Furubira is a very small fishing town in the Shiribeshi district, in Hokkaido. It has a population of less than 3300 people, it has only one elementary school and one junior high school. It is located in the Ishikari Bay, west of Otaru city and Yoichi town. The town is known for its Tarako (Cod eggs) and shrimp. The town's main industries are fishing and seafood processing. There are some farms located in the district as well. There are quite a few small shrines and one larger temple.   

Furubira district


Furubira's public transportation is limited to buses. There is no train to the town, so many use the Chuo bus service that comes through once an hour or so. It is extremely helpful to have or rent a car if visiting or living in Furubira. There are a few trains that run from Yoichi, (The town to the east) that can get you to; Otaru, Sapporo, Kutchan, or Niseko.


There is only one ALT for the town of Furubira. Their duties are to assist in the instruction of English at both the elementary and junior high school. At one time they would also, assist at the town high school, but the high school has since been closed due to a decline in population.

The junior high school is known for its very competitive badminton club. There are the baseball, volleyball and band club as well.

There are a few other foreigners in town, but they do not speak English. The town may be small, but it is very welcoming to foreigners. You will certainly be recognized in the town and some of the surrounding areas as well. Despite being a small town of less than 3300 people, the town has an international exchange program and many events where foreign exchange university students attend. The international association holds rice pounding events as well as cooking parties throughout the year.


Furubira holds two Tengu festivals, one in the summer (first weekend of July) and one in the fall (second weekend of September). The festival held in the summer is much bigger and has more visitors. Both festivals culminate with the Tengu walking through a bonfire multiple times. It is a must see event, especially when the junior high students run through the fire as komainu (Chinese guardian lions).

Cape Kamui (Shakotan) is close to Furubira, it is only a 30 minute drive away. It is a very high cape where you can almost take a full 360 degree panoramic picture.  


There is a Seicomart, Nicote and some fish markets to purchase food, clothing, and home supplies at. There is no book store, music store, large grocery store or department stores. Most of the locals do their shopping in Yoichi or Otaru.


The town is known for its fresh seafood, it is particularly popular with tourists. The sea urchin, cod eggs and various other sushi are considered very high in quality. The prices are very reasonable for the amount of food and the quality at the sushi restaurants in town.

There are four sushi restaurants in Furubira:

Minato zushi; located in the port area, along the 229 highway heading west to Shakotan. Very good traditional sashimi and sashimi on rice bowls.

Shinya; located in the port area, also, along the 229 highway heading west to Shakotan. Very good sushi and has more seating than Minato.

Ichi; located on the main road very close to the town hall. Very good sushi as well with quite a bit of space.

Zumi; located on the main road across from the Seicomart. It is a bit cheaper and only open for lunch (until 4 pm).

There are a few other restaurants:

Daikoku; is located in Hamacho just off the main road. It specializes in more traditional Japanese cuisine. No walk-in, only larger party reservations.

Tanaka; is located just past Minato zushi along the 229 highway heading west to Shakotan. It mainly serves Japanese Teishoku and some sushi.

There are no foreign restaurants in Furubira, nor any overly expensive restaurants either.


There are a couple of JP post banks around the town, but their hours are limited to weekdays for regular service. However, you can use the ATM on a Saturday from 9 am-12 pm.

There is a clinic called Genki Plaza, it is open on weekdays and closed on weekends. It is located in Hamacho and has a pharmacy right across the street.

There is park golf, which is like miniature golf with a cue ball sized ball and a driver like putter. You play on miniaturized golfing holes with tee off boxes, sand traps and OB areas. It is quite cheap and you can rent everything you would need there as well. It is located beside the Genki Plaza and pharmacy in Hamacho.

The local sports center is called the BG, and has an indoor pool (summer only), gymnasium, and exercise room. Unfortunately they do not have a weight room. There are many different sports that you can play at the BG on different nights. Wednesday night; hard volleyball and badminton, Thursday night; coed soft volleyball, Saturday night; ladies only soft volleyball. There is a budokan (martial arts center) as well, Judo practices are held there on Tuesday and Friday nights.

As Furubira is located along the Ishikari Bay, there are many small beaches where you can go swimming or have a barbecue at.

External linksEdit

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