Obihiro: Tomamu Resort (A Wedding)

My friend’s son had a birthday this past weekend. With the whole pandemic going on, I was only able to say hi to her and to the little one on video. I couldn’t actually go celebrate with them. She got married a couple years ago at Tomamu Resort, which is very famous here in Hokkaido.

This reminded me that I’ve wanted to do a post about this area for quite some time.

When she got married a couple years ago, my friend chose to have a summer time wedding in the month of July. They wanted to do a small, intimate wedding with just a few friends and family present and chose a venue far away from Sapporo. They had their wonderful ceremony at the Chapel on the Water.

They also wanted to see the famous Sea of Clouds at Tomamu, which is why they booked their wedding here. Unkai (雲海・うんかい) or Sea of Clouds only happens in the summer time, and even then conditions have to be right in order for people to see it. The temperature has to be right, the sun has to be high up in the sky, and it only happens for a short time in July and August.

Basically, it’s like you’re looking at the clouds from above, like when you’re on a plane and looking down the window–only you’re up above in the mountains instead.

We went up the mountain using the gondola, but when we got to the top. It was quite disappointing because you could hardly see anything. I think the weather was just not good on that morning, but it cleared up enough for the wedding. At the time that we went, we completely missed it. Maybe we went up later than we should have. We should have gone up earlier just as the sun was rising. It was just plain misty so we weren’t able to get a clear shot of the event.

What we got was this:

But it was supposed to look like this:

From the JW Webmagazine website

Tomamu is a resort so there’s lots to do in this area. There is an onsen/water park that caters to the needs of every member of the family, from kids to adults. The only thing is that you have to take a shuttle bus from your hotel to access it. The hotel provides this for free, of course, so don7t worry. However, it’s also easily available if you have a car.

The area is also very popular for skiing. I’ve been snowboarding there once and the powder is just as good. The trails are short but it’s not too bad for casual riders. This deserves a post of its own so I’ll just mention it quickly here.

Access to Tomamu using public transportation is usually through trains and buses. They have a dedicated train stop but the hotels and the resorts are quite far. You need to let your hotel know in advance when you’re arriving so they can come pick you up. For us, since we were a party for a wedding reception, they immediately came to get us.

There’s nothing much to do in the area itself, so your entertainment depends a lot on what your hotel has to offer. To be honest, besides the wedding and snowboarding, I don’t really know what else is there to do over in that area. I’ve never actually gone around the town and walked around.

What I love about this area is the views you get from up on the mountain or whether you’re down on the ground. I thought it was quite a beautiful wedding in such a magnificent setting.

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