Tales of my Tongari town

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


■ Erimo town homepage (Sightseeing Navi)


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!

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