The Obihiro area is located about 150km east of Sapporo, Hokkaido's largest city. Alongside Obihiro's thriving agriculture, livestock, forestry, and fishing industries, the area serves as a core region for Hokkaido's food and ingredients.
But in addition to all that, it is surrounded by mountains like Mt. Tokachi, and is known for its fun activities that make the most of the abundant nature.
Here are​​ ten things to do in​​ the Obihiro area, among its vast and refreshing landscapes.

1. Ban'ei kyōsō: Watch as giant horses draw an impressive 1-tonne sleigh

The event is held mostly on weekends and public holidays (Photo: Yoshida Masakazu)

Located about 7 minutes from the south exit of JR Obihiro Station, Ban'ei Tokachi holds the only Ban'ei kyōsō (Ban'ei horse racing) in the world.
Ban'ei Racing is a race in which giant horses draw about a ton of sleigh to the finish line. It's said that during the era of the Hokkaido Development Commission, about 150 years ago, a festival was created in which farming horses drew sleighs to compete. It used to be held all over Hokkaido, but now Ban'ei Tokachi is the only place to see the spectacle.

The giant horses begin in an explosion of dust and sand (Photo: Yoshida Masakazu)

Even for first-timers, it's easy enough to make the most of your time here.
First, take a look at the odds and place your bet by buying a betting slip. There are instructions in various languages at the information center, so take a look and decide which type of bet to place.
There are various options, such as single-entry, double-entry, and wide. There are about 12 races in one day, so it's good to start with a small amount, like 100 yen, to get used to it.
You can really feel their force as they surpass the obstacles, small and large. The slogan of the races roughly translates to "A live show that turns tables in an instant" (一発逆転のライブショー), so you'll be on the edge of your seat waiting to see who wins!

Health & Safety Measures
Indoor disinfection measures taken – Sanitizer installed – Ventilation measures in place – Staff wear masks, gargle, wash hands regularly, and monitor body temperature – Guests are required to wear masks
Multilingual support
Brochures in English and Chinese (Simplified and Traditional) are available.
Event information
Dates: Varies by race *Please check the official website for more information
Opening time: Varies by race *Please check the official website
Duration: A total of 149 days from Friday, April 22, 2022 to Monday, March 20, 2023
Admission: 100 yen

Banei Tokachi
9, Nishi-13-jominami, Obihiro-shi, Hokkaido

2. Rokka Forest: Enjoy nature and art in a vast landscape

Surround yourself in the floral aromas at Rokka Forest (Photo: Rokkatei)

About 40 minutes by car from JR Obihiro Station, in the village of Nakasatsunai, is a vibrant flower ga…

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