23rd February: Hokkaido – Oshin-Koshin Falls

We drove along the coastline of the Sea of Okhotsk, heading towards Utoro, where we would spend the night.  Floating and beached ice lined the shore.

We stopped at Oshin-Koshin Waterfall, beside the highway.  This is an Ainu name, meaning a place where many Ezo Spruce grow.  Some of the water is visible, as you can see here, some flows under the ice and snow.

Remarkably, these are full colour images.  Monochrome conversion is not required.

It is actually a forked waterfall, with two separate flows.  One flow is visible and the other is almost entirely covered by ice and snow, but just visible here.

8 comments on “23rd February: Hokkaido – Oshin-Koshin Falls

  1. […] 23rd February: Hokkaido – Oshin-Koshin Falls […]


  2. Gunta says:

    It looks shivery cold…


    • Murray Foote says:

      Relatively mild on that day for the region and month. Mean temperature of -4˚C (25˚F), maximum temperature of -2˚C (28˚F) and minimum of -11˚C (12˚F). It would be colder the next day, our last on Hokkaido at a mean of -10˚C (14˚F), max of -6˚C (21˚F) and min of -15˚C (5˚F). Not the best weather for a t-short but no problem with appropriate clothing.


  3. Lois says:

    Wow, Murray, these are fabulous. I was just wondering whether they were black and white or colour when I saw your comment. Did you meet any Ainu people?


    • Murray Foote says:

      Thanks very much, Lois.

      No, I didn’t meet any Ainu. Due to the processes of assimilation I suspect there are none left living in distinct communities. From my brief account of Ainu history in a Sapporo post (https://murrayfoote.com/2012/04/28/10th-february-sapporo-sapporo-snow-festival-by-night/): “There is said to be some 25,000 Ainu living in Hokkaido though perhaps there could be more because it had been prudent for Ainu to deny their identity in Japan for so long. There are very few without other ethnic ancestry and only a handful of remaining Ainu speakers.”

      There is an Ainu village maybe 50km from Sapporo. I considered going but decided the logistics of transport would take too much time so went to Otara instead (which proved delightful). There wouldn’t have been any Ainu there, though. The Japanese collected a whole lot of the dwellings of the Ainu in the nineteenth century as they were displaced and brought them to the one place.


      • Lois says:

        Fascinating, absolutely fascinating. japan is another on the list of places I’d love to visit… dear friends spent a long time there and loved it. Their daughter married a Japanese chap and they have an adorable little girl.


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