Often-overlooked town boasts the top-ranked sightseeing spot on Hokkaido Natural Beauty 100 list.

Hokkaido is Japan’s largest prefecture, and also its least densely populated. Thanks to that combination, Hokkaido is full of breathtaking views of mountain and seaside scenery, and so when our traveling reporter Seiji Nakazawa learned of a place that’s especially beautiful even by Hokkaido standards, it went right onto his itinerary.

Seiji’s destination was Cape Chikyu, on the coast of the town of Muroran at the mouth of Uchiura Bay. Muroran itself isn’t such a big tourist draw, with far more travelers instead doing their sightseeing in Sapporo, Otaru, or Hakodate, which are a fair distance north, west, and south from Muroran, respectively. However, in a list of the top 100 scenic nature sports in Hokkaido, Cape Chikyu was given the number-one ranking.

▼ A sign in Muroran commemorating the cape’s selection for the Hokkaido Natural Beauty 100

Seiji wasn’t sure how the rankings had been decided, or by who, but he was sure that he now wanted to see Cape Chikyu for himself. The closest train stop is Higashi Muroran Station, but the cape isn’t within reasonable walking distance, so you’ll want to either hop in a cab or rent a car, like Seiji did after getting off the train.

It’s about a 15-minute drive from the station to the cape, with the road heading up into the mountains for the last five minutes. After parking in the lot, though, you’ve still got some uphill walking to do.

But when Seiji did get up to the top of the sloping pathway…

his eyes were filled with the sight of the sparkling sea!

This isn’t even the best view that Cape Chikyu has to offer, though. If you can tear your eyes away from the scenery and look to your right, you’ll see the Cape Chikyu Observation Deck.

Yes, there are some stairs to climb…

…but the reward is worth it.

From here, you’ve got an even more expansive view than the people who used to man the cape’s lighthouse, which was built in 1920 and sits a little lower than the observation deck.

The lines of sight are so wide-open that Seiji could see the curvature of the earth, and if you’re lucky you can sometimes spot whales and dolphins splashing in the water from here.

There’s also an upper deck that’s a few steps higher still.

This sets you back a little further from the edge of the cliff, but has the benefit of providing views in all directions, even back into the valley where the town is located.

The best spot to take photos from, though, is usually the lower deck, which has you feeling so close to the sky that it almost looks like you were flying when you snapped the pics.

Looking off to the east, Seiji could also see the Pirikanoka Etomo Peninsula, and could already feel his desire to check it out too starting to stir.

Because with how big and beautiful Hokkaido is, you never really run out of places to explore.

Location information
Cape Chikyu Observation Deck/ 地球岬展望台
Address: Hokkaido, Muroman-shi, Bokoiminami-machi 4-chome
Open 24 hours

Photos ©SoraNews24
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