After enjoying the cherry trees again, taking the prefectural road#71 and headed to Nibutani in Biratori town. Nibutani is well known for its Ainu village. So I wanted to visit there.
8:00 Arrived at Nibutani It was too early to visit any museums there. So that reason we decide to go to Shiraoi poroto kotan. We took national road #237 and from Hidaka-tomikawa IC we used Hidaka expressway until Shiraoi. We could save much time and it was surprising. It was great to be able to drive without any signals nor disgustingly slow drivers.
10:00 Arrived at Shiraoi Poroto kotan
I wanted to visit this tourist attraction for a long time. I bought a bag of food for bears and Hokkaido dogs, known as Ainu dogs. A bag costs 100yen. I couldn't help buying the food when I saw a bear waiting at the other side of the iron pipe through which th pieces of food is fed. When a piece stops in the middle of the pipe, you can use a pole set against the cage. I think there were six bears.
11:30 From Shiraoi to Date My friend taught me that a pasta restaurant called Bocca in Date was good. So we heded to date to have lunch there. We learned that expressways were convenient, so we used Do-oh(Central Hokkaido) expressway again from Shiraoi to Date. We were driving my husband's light vehicle this time and the express toll for light vehicle was cheaper than others. Between Shiraoi and Date most parts has two lanes and it was really comfortable. We were driving leisurely on the inside lane at about 90km/h and observing other cars. Driving speed of cars from Sapporo and Asahikawa surprised me. They passed through the fast lane like bullets. Sometimes mistaken drivers popped out on the fast lane and annoyed very fast coming up cars. On the following morning, I read an article of a school bus accident near Shiraoi. I was relieved that we could come home safely.
Around 12:30 Arrived at a road station in Date Yomen-chaya(western noodle tea shop) Bocca was super-crowded and we gave up having lunch there. I only bought ball-shaped puddings and left there.
Taking the route#37 until Oshamanbe and from there taking the route# 5 and headed to Hakodate.
Around 15:30 Arrived at Aobagaoka Park in Mori We could return the southern Hokkaido area as we expected, we dropped by the Aobagaoka Park in Mori where cherry blossom festival was held. I heard that there was a kind of cherry produced in Mori town, called "Mori-komachi" and it could be seen only there. I saw the Mori-komachi and wanted to see its mother tree, Horii-hizakura. The Horii-hizakura cherry trees are planted in the Oniushi Park that is located next to the Aobagaoka Park. My husband didn't want to walk k anymore, so I decided to come back to see Horii-hizakura next year. At both parks, you can see various kinds of cherry trees. Matsumae boasts its 250 kinds of cherry trees, but if you do not mind so many kinds of cherry trees, Mori's two parks are really recommendable.
17:00 Arrived at home in Hakodate! My husband who couldn't sleep well and drove long time fell asleep from 7:00 through the following morning. I was grateful for being able to return safely.
Akiko lives in a city next to Hakodate and loves to drive around Hakodate and surrounding area. I hope people who visit or live in the Southwest area of Hokkaido come to love the area, too. 函館の隣町在住で道南エリアのドライブ大好きAkikoです。道南を訪れたり、住んでいる人が土地を好きになってくれたらなぁ、と思います。