How to see Adorable Ezo Squirrels Reside at Urausu Shrine

Several Ezo squirrels have made their home within the grounds of Urausu Shrine. They are at their most dazzling from late April to early May, when the Ezo engosaku and katakuri flowers begin to bloom.

Surrounded by the light blue and pale purple blossoms, they appear absolutely adorable.

Every year, many people visit during this season to capture photos of these adorable squirrels. If you plan to drive from Sapporo to Asahikawa, consider taking Route 275 instead of Route 12.

The landmark to look for is Tsurunuma Park. If you’re heading north from Sapporo, you’ll find the parking lot for the Tsurunuma roadside station called “Michi-no-eki” on your left. Park your car here and climb the steps to visit the shrine. The steps are quite steep, but it’s worth the effort.

Once you reach the top, you’ll see the shrine, Urausu Shrine.

To the right of the shrine is a forested area enclosed by a thin rope. This is where the Ezo engosaku and katakuri flowers bloom, and the rope is there to protect these plants by keeping people out.

Even after the flowers have finished blooming, the squirrels often make appearances. While it’s hard to predict when they’ll show up, early morning during breakfast time is usually a good bet.

If you’re driving in the area early in the morning, remember to stop by. Meeting these cute squirrels would definitely make your day!

Further to the right of the shrine, there’s a park called “Ikoi no Mori Park.”

If you turn left just before the Tsurunuma roadside station and follow the narrow road up, you’ll find the park’s parking lot. Restrooms are also available in the park.

Additionally, Tsurunuma Park offers various playground equipment and camping sites.

This park caters to a wide range of visitors, from families to couples, with activities such as camping, boating, and tennis. The campground features 24 auto camping sites, 6 bungalows, and approximately 80 free tent sites. There’s also a coin laundry and hot showers, with a hot spring and restaurant nearby.