The Jewelry Ice of Toyokoro-cho
- Hokkaido Nakagawa-gun Toyokorocho Otsu Motomachi (Observatory: Otsu Coast)
- 015-574-2216（Toyokorocho Public Office Planning Division）
At Toyokoro-cho of Hokkaido's Tokachi, Nakawa-gun, there is a mysterious and natural occuring phenomenon only seen during Winter. Its name, like droplets of diamonds, is appropriately "Jewelty Ice".
The "Jewelry Ice" is made out of frozen and broken ice that flowed into the River, and then washed up on shore . As it was juggled around by the waves, its edges were shorn off and it almost takes the shape of a circular riverbed stone.
Though up until now this was it was only known by a handful of people such as between photograhy enthusiasts, in 2015 it was introduced to the world under the name "Jewelry Ice" and now, starting with photographers both in and out of Hokkaido, it has become a spot that charms many people.
It has even gained world wide acclaim, with it being introduced in the New York Times online edition in an article titled "Ice That Sparkles Like Diamonds Washes Onto Japanese Shores" at the end of January 2017.
Different from the white Drift Ice of the Okhotsk Sea, the see-through crystal-like Jewelry Ice is said to be scenery that can only appear in this place. Under the gaze of sunlight and clear wind, it certainly lives up to its name; it shines beautifully, like precious stones.
The "Jewelry Ice" can only be seen in the height of winter, during the middle part of January until around the last part of Feburary. It can be observed from the Otsu coastline, near the river mouth of Tokachigawa River. The most recommended timeframe is the early morning. Receiving light from the sun rising at the horizon, the "Jewelry Ice" will be bathed in an orange glow.
The timeframe for sunrises at Toyokorocho in January to February are around 6:00 AM ~ 6:50 AM. If you want to photos at the best time, then it might be best that you visit before the sunrise and find your preferred Jewelry Ice. The number of people visiting annually to collect photos of Jewelry Ice rapidly changing colors are apparently increasing. Please enjoy variations in your photos by capturing the sunlight piercing through the ice from a low angle, or by piling the Jewelry Ice on top of each other.
Also, based on the weather and that day's temperature, you might also see the dense white fog "Kearashi" rising from the water surface. Like the Jewelry Ice, this can also be said as a natural miracle only seen in the height of winter.
The average lowest temperature in Otsu Coastline is below -10 degrees. Make sure to prepare appropriate attire against the cold. We recommend that you wear down jackets and down coats, knit hats and ear muffs, gloves, heat-tech tights and thick socks. As it will be a great inconvenience when walking in short shoes when snows pile up, we recommend that you wear long shoes or long boots and also prepare throwaway heater packs and mobile batteries.
At the resting areas near the coastline, there are cafes where you can drink warm beverages and provisional bathroom facilities. As there are no public transportation to Otsu Coastline, travel will have to be either by your own car or a car rental.
"Jewelry Ice", nature's own craftwork that rapidly changes into various colors based on the time and the weather. Near the estuary of the Tokachigawa River, it is said that seals and eagles appear. "Jewelry lce Information" is published at the public website of the Toyokorocho public office. We recommend that you check it out before setting off.
- Approx. 60 to 80 minutes by car from Obihiro urban area to Otsu Coast
-Approx. 30 minutes by car from Toyokoro urban area to Otsu Coast
Stop your car at the parking lot of the Otsu branch of the Toyokorocho Business Office, approx. 5 minutes by foot
(Once you cross the Shiomi bridge, you will arrive at the Otsu Coast)
Parking Lot）Available（You will arrive at the coast from the parking lot 5 minutes by foot）
*As the parking area is in a residence district, we ask that you please be mindful of the local residents.
*Please be careful at the winter roads and endeavor for a safe ride.