The Eastern Circuit is composed of the following four subprefectures:
- Okhotsk – it was renamed from the earlier Abashiri Subprefecture on 2010
- Tokachi – the region is dominated by the Tokachi Plain, a major agricultural area
- Kushiro – the region is dominated by the Kushiro Plain, a major agricultural area
- Nemuro – the region is dominated by the Nemuro Plain, a major agricultural area
Cities and towns
- 1 Kushiro (釧路市 Kushiro-shi) – the largest city in the Circuit with 200,000 people
- 2 Abashiri (網走市 Abashiri-shi) – fishing town famous for drift ice and infamous for its prison
- 3 Kitami (北見市 Kitami-shi) – the onion capital of Japan
- 4 Monbetsu (紋別市 Monbetsu-shi)
- 5 Nemuro (根室市 Nemuro-shi) – at the easternmost tip of Hokkaido
- 6 Obihiro (帯広市 Obihiro-shi) – the main city in the Tokachi Plain, a large
- 7 Bihoro (美幌町 Bihoro-chō) – gateway to the Akan National Park
- 8 Shari (斜里町 Shari-chō) – gateway to Shiretoko National Park and home of onsen village Utoro
- 1 Akan National Park (阿寒摩周国立公園 Akan