The Michi No Eki's in Hokkaido are a must stop on any road trip, with something unique and often delicious in every one. So what is a Michi no Eki ? It is a government designated road station or rest area where you will always find a clean bath room and quite likely fresh vegetables, souvenirs snacks, possibly a restaurant, road information and maybe even a ski field! The Michi no Eki`s will often be stocked with fresh produce from the area and showcase whatever tourist attraction the region is famous for.
With more than 1000 road stations scattered accross Japan and plenty in Hokkaido you can't help but pass one on the way from A to B. Close to Hirafu is the Niseko Michi no Eki or Niseko View Plaza which is a great source of fresh vegetables and is frequented by locals and tourists a like. It is not only fresh porduce either there are also some delicious little stalls selling hot dogs, fried chicked, baked sweet potatoe and many other yummy treats.
Most Michi no Eki's can be found on the main roads running through major towns but some such as the this one at Sunagawa can be found on the toll expressways too. Wherever you do find one you can guarantee they will be immaculately clean with toilet facilities and a place to rest and take in the surroundings and some may have even more.
The Engaru Michi No Eki in eastern Hokkaido is some what of a super Michi no Eki with its own ski field, impressive modern building, its own fast food restaurant and giant sized parking lot! You'll find this one on the express way to the Abashiri and Shiretoko areas and it provides a great stop on what is a substatial drive to or from the west side of Hokkaido. Closer to home there are some excellent Micho no Eki to visit, the Niseko Michi no Eki mentioned above is well worth the short drive from Hirafu Village.
A little further away is the Aputa road station that has a great range of fresh produce from the area plus a great little restaurant that specialises in scallops or hotatae as they are known here. The restaurant over looks a small fishing port and is a lovely spot for lunch. Another quick one from Hirafu is the Meisui-no-sato Kyogoku Road Station at Fuki Dashi Park in Kiyogoku the park itself is the main draw card but the road station also offers out and indoor barbeque options and a small restaurant offering classic Japanese fare. Like all Michi No Eki you will also find a nice range of souvenirs to buy for friends and family.
If you are on the road before, after or on your way to Niseko the Michi no Eki is a must stop and you know one is never far away. If you'd like to find out more about road trips in Hokkaido or accommodation options here please feel free to contact us anytim (firstname.lastname@example.org).