day as the kelp boat tour, so if the tour is available, it’s your lucky day! I hope you will give it a try.


Inquiries

Kelp Boat Cruise Office Phone: 090-5228-0111
Hours: 12:00 – 22:00 (closed irregularly)
https://konbuboat.com/
West Passage (to/from Toyo Port): approx. 15km, 50min. 8,000 yen
East Passage (to/from the tip of Cape Erimo): approx. 6.2km, 30min. 5,000 yen
(*Tour fee includes tax per person for both adults and children)


 

Photo・Written by

Aki (Urakawa/Team Tongari)



Born in Urakawa.
The first half of my life I lived and traveled in Japan and abroad, and the second half I returned to Urakawa and rediscovered the charm of my hometown.✨
In the midst of all this, I came across a camera, and through the viewfinder, I’ve been enjoying close quarters travel, including discovering the nature around me in Urakawa.

*The photos of the kelp boat cruise were taken by the participants of the “Let’s enjoy the autumn leaves and gourmet food” tour held in October in Erimo and Samani.



Team Tongari, a local team that is currently promoting local attractions, will hold a summary event for this year!

「Meet up Tongari Road Trip – Let’s get to know Urakawa, Samani, Erimo, and Hiroo! Let’s taste it!」

Saturday, March 6, Online event

Listen to fun stories while eating delicious food from four Tongari towns!

The registration deadline is February 15, so don’t delay!

⇒ For details and registration, click here

 

The location information is also available on Google Map as “Tales of my Tongari town”!

Team Tongari will continue to publish this “Tales of my Tongari town”.
We’ll be updating this regularly from now on, so stay tuned!

▼Hokkaido Camera Girls’ Association Website https://hokkaido-camera.com/

vol.1 The wilderness at its best! Oromap Campground

 


「Tales of my Tongari town」

In 2019, we started the project “Team Tongari” in collaboration with Tongari Road Wide-area Cooperation Council and Hokkaido Camera Girls’ Association.
Team Tongari has been working on a project to promote the charms of Urakawa, Samani, Erimo, and Hiroo through photography and words to supplement.
“Team Tongari” was initiated by a group of camera-loving local girls. 
23 women living in Tongari Road area have been taking photographs while rediscovering the beauty of their hometowns.
As the next series of “Tongari Cuisine Blog”, “Tales of my Tongari town” is a new series of reports about the team’s recent discoveries of local gems of Tongari Road. 


 

vol.1 Urakawa
The wilderness at its best! Oromap Campground



On the outskirts of Urakawa
 a campground exists that many people have heard of but have never been to.
This is a campground where you can spend time in immersed in nature, not to mention forest bathing, bird watching, and other outdoor activities as the light filters through the trees.
On clear nights, the campground is also a great place to see the sky full of twinkling stars.



This campground allows open fires, and there is free firewood for you to use to build a fire.

Not only in summer, but in any season, you can see a variety of scenery, which makes it a very charming campground.



Cooking facilities and bathrooms are fully equipped, and running water is available at the cooking facilities from late April to the end of October.

For drinking, please be aware that you must boil the water.



Location : Nishicha Bangachi, Urakawa

Contact : Urakawa Town Family Sports Center

TEL: 0146-22-3953

 



 


Photo・Written by

Ryoko Jimba (Urakawa/Team Tongari)

This is my 5th year since I married into Urakawa.
I am a yoga instructor.
I suddenly fell in love with observing wild birds, and since then I am taking pictures of wild birds, my son and things I love in my everyday world.



 

The location information is also available on Google Map as “Tales of my Tongari town”!

 


Team Tongari will continue to publish this “Tales of my Tongari town”.
We’ll be updating this regularly from now on, so stay tuned!

 

▼Hokkaido Camera Girls’ Association Website https://hokkaido-camera.com/