Sarufutsu, Hokkaido

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Location of Sarufutsu in Hokkaido (Sōya Subprefecture)
Location of Sarufutsu in Hokkaido (Sōya Subprefecture)
Sarufutsu is located in Japan
Location in Japan
Coordinates: 45°20′N 142°7′E / 45.333°N 142.117°E / 45.333; 142.117Coordinates: 45°20′N 142°7′E / 45.333°N 142.117°E / 45.333; 142.117
Country Japan
Region Hokkaido
Prefecture Hokkaido (Sōya Subprefecture)
District Sōya
 • Total 590.00 km2 (227.80 sq mi)
Population (December 31, 2007)
 • Total 2,822
 • Density 4.8/km2 (12/sq mi)
 • Tree Rowan
 • Flower Vaccinium vitis-idaea
Time zone Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)
City Hall Address 172 Onishibetsu-nishi, Sarufutsu-mura, Hokkaidō
Phone number 01635-2-3131
Website Village of Sarufutsu

Sarufutsu (猿払村 Sarufutsu-mura?) is a village located in Sōya District, Sōya Subprefecture, Hokkaido, Japan.

As of September 2014, the village has an estimated population of 2,884 and a density of 4.91 persons per km². The total area is 590.00 km².


Sarufutsu is the northernmost village in Japan and is the largest village in Hokkaido in area. Located on the Tonbetsu Plain, it faces the Sea of Okhotsk to the east where, during the winter, there is drift ice.[1] 80% of the village's total area is covered by forests.

  • Mountains: Mount Horoshiri
  • Rivers: Sarufutsu River
  • Lakes: Poro Swamp, Kamuito Swamp, Mokeuni Swamp

Settlements/Localities in Sarufutsu[edit]

  • Ashino (芦野)
  • Asajino (浅茅野)
  • Chiraibetsu (知来別)
  • Hamaonishibetsu (浜鬼志別)
  • Hamasarufutsu (猿払村)
  • Onishibetsu  (鬼志別)(Town Hall is located here)
  • Koishi (小石)

Neighbouring municipalities[edit]


Sarufutsu is famous for its large and particularly excellent scallops, among other seafood. Likewise, a relatively large part of the village is utilized for dairy farming. Sarufutsu has a fledgling tourist industry, as it is a highlight for motor bikers in the summer, who stop overnight at one of the biker camps. The tourist center is located a few kilometers south of Hamaonishibetsu.



Sarufutsu was the site for many Korean prisoners of war from WWII to be sent as labor force for the building of an Air Field in Asajino. Approximately 80 Korean prisoners of war died over the course of construction from abuse or malnutrition. The air field was never completed, and has since lost nearly all signs of its existence. In recent year, the village made attempts to construct a monument in memory of the Korean prisoners who died there. However, construction was forced to be cancelled after Japanese nationalists orchestrated by the Internet began overwhelming the village office with threatening phone calls, calling them traitors, and threatening the village with a boycott of its scallop industry.[2]



In the 1960s to early 70's, Koishi was the largest settlement in Sarufutsu with several thousand people working in the coal industry. It had its own hospital, as well as a movie theater. With the decline of the coal industry across Japan, the population also drastically dropped in Koishi, and its current population is less than 50 people.


As previously mentioned, Asajino was the potential site for an air field during WWII.


  • Primary Schools
    • Onishibestu Elementary School
    • Hamaonishibestu Elementary School
    • Hamasarufutsu Elementary School(Closed starting Spring 2015)
    • Asajino Elementary School
    • Ashino Elementary School
  • Junior High Schools
    • Takushin Junior High School


  • Onishibetsu Sports Center has weekly sports activities for residents and guests.


  • Onishibetsu swimming pool is open during the summer into early fall.


  • Onishibetsu has a small single-lift ski hill.


  1. ^ 考える社会科地図 Kangaeru Shakaika Chizu. 四谷大塚出版 Yotsuya-Ōtsuka Shuppan. 2005. p. 81. 
  2. ^ [1]


External links[edit]

Media related to Sarufutsu, Hokkaidō at Wikimedia Commons

  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference nytimes was invoked but never defined (see the help page).