What to Do in Yubari

Yubari in central Hokkaido is a rural city located in a mountain valley, surrounded on both sides by rugged peaks. Once a bustling coal mining community, the city is now known for being somewhat of a ghost town due to a sudden decrease in population after the last of the mines closed in the early 1990s. Yubari is also known among film buffs for its links with contemporary film, playing host not only to the occasional international film star but also the city’s annual International Film Festival. People also flock to Yubari from all over Japan to sample their deliciously sweet melons, which grow in abundance in farms around the city.

If you’re staying in Yubari, or just passing by on your way to other tourist locations like Sapporo or Furano, here are a five hand picked places to check out…

Yubari Cinema Road

Yubari Cinema Road
Yubari Cinema Road

The people of Yubari have long had an interest in contemporary film, and since 1990 the city has played host to the Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival, which takes place every year in early spring. The local’s love for film is evident when you take a stroll down Yubari Cinema Road, which runs through the city center. There are a total of 36 large film advertisement boards hanging on the sides of houses, shops, restaurants and hotels. Locating all of them is a bit of a challenge but makes for an interesting photo project.

Yubari Shrine

Yubari Shrine
Yubari Shrine

Located in the north of the city is Yubari Shrine. Founded in 1894, this rather small and quaint shrine is located at the top of a set of concrete steps lined on both sides with red standing lanterns. Although this shrine is nice and worth a visit, it is very small and doesn't require much time. There is a space for parking located at the bottom of the steps.

Yubari Coal Mining Museum

Yubari Coal Mining Museum
Yubari Coal Mining Museum

Yubari was considered a coal capital in Japan after large deposits of coal were discovered underground in the 1940s. At the peak of the city’s coal mining industry it boasted a population of 120,000, many of whom were miners. The industry started to lose traction throughout the 1980s and the last of the city’s coal-mines closed its doors in 1990 after a large underground explosion. The Yubari Coal Mining Museum pays tribute to the city’s mining past with information on its history and a life size underground mine shaft that visitors can explore.

Shimizusawa Power Plant

Shimizusawa Power Plant
Shimizusawa Power Plant

The Shimizusawa Thermal Power Plant was built in 1926 and served as a power supply to various coal-mines at the height of Yubari’s coal mining days. The power plant closed in 1991 and subsequently a large chunk of it was demolished but the now-abandoned control rooms remain standing, and are open to visitors to look around and explore.

Bari Yatai

Bari Yatai
Bari Yatai

Situated right next to Yubari Station is Bari Yatai, a cluster of yatai style eateries. Yatai means “mobile street food vendor” in Japanese, and while these aren’t yatai in the truest sense as they are permanently here, they manage to maintain the atmosphere of towns that are famous for yatai in other parts of Japan. Dishes on sale at Bari Yatai include an assortment of ramen, soba noodles, Japanese curry, Chinese food and typical izakaya dishes. All establishments also sell alcohol making this a popular place for people to eat and drink in groups. Tables are communal and shared by customers from all vendors, and the prices are very reasonable.

Facility Name
Yubari
Address
Hokkaido Yubarishi Suehiro 1-chome
Information Sources:
NAVITIME JAPAN
Facility Name
Yubariyataimura
Address
Hokkaido Yubarishi Suehiro 1-81
Phone
0123520230
Business hours
11-22 days (depending on the store)
Regular holiday
Different by store
Information Sources:
NAVITIME JAPAN

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PLACES IN THIS ARTICLE

  • dummy image

    Yubari shrine

    Shrine (Inari/Gongen)
    Hokkaido Yubarishi Sumizome 7
  • dummy image

    Yubariyataimura

    Others (Eat out)
    Hokkaido Yubarishi Suehiro 1-81
  • dummy image

    Yubari City Sekitan Museum

    Museum/Science museum
    Hokkaido Yubari-shi Takamatsu7-1
  • dummy image

    Yubari

    Station
    Hokkaido Yubarishi Suehiro 1-chome
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