Each year the arrival of the Salmon schools migrating back up river to spawn is a sure sign winter is on it’s way in Hokkaido. This annual salmon run (Which happens for most of October) links perfectly with the Autumn leaves and looking at the coloration of the salmon you can see how well nature has designed them to fit into the environment.
One of the best places to see this amazing migration is at the Toyoura Indian water wheel. At this facility there are great viewing tanks and also really good access to the shallow part of the river where you can practically touch the fish.
The facility is in place to service a hatchery which endeavours to protect the fish stock by harvesting the eggs from the fish for hatching and release. The natural motion of the water flow turns the wheel that in turn moves the migrating fish to holding tanks for collection and stripping off roe and milt. There is a refurbishment of the onsite rest- house and toilets currently in progress and this facility has great parking as well as an underpass that gives visitors access to the waterwheel and viewing tanks.
It’s a great little day trip from Niseko (kids love how close you can get to the fish) with a drive through some super picturesque farm land and the option to see the coast which is just a few minutes further on.
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