Asahikawa: A statue-adorned town featuring around 100 sculptures, particularly in its parks, which are just waiting to be discovered.
A Sweets Shop with Expertly Renovated Sculptures
Built in 1925, this retro-renovated café was originally a combination mill and residential building.
The most famous food item isn’t a taiyaki cake or stuffed dumpling. It’s the “Tokiwa-yaki,” a local treat wrapped up like a Danish that’s just brimming with originality. There are even Tokiwa-yaki shaped like the Asahibashi Bridge, a Hokkaido landmark and symbol of the city. The second a Tokiwa-yaki touches your taste buds, they will be enveloped in buttery goodness. Bet you can’t have just one! And if sweets aren’t your cup of tea, don’t sweat it. There are dishes like Keema or ham and cheese, too. But to not partake of anything means an opportunity lost to learn the secrets that the locals rave about! Enjoy them with one of the many original Japanese drinks. The shops offer self-service and, of course, takeout.
Asahikawa’s Oasis: One of “Japan’s Best 100 City Parks”
After grabbing a Tokiwa-yaki for takeout, we hit the parks. This is where things slow down, as we stroll past beautiful flowers and watch the cute waterfowl playing in Chidorigaike Pond. In the summer, you’ll see boats out on the pond, too! This park is very popular with couples. Now, there are ten statues in the Tokiwa Park area. Can you find them all?
Those with Insight Know That Asahikawa Is a Town of Statues
Asahikawa’s main street is “Shopping Park Road”. Opened in 1972, it is Japan’s first permanent pedestrian mall. At the start of the street there’s a prominent, very realistic sculpture of two hands.
This pair of giant “hands” represents the hands of the citizens reaching for the future and even symbolizes Asahikawa itself. You can call it the “Shopping Park Hand Fountain”. It’s also a relaxed, therapeutic place where you can kick back and watch the fountains while being showered with negative ions.
These popular “hands”, as well as Asahikawa Station, are often seen in the background of photos.
There are 20 statues in the Shopping Park area. Can you find them all and become a statue master?
Take a Breather
Here’s a laid-back place to settle in and lose track of time with the subtle aroma of an Irish latte, or a cup of coffee and a muffin. The interior appears to be mostly DIY, and I’m referring to the artwork as well as the construction. The sight of these handmade works gives the place a special, comfortable feel. You might even find a rare treasure here! This place feels like a trendy transplant from another country, dropped right into Asahikawa.
Snapping a Shot at the Most Popular Sculpture
What’s the most popular sculpture at the shopping park? The “Saxophonist and the Cat” statue! He cuts quite a dashing figure as he blows a note on his sax, and there’s an open seat right next to him! Why not take a picture to remember your visit by?
The locals love these two as much as anyone. On cold winter days, some people will even wrap a scarf around the saxophonist or put a sweater on the cat. Did we mention the locals love them?
Depending on your tastes, this could be the ultimate photo op. Don’t forget to get the poor kitty in the shot, by the way! Creations like this are hidden all throughout Asahikawa. Isn’t that lovely?
- Add : 2-chome, Tokiwa-dori,Asahikawa City, Hokkaido
- TEL : +81-166-85-6014
- Open/Close : weekday: 9:00 p.m-6:00 p.m (JST) Sat. Sun. public holiday: 10:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m. (JST)
- Closed : -
Try an original curry recipe: the secret ingredient is bean paste!
- Add : Asahikawa Tokiwa Park
Selected as one of “Japan’s Best 100 City Parks”
- Add : Kaimono-park,8-jyodori,Asahikawa City, Hokkaido
The hand sculpture is a sight that is impossible to ignore. Take a selfie here, and there’ll be no mistaking where you were!
COFFEE STAND CONTAINER
- Add : 7-jyo,8-chome, Asahikawa City, Hokkaido
- TEL : -
- Open/Close : weekday: 10:00 p.m–7:00 p.m (JST) Sat. Sun. public holiday: 10:00p.m.–6:00p.m. (JST)
- Closed : Tue.
If you time it right, you can grab a freshly-baked treat!