Abashiri is a port city located in Okhotsk Subprefecture on Hokkaido Island, Japan. The city covers a total area of approx 471 km2 (182 ml2) and has population around 40,000.
- The city is well known for its Abashiri Prison. This old facility has been turned into a museum, but there is a new, max-security prison still in use.
- The port is located in Okhotsk's eastern part, approx 50 km (31 ml) east of Kitami. The scenery lacks tall mountains, instead, numerous low hills mark the landscape around the city.
- Abashiri River flows through the city. There are also 3 lakes (named Abashiri, Notoro, Tofutsu) inside the city. These lakes and Mt Tento (Place of Scenic Beauty, height 207 m / 680 ft) are all part of the Abashiri National Park.
- Because of its short 130-day growing season, crops in the region (such as oats, potatoes, beans) are required to be hardy. Hay is also grown as fodder for the local cows, horses, sheep. The sea is also major part of the city's economy, as commercial fishing, oysters and seaweed are important means of livelihood.
- The city is also a railroad terminal (Abashiri Station). Memanbetsu Airport is in the nearby Ozora.
- Despite the reputation for its extreme cold weather, Abashiri is not among Japan's coldest major cities. It is actually less cold in the winter months than Obihiro and warmer during the summer than Kushiro or Nemuro. Abashiri obtains less precipitation than any other Japanese city because of its location on drift-ice-affected Sea of Okhotsk. Fogs are common during winter, when Lake Abashiri freezes.
- On Mt Tento is located the "Okhotsk Ryu-hyo Museum". The facility offers extensive information and real drift ice experience. The museum's basement level has the "Drift Ice Illusion Gallery" (with 5 large LED screens) featuring 3D drift ice show. The museum's "Drift Ice Experience Terrace" boasts a 100 ton real ice pack preserved at temperature -15 C.
Abashiri cruise terminal
Often in the winter, Abashiri harbour closes due to ice-cover. Aurora 1 and Aurora 2 are Abashiri port-based icebreaker cruise ships offering sightseeing tours.
Tourists can not only see but get closer and even touch the ice on the locally famous "Abashiri Drift Ice Sightseeing" Icebreaker cruises around the city's ice sea. During the icebreaker cruise, passengers can hear the actual cracking of ice. Other option available on these tours are taking break on ice floes (ice floats / large packs of floating ice) and wildlife viewing (seals, Steller's sea eagles). These cruise tours are operated each year in the period late-January through early April.
The Abashiri cruise port map is interactive. It shows the port's exact location, along with the real-time cruise ship traffic (if any) in its vicinity - today, and right now. By zooming-out you can see other cruise ship ports located near Abashiri, Japan.
If you lose the Abashiri location on the map, simply reload the page (also with F5 button). This feature is integrated with the CruiseMapper's cruise ship tracker tracking the vessels' current positions at sea and in ports.