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FAQ

About food

I want to have cheese, wine, beer, meat and bread. Where can I go?

Tokachi has many foods. You can enjoy delicious food produced in Tokachi.
Eat

About food

Is tap water drinkable?

The tap water is safe to drink without boiling.

About food

I am a vegetarian. Can I get any options for me?

Unfortunately, there are no restaurants specializing in vegetarian cuisine in the Tokachi area, but some restaurants serve dishes containing only vegetables.

About food

Can I eat crab?

You can eat crab at sushi restaurants and other restaurants serving seafood dishes. The best season for crab is generally from fall to winter.

About food

What is a famous food in Tokachi?

Butadon, a dish of white rice topped with grilled pork in a salty-sweet sauce, is a well-known food in Tokachi.

About health, safety and security

I have a chronic disease. Are there any AEDs (Automatic External Defibrillator)?

Please check the following information about facilities where AEDs are available.
http://www.city.obihiro.hokkaido.jp/syoubouhonnbu/kyuukyuuka/a020203.html#001

About health, safety and security

Can I get a list of local hospitals? Are there any doctors who can speak English/Chinese?

Please check the following information on emergency medical services:
Emergency Information (Japanese only)
Obihiro City Night Emergency Medical Center
Address: 13 South 9 East 7, Obihioro
Tel: +81-155-25-7518
Open: 21:00 – 8:00(open yearly)
Obihiro City Emergency Medical Telephone Center (Japanese only)
Tel: +81-155-26-1099
Open: 24 hours, open yearly
http://www.city.obihiro.hokkaido.jp/hokenfukushibu/kenkousuishinka/a010102.html
Hokkaido Emergency Medical Information Center (Japanese only)
Telephone: 0120-20-8699 (free of charge), +81-11-221-8699(by mobile phone)
Open: 24 hours, open yearly
http://www.qq.pref.hokkaido.jp/qq/qq01.asp

About health, safety and security

Should I take precautions against pickpockets and thieves, and are the nights safe in Tokachi? Is it safe for a female to go out alone at night?

Tokachi is supposed to be a safe place, but please take care of your valuables and be particularly careful when walking alone at night.

About health, safety and security

I have lost my stuff. Where should I go?

Lost items are collected and stored at the police station in Japan. Please report the incident at a police station in the town.
If you have left something inside public transportation by mistake, please report it to the staff at the bus terminal or JR station.

About health, safety and security

How often do earthquakes happen in Tokachi?

You can check the latest information at the following URL.
English: http://www.jma.go.jp/en/quake/

About health, safety and security

What about the level of radioactivity after the 3.11 disaster at Fukushima?

You can check more information at the following URLs.
English: http://monitoring-hokkaido.info/index.php?lang=en
Simplified Chinese: http://monitoring-hokkaido.info/index.php?lang=cs
Traditional Chinese: http://monitoring-hokkaido.info/index.php?lang=ct

About local communities

What is Ainu?

The Ainu is the indigenous people who lived on the northern islands of Japan and Russia. Now they mainly live in Hokkaido. Ainu means human in the original Ainu language.

About local communities

Can I study Japanese and Hokkaido’s history?

• Obihiro Centennial City Museum
2, Midorigaoka, Obihiro, 080-0846
Tel: +81-155-24-53523
• Tokachi Museum of Farm Machinery and Implements
61, Kisen, Kawanishi, Obihiro, 089-1182
Tel: +81-155-59-2323

About local communities

I want to visit foreigners’ communities. Where can I go?

You can interact with foreigners at JICA Hokkaido (Obihiro).
1-2, West 20, South 6, Obihiro, 080-2470
Tel: +81-155-35-2001

About locations, activities and experiences

Are there any temples and shrines in Tokachi?

Each city, town and village in the Tokachi district has temples/shrines, and Obihiro Shrine is known as the most popular one. Chichigami Shrine in Urahoro is famous for praying for blessings on children.

About locations, activities and experiences

About nature/agricultural experiences (fishing, hunting, farming, WWOOF)

You can enjoy agricultural experiences like digging up potatoes, making butter/ice cream and picking strawberries. (*These vary from season to season.)

About locations, activities and experiences

Can I ride all the way with my motorcycle/bicycle in Tokachi?

Tokachi is famous for its straight roads and is an ideal area for riding motorcycles/bicycles. Bicycle rental is also offered around the area, but there are many traffic accidents in Hokkaido, so please be careful on the roads.
http://www.obikan.jp/new/rental-cycle/index.html

About locations, activities and experiences

How long does it take to get to see Tokachi, the distance between places?

From Obihiro Station

About manners and customs

Can I eat Ramen noodles with a fork and spoon?

It depends on the restaurant, but there are no rules basically.

About manners and customs

Do I need to tip in restaurants?

You don’t need to tip in restaurants.

