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Kikonai - The Town Known as the Entrance To the North

This video, titled "Tradition and Innovation in Kikonai - Kikonai Digest" (木古内町の伝統と革新 ~木古内ダイジェスト~), was created by "Kikonai Station|Shinkansen Sightseeing Station Master Kiko" (木古内駅新幹線観光駅長キーコ).

Hokkaido is always bustling with tourists.
When it comes to popular travel destinations in Japan, for many people, Hokkaido comes to mind.

Facing a mountainous area lined with southern Hokkaido cedars and the frigid Tsugaru Strait (津軽海峡, tsugaru kaikyo), the town of Kikonai in Hokkaido, with a population of about 4,400, is called the first station of the north.
When visiting Hokkaido via shinkansen, you'll either pass or get off at Kikonai Station (木古内町駅, kikonai-cho eki).
In this article, we'll introduce the town of Kikonai alongside the video.

A Look at the Charm of Kikonai

In this video, Keiko, the official mascot of Kikonai, introduces the charm of her town in just 4 minutes!
If you're interested in learning more about Kikonai, be sure to check out the video.

From 0:22 in the video, you can see the vast amounts of snow, set against the backdrop of Samegawa Shrine (佐女川神社, samegawa jinja).
Looking at the beautiful winter scenery will make you feel as if you’re right there in Hokkaido.

From 0:55 in the video, the Kanchu-Misogi Festival (寒中みそぎ祭り, kancho misogi matsuri), a Shinto tradition, is introduced.
The festival is held at Samegawa Shrine.
Every day and night, cold water ablutions are performed in order to purify oneself and pray for a good catch and a bountiful harvest for the year.
The festival dates back more than 180 years.

The Kanrin Maru (咸臨丸), a capital ship built during the formation of the navy at the end of the Edo Period, can be seen from 1:32 in the video.
After its completion in 1857, the ship was used for supply missions.
The Kanrin Maru ran aground off Cape Saraki, and is now on display at the Cape Saraki Dutch Tulip Park (サラキ岬オランダチューリップ公園).
As the national flower of the Netherlands, the tulips burst into bloom around the Kanrin Maru.

The Hokkaido Shinkansen, which opened in 2016, is one of the means of access to Kikonai, and can be seen at 2:16 in the video.
Additionally, from 2:37, the South Hokkaido Railway is introduced.
Its nostalgic appearance captures the hearts of many.

From 2:55 in the video, you can see delicious seafood!
The seared scallop rice bowl is mouthwateringly delicious.
In addition, the popular Hakodate Wagyu Beef is another must-try in Kikonai.

Roadside station Misogi no Sato Kikonai (みそぎの郷きこない) can be seen from 3:27 in the video.
Here, you can enjoy a variety of delicious snacks, such as croquettes made with Hakodate Wagyu Beef.
The roadside station is also a good place for souvenirs.

Summary of Kikonai, Hokkaido

As introduced in this article, Kikonai is a place where you can enjoy both history and delicious food.
It's definitely a place you should consider adding to your itinerary when visiting Hokkaido.
Don't miss other sightseeing spots, such as the Kikonai Local History Museum "Ikarinkan" (いかりん館), which introduces the history of the town, as well as Kikonai Onsen Notoya, where you can relax in the hotsprings after a long day of traveling.

There are many ways to enjoy Kikonai, from taking pictures of Instagram-worthy scenery to learning more about Japanese history! Come discover what this amazing town has to offer!

【Official Homepage】Kikonai, Hokkaido


Written By
Last Updated : Jul. 9, 2022
鈴木 正孝(Masataka Suzuki)
A writer born and raised in Asakusa, Tokyo who loves traveling and novels
Kikonai, Hokkaido Is Full of Beautiful Scenery, Delicious Food, and Popular Sightseeing Destinations! This Charming Town Is Definitely Something To Throw on Your Bucket List!
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