Abashiri lies on the eastern coast of Hokkaido and is famous for the Drift ice in the Sea of Okhotsk i.e. the southernmost point of the northern hemisphere to see the drifting sea ice.The best way to do so is through the Aurora Sightseeing Boats departing from the Abashiri port 4-5 times a day through late Jan-late March,the peak period being in Feb.Though people generally prefer/have to stay overnight at Abashiri but luckily we could zap it off in a day trip from Sapporo ! We took the 7.21 a.m train…reached Abashiri by 12.40 p.m..took the 2.00 p.m cruise…were back in an hour,checked out the Hokkaido Museum of Northern People and started back for Sapporo by the 5.18 pm train ! Though it may sound hectic but let me tell you it’s absolutely worth it !!! The very moment the train left the town in say 5 mins…the whole landscape was a beautiful panorama of creamy white dazzling snow…
We reached Abashiri station a short while before 1.00 pm and did some general sightseeing enquiries at the small but efficient information centre.The ladies there were really cordial and helpful. Since we had already booked the cruise tickets online,so things for us were quite hassle-free in spite of the heavy crowd at the station and at the port. All we had to do was wait a little while before hopping onboard.
And then the views…the scenery…as the ocean and the ice unfolded…was simply breathtaking !!! Simply stunning…a once in a lifetime experience !!!