There is nothing famous like Mt. Fuji or Himeji castle in the Southern Sorachi but the beautiful nature of four distinctive seasons in Hokkaido:
cool and comfortable in summer and heavily snowy and cold in winter. The region initially developed with the coal mining industry.
It is a quiet region with few tourists. People live in peace. The Southern Sorachi is famous for rice-production and Kobayashi Sake Brewery,
which has a long history of 130 years with wineries for Japanese wine spreading extensively in the region.
We can see omurasaki (butterflies) wheeling in the sky in summer and a lot of greater white-fronted gooses and swans flying over the sea in spring and fall.
There are various festivals that attract many tourists.
3 points to enjoy the Southern Sorachi
Let me first introduce you to Our Nature Trial Programs, which is to enjoy learning how the natural environment has been preserved in the region. The Uembetsu Elementary School Coca-Cola Environment House is the base for the nature trial programs. The house is located in an agricultural area in Kuriyama. The elementary school produced 3,082 graduates between1897 and 1998. It was closed because of population decrease and completely rotted away in ten years. It was the oldest existing two-story wooden house in Hokkaido. The school house was renovated and reborn as the base for the natural trial programs with 100 million yen offered by the Coca-Cora Environment Foundation together with cooperation of a lot of local residents and volunteer groups. Moreover, another ruined mountain village in the same area was recreated as Hasanbetsu Satoyama for an activity field. Our trial programs include: In summer, Boat Pleasure, Creatures at the waterside, Fishing & Eating, Cooking Pizza in a kiln; in fall & winter, Baked Potato in a camp fire of fallen leaves, Exploring on powder snow, Making a snow house. In the Boat Pleasure program, your boat sails leisurely down the Yubari River and you can feel directly how the river has been preserved naturally by having a unusual look at it. We have a lot of creatures in the local river and you can learn the ecology of rivers by observing various kinds of fish and aquatic insects. In the fishing & eating program, you can enjoy fishing in the clean stream and cooking and eating them by yourself. Try cooking a real pizza with Kuriyama & Hasanbetsu ingredients by laying bricks to make your own pizza kiln. Let’s enjoy potato baked in a bonfire of fallen leaves you collect. You can also explore a forest & grassy plain wearing snowshoes. You can walk and go deep into the forest in summer. If you are lucky, you may meet an ezo (previously referred to Hokkaido) squirrel and other rare animals. Making snow houses is a snow-playing that you can experience only in snow areas. You will be surprised to learn that it is unexpectedly warm as you go inside.
Enjoy the taste of local food
We have all kinds of agricultural products of all seasons in Southern Sorachi, including mutton and pheasant meat. You can try them at local dining rooms, Japanese food restaurants, and pubs with alcohol and Western food. Let me first introduce you to Pheasant Dish, which is one of the popular gourmet foods in the region. Pheasant is Japan’s national bird. Pheasant meat is usually boiled, grilled and roasted just like chicken. It has been consumed in Japan since the Heian Age (in the year 794-1192). Pheasant’s breeding continues around July with roughly 5,000 newly-hatched born. The bird is fatty and rich in flavor. Dark meat from legs, white meat and breast meat are grilled over a charcoal fire. Ramen in salty soup of pheasant. This soup is made from stock by pheasant, and the butter is made from pheasant, and the slice of roast pheasant. In other words, it is made of all pheasant. Pheasant teriyaki and a pheasant and egg bowl Try grilled pheasant over a charcoal fire and you can enjoy an originally tender meat and taste of pheasant. Moreover, try salty-sweet teriyaki because a bowl of rice topped with pheasant is very delicious. Please have lunch & dinner at a Japanese food restaurant Ajidokoro, which is rated one star by the Mishelin Guide. Kobayashi Sake Brewery has a long history of 130 years in this area. You can try tasting sake! Be mellow Sake & Soba in a soba shop. Kobayashi Sake Brewery has a superior brand Kitanonisiki.
The forest of Fabre is an observation breeding farm of Omurasaki (Great purple emperor), which is the national butterfly of Japan. The Emperor and the Empress observed the forest in the year 2009. We can observe them just for a month of July. Ezo Enoki grows naturally on Kuriyama. Omurasaki cannot live without Ezo Enoki. The forest of Fabre is available only here in Hokkaido.The Southern Sorachi is the northeast limit of the Omurasaki’s habitat. In August, we can see numerous fireflies at Hasanbetsu Satoyama. A lot of (about 60 thousand) greater white-fronted gooses and swans fly over the sea in spring & autumn. My native town’s festivals are worth seeing. In particular, Shinisematsuri (fresh rice wine festival) in spring, and Kuriyama Shrine festival in fall, which attracts a lot of street stalls and visitors. There are various festivals in the southern Sorachi, and a lot of tourists come and enjoy them. Nature, culture and history in the Southern Sorachi are offered to everybody.