Check out these articles

Otsu Beach, Toyokoro, Hokkaido: Video Introduction

This video, titled "[Jewelry Ice] Toyokoro, Otsu Beach, Near the Mouth of the Tokachi River|Mavic Pro 4K|Aerial Photography" ([ジュエリーアイス] 豊頃町 大津海岸 十勝川河口付近 Mavic Pro 4K 空撮), was uploaded by "Koichi Katayama" (片山昇一).
Otsu Beach is located in Toyokoro, on Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island and is a vast expanse of land overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It's known as one of the most popular tourist attractions in Hokkaido in recent years for its "Jewelry Ice," natural artwork created by nature. Among Hokkaido's many exciting tourist destinations, people are especially interested in seeing the jewelry ice. Enjoy the beautiful views of winter in Japan along with some relaxing music.
[Video] 0:16 - A Fantastic Sunrise Over the Foggy Sea

Where to See the Jewelry Ice – Otsu Beach in Toyokoro, Hokkaido

Image of Harunire Tree, Toyokoro, Hokkaido
Photo:Harunire Tree, Toyokoro, Hokkaido

Toyokoro is located in Tokachi, Hokkaido. It takes about 40 minutes to reach from Obihiro by car. This city is near the mouth of the Tokachi River. It's called "The Birthplace of Tokachi" due to its history as the starting place where the Tokachi region expanded upstream from the mouth of the Tokachi River.

This city's name came from the word "Toekoro." The name, meaning "The place where giant butterburs grow," comes from the Ainu language. From oceans and mountains to vast plains… Toyokoro is full of natural beauty.

In addition to the sightseeing spots with beautiful waterside scenery such as Lake Choboshi (長節湖, Choboshiko) and Lake Yudo (湧洞湖, Yudoko), the town's symbol, the "Harunire Tree," is estimated to be 150 years old and is a popular photo spot where visitors can enjoy different expressions in each of Japan's four seasons.

A short car ride will take you to the rich ocean, Otsu Beach, and Otsu Fishing Port (大津漁港, Otsugyoko), where you can see "jewelry ice." It's a relatively new, but popular, tourist attraction thanks to its beautiful scenery. Of course, the seafood here is delicious as well, so be sure to try some after sightseeing in the area.
[Video] 0:59 - Mist Over the Tokachi River

How Does the Jewelry Ice Form? When Can I see the Jewelry Ice?

Image of jewlery ice, Toyokoro, Hokkaido
Photo:Jewlery ice, Toyokoro, Hokkaido

"Jewelry ice" is a group of ice blocks that have washed up on the shore. This ice comes from the Tokachi River and flows to the Pacific Ocean. As the ice is battered by waves, the edges are removed and the ice becomes smooth, clear and crystal-like. The resulting product of this natural phenomenon is the beautiful jewelry ice.

Jewelry ice, created by the severe cold of Tokachi and the Tokachi River, shines like a beautiful jewel in the sunlight. The jewelry ice changes its color beautifully from yellow, gold, orange, red, purple, and blue depending on the time of day, making it a popular destination for tourists and photographers alike.

The best time to see the jewelry ice is usually from mid-January to late February on the sandy beach near the mouth of the Tokachi River in Otsu, Toyokoro.

Photographing the Jewelry Ice at Sunset: Tips for Photographers

Image of jewelry ice shining brightly at sunrise
Photo:Jewelry ice shining brightly at sunrise

It's recommended that you take photos when the sun rises. By doing so, you can really capture the beauty of the natural phenomenon.

Sunrise is from 6:40 - 7:00 a.m. in January and February. You should visit there around 30 to 60 minutes before the sunrise to take photos and prepare. Look for jewel-like clear ice or ice with mysterious holes created by nature, and take pictures by arranging the ice in a composition that takes into account the direction of the morning sunrise and the waves. It'll make for some amazing Instagram photos as well!

Suffice it to say, you can easily take some amazing photos here. There's even a special page on Toyokoro's official website where information about the "jewelry ice" is updated daily. Be sure to check it out if you're visiting!

Things to Be Careful of When Viewing the Jewelry Ice – Respect the Local Residents

Please remember to be considerate of local residents around the area where jewelry ice can be seen, as there are residential areas in close proximity. If you're coming by car, please use the free parking lots, as cars are not allowed on the beach.

Parking on the street is strictly prohibited, as it can inconvenience the local residents and obstruct access for emergency vehicles. Please remember to observe good manners, especially when visiting the site at night or early in the morning, particularly with regards to parking, noise, and disposing of trash.

Summary of Jewelry Ice at Otsu Beach

Image of jewelry ice and stars at Otsu Beach, Hokkaido
Photo:Jewelry ice and stars at Otsu Beach, Hokkaido

Temperatures during this time of year, when thew jewelry ice can be seen, can drop below -20°C! The lowest temperatures are often recorded early in the morning, between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m., and taking into account windchill, etc., it can feel like it's -25°C to -30°C outside. Therefore, it's important to dress warm to protect yourself from the cold.

Body temperature varies greatly depending on the strength of the wind and humidity, so please check the weather forecast and temperature in advance to be well prepared for your trip. It's also said that electronic devices (cell phones, cameras, etc.) should be kept warm with body warmers, as extremely low temperatures may temporarily cause batteries to drain faster. Be sure to fill a water bottle with a hot drink and drink it to stay warm while you admire the clear sparkling ice.

If you end up visiting and taking some photos, we'd love to see them in our photo contests as well!

[TripAdvisor] Otsu Beach

Written By
Last Updated : Feb. 24, 2023
山田コウスケ(Kosuke Yamada)
Born in Fukuoka Prefecture. I enjoy grabbing drinks and making travel plans.
The Breathtaking Jewelry Ice of Otsu, Hokkaido – Experience One of the Best Sunrises in Japan + Viewing Conditions & Tips For Photographers
If this article interests you, be sure to leave a follow.

Recommended Articles