From late June to September you can step into a gorgeous, fragrant world of around 2,000 flowers. There are around 300 types of flowers, primarily northern roses, with rare types including Fairy Prince, Cheshire and Eutin.
In addition to its beautiful flowers, iris sanguinea has been used for many years as a medicinal herb to warm the body and as an aromatic seasoning. Around 5 minutes from the Haboro town center you’ll find a lovingly tended iris sanguinea garden in Asahi Park. Their season is short - just a few weeks in early to mid-July - but the captivating carpet of white, pink and purple flowers is a sight not to be missed. This is also the season for waterlilies in the park’s pond, providing two beautiful sights in one visit!
Camping facilities are located in the park (fully equipped with toilets and water)
The rhinoceros auklet is a relative of the puffin, found around the North Pacific Ocean. Rhinoceros auklets land on Teuri Island around March and lay their eggs around early April. Teuri Island is the world’s largest rhinoceros auklet colony, with a stunning evening sight that cannot be seen anywhere else. When the chicks begin to hatch in mid-May, the parents catch fish for them during the day. At sunset you can see flocks of rhinoceros auklets returning to their nests around the Akaiwa Rock viewpoint with their bills full of fish. These fish are also the food of black-tailed gulls, resulting in a battle between the two species. The baby birds leave their nest by the beginning of August. Their parents also leave the island in flocks, with no birds left by mid-August. The birds spend the winter in the Sea of Japan in warmer areas such as Tohoku and Hokuriku. They do not come onto land during this time.
A symbolic rock formation at the western end of Teuri Island Teuri Island was once home to many common murres. A symbolic feature of the island is Akaiwa Rock, a 48m-high rock face in the shape of a sharp arrowhead rising out of the water. The Akaiwa Rock Viewpoint has been set up in the surrounding area. Stairs have been set up to make the climb easier, leading to an observatory near the rock where you can watch seabirds. (Partially closed to the public from October 2010.) Across the slanted surface of the Akaiwa Rock Viewpoint you’ll see holes around 20cm wide where rhinoceros auklets have built their nests. The grassy area is also a nesting ground for black-tailed gulls. Visit between May and July for an up-close view of these birds tending to their young.
Located near the highest point of the island, this observatory is the starting point of a group of vast, majestic cliffs on the western coast of Teuri Island and the center of the island’s seabird colony. During the seabirds’ breeding season from April to August, you can look through a free telescope in the observatory with a magnification up to 50x and see the rhinoceros auklets tending to their young on the stone ledges of the cliff and spectacled guillemots with red feet playing on the reefs. The Seabird Observatory is also the starting point of the island’s west coast cliffs with dizzying heights of over 100m. The cliffs are marked with deep natural scars as a result of the strong winds and rough waves of the Sea of Japan, and is a prime breeding ground for seabirds who need shelter from outside predators. The view from the Seabird Observatory tells a story of the harshness and resilience of the wild.
See a panoramic view of a cliff over 100m. The cape was once the largest breeding ground for black-tailed gulls, and is still home to many seabirds.
Japanese yew trees with branches 10m long.
Yagishiri Island’s forest differs from that on the mainland of Hokkaido in that some of its trees do not grow tall. These trees’ branches grown outward and downward, as if they have been pressed down from above by the wind. This is said to be because of strong seasonal winds and the weight of the snow. The depth of the forest also means that young trees receive only scattered light, and the branches are said to grow outward in search of more light. A particularly notable example is Onko-no-Sho , a group of Japanese yew trees. While Japanese yews usually grow up to 15m tall, these trees on Yagishiri Island stand at just 1m, with branches fanning out over 10m in all directions.
This small island is covered with a canopy of deep forest. Amid the primeval forest is a peaceful spring and a gorge with a bridge. One square kilometer of Yagishiri Island is covered with diverse natural forest. The Nightingale Valley is densely covered with a mixture of broadleaf and conifer trees. The gorge is a prime birdwatching spot and is filled with the endless song of various wild birds.
This park is the perfect size for forest walks, birdwatching and admiring the wildflowers.
Big lotus flowers float on the water (season: early summer), and a wide range of birds and insects can be seen including the red-flanked bluetail, blue-and-white flycatcher and green hairstreak butterfly.
The southwest cape of Yagishiri Island is covered with vast, unbroken grasslands.
You can look straight across to Teuri Island just 3.5km away, and see the Teshio Mountain Range to the east and Mt. Shokanbetsu and the coastline of Cape Ofuyu to the south.
To the north you’ll see a mirage-like view of Mt. Rishiri-Fuji on Rishiri Island. You can also look out across the Sea of Japan. This amazing view makes this spot a popular place for taking photos.
The area is also said to have been the arrival point of Ranald MacDonald, Japan’s first English teacher who played a key role in Japanese history.
The Musashi Channel, which separates Yagishiri Island from Teuri Island, is named after the Musashi, a former Japanese naval surveying ship that was used to survey the area in 1925. This survey led to the discovery of the Musashi Fishing Bank, a notable fishing spot.
On the other side you’ll see Haboro on the mainland of Hokkaido.