About manners and customs

What is the policy about traditional Japanese rooms (washitsu) and having to take off one’s shoes?

Washitsu is a unique room with tatami mats that cover the floor in traditional Japanese houses.
Basically, you need to take off your shoes/slippers before entering such a room.

About manners and customs

Can you tell me about hot spring baths, the manners one has to know and the ban on tattoos?

Onsen (hot springs) is a phenomenon of hot water gushing from the earth or flowing from springs. The Tokachi area is one of the most popular hot spring areas in eastern Hokkaido. In general, one has to adhere to many manners to take a bath, such as washing your body before entering a tub and not to put a towel in the hot water. The policy regarding tattoos is different depending on the facilities. Please direct inquiries to each facility.
You can check more information from the URL below.
http://onsenjapan.net/

About seasons

About nature/agricultural experiences (fishing, hunting, farming, WWOOF)

You can enjoy agricultural experiences like digging up potatoes, making butter/ice cream and picking strawberries. (*These vary from season to season.)

About seasons

Can I ride all the way with my motorcycle/bicycle in Tokachi?

Tokachi is famous for its straight roads and is an ideal area for riding motorcycles/bicycles. Bicycle rental is also offered around the area, but there are many traffic accidents in Hokkaido, so please be careful on the roads.
http://www.obikan.jp/new/rental-cycle/index.html

About seasons

When is the best season for skiing and snowboarding?

You can enjoy skiing or snowboarding from December to March.

About seasons

Is it difficult to visit during the snow season?

Snowy and cold days continue from the end of November to March. Transportation may be delayed, but there is not a very high snowfall in the Tokachi area, and measures are taken for winter transportation services.It is recommended to wear winter shoes because roads are slippery in winter.

About seasons

What clothes should I prepare?

During the summer, the inland areas of Tokachi have a relatively high temperature during the daytime, but it gets cold at night. It is good to have T-shirts as well as outer wear.A coat and down jacket are a must in the mid-winter because the temperature in the Tokachi area decreases significantly.

About seasons

When is the best season to visit Tokachi?

Tokachi has many sunny days and continued crisp weather. The average temperature of Obihiro in August is about 25°C. January and February are the coldest months of winter, and the lowest temperature remains under minus 20°C. The cherry blossom season is around the middle of May, which is later than on Honshu.

About telephones and internet

Where can I find public phones? Can I make international calls?

In Obihiro city, public phones are available in the waiting room and a booth at the north side on the first floor of Obihiro Station. With an NTT World Pre-paid Card, you can make international calls from touch-tone phones.

About telephones and internet

Can I use my mobile phone? Can I get a top-up or pre-paid mobile phone?

Basically, you cannot use your mobile phone. Softbank and au offer pre-paid mobile phones.

About telephones and internet

Can I get free Wifi services?

There are no free Wifi access spots, but some hotels, convenience stores, and fast food outlets in cities have Wifi access.

About transportations

Can I hire a bicycle?

In Obihiro Station, you can hire a bicycle from the Obirin bicycle rental service.
(Esta Obihiro East 2F, JR Obihiro Station, Obihiro Tourism and Convention Bureau)
http://www.obikan.jp/ssi-bin/rental-cycle/index.html
Each city, town and village offers bicycle rental.

About transportations

Where can I get the traffic rules for Japan/Hokkaido?

About transportations

Can I use my driving license that has been issued in my country? Where can I transfer it to a Japanese one and how much does it cost?

Please check the URL below for more details.
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2022.html

About transportations

Reservation Center

Nissan Rent a Car 0120-004-123 (* English and/or Chinese)
Mazda Car Rental 0120-085-656 (* English and/or Chinese)
Toyota Rent a Car 0800-7000-815 (* English only)
Nippon Rent-A-Car 0155-22-0919 (* English only)
*Please see the Access page for more details.

*There are many car accidents in Hokkaido. Please be careful when driving.

About transportations

Can I rent a car?

Yes, you can. There are rental car agencies in Tokachi-Obihiro Airport and in front of JR Obihiro Station.

About transportations

Can I hire a coach, and do they have English/Chinese attendants?

You can hire a coach.
*Tokachi bus (Tel: +81-155-37-6500) has Chinese-speaking staff.
*There are no bus companies that have English-speaking staff.
*Please see the Access page for more details.

About transportations

How difficult is it to drive a car in the winter?

Since the roads are frozen, cars can easily skid and spin due to even tiny bumps.Please keep a safe distance between cars.The roads can also be frozen even though there is no snow or ice.Especially when the emperature is low at night and in the early morning, the roads look black and are covered with a thin layer of ice called \“Black Eisbahn.\” You need to be very careful on the roads.

About transportations

About transportation (JR pass, how to get to Tokachi, how to move around)

Please see the Access page about transportation in Tokachi.

Routes of Tokachi