Muroran: A Day Trip

Muroran doesn’t get much love from tourists. Honestly, there’s really not much going on in the city, but it might be worth a quick day trip for people who are interested in seeing more of Hokkaido. The bigger cities obviously get the most love: Sapporo, Otaru, Hakodate, and sometimes even Asahikawa.

Map showing Muroran’s location, courtesy of Google.

Muroran, however, is one of the smaller cities located close to the sea but located within driving distance to Sapporo and even New Chitose Airport. There is an Express JR train available that will take you directly to the city from Sapporo Station. However, I highly recommend driving because the views along the way are beautiful.

We didn’t take the highway, so we were able to drive along the coast and even made a stop in Tomakomai for a small snack. We stopped by a Seicomart and ate by the sea.

A stop in Tomakomai.

Muroran is known for being an industrial city and has a lot of factories along the coast. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to go during the evening, which is what the city is known for: the night view of the factories lit at night.

We went in the fall, on a beautiful sunny day, and only had a few hours to have lunch and walk around a couple of places. The first stop we went to was Hakuchou Bridge, or Swan Bridge.

We also had lunch there. My husband had the curry ramen and Muroran yakitori combos—the two dishes the city is known for. I had the regular Muroran yakitori dish.

To be honest (and I hate that this is the case) lunch was a little disappointing. My husband said his ramen was just okay. I remember that my yakitori was a little tough and it wasn’t as delicious as I’d expected it to be. In fairness, though, we didn’t do the necessary research and stopped by the most convenient place. I’m pretty sure there was a better option than the one we went to.

However, the view at the restaurant/rest stop was beautiful. We sat at the counter that faced the bridge and it made up for the disappointing fare we had.

The view of the turbine and the bridge from the counter of the restaurant.

But of course, the dessert was amazing. We had soft-serve icecream, which you can never get disappointed in if you live in Hokkaido.

After lunch, we took a walk from the restaurant up to where the wind turbine was located. It wasn’t a very long walk, maybe about fifteen minutes because we took our time. The little wooden walkway from the restaurant up to the windmill was built specifically for that purpose. There were little stops along the way where you could stop and look at a little built-in enclosure for a bell that jutted out into the sea. The bell below was meant to bring the ringer good fortune and happiness. Of course, I rang it 😁.

Also, there was a beach meant for families who visit during the summer. The little area was closed off from the sea so the waves were a little bit calmer for the younger children. The place was complete with an area to wash off the sand and also to leave belongings. This might be a good place to bring children in the summer.

If we’d gone beyond the walk, there was also an onsen located close to the area. Unfortunately, we didn’t have much time for a stop at the onsen because we headed off to our next destination: Chikyuu Misaki.

The second stop we went to was the cape, also another famous spot in Muroran. I think the kanji above translates as Earth Cape? At this place, you can supposedly see the way the horizon curves…but I wasn’t as observant as I should have been because all I saw was the endless sea and not the curvature of the earth. However, there was some landmass in the distance that emphasized the shape of Hokkaido.

The lighthouse at the tip of the cape. You can kind of see Hakodate in the distance in the upper right part of the picture.

I love that there was also a little deck set up where you can take Instagram-type shots.

But we spent the most time here because I just kept snapping pictures. It was a very tranquil and beautiful place because not a lot of people were there. We could take our time and just enjoy being surrounded by nature and the ocean. Because the shape of the coast was curved, you could see a different part of Hokkaido from where you were standing.

Another bell to ring, but this one is atop the cape with an even more fantastic view.
Not so many visitors, so there was lots of time to look out and gaze at the water.

From the observation deck, there was also a small path that took you away and led you even higher on the mountain top. We weren’t able to get to the actual peak because it was closed off to the public. We only went halfway to the top and had to turn back. Still, the view was just as amazing.

And as usual, a trip anywhere wouldn’t be complete without souvenirs:

So I got a cookie for myself. This is one of those soft cookies with melty chocolate filling. It was really delicious.

So there you have it, a small stop in Muroran.

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