The city of Abashiri is located in Hokkaido, which is one of Japan’s most popular travel destinations. The city is served by Memanbetsu Airport
, just a few kilometers south of the city center. There is plenty of public transportation to get from the airport into the city center, and taxis are always an easy option for getting around once in the city.
Abashiri is most famous as the site of Japan’s first major prison, which was built in the late 1800s and operating as an infamously harsh punishment center until it shut down in the 1980s. Today, many visitors flock to Abashiri Prison Museum
, eager to see firsthand the buildings and instruments of the prison, as well as added museum-fares like wax figure recreations of prisoners and guards. It’s an interesting place for sure, perhaps not the best idea for the faint of heart as some of the prison paraphernalia can be shocking to see.
As the city is near two very large lakes, fishing is a very popular activity throughout the city, while Drift Ice Sightseeing
is especially popular during the winter months.
There’s much more to see and do in Abashiri, and the interactive map on this page is a great way to explore where the attractions and hotels can be found in this exciting city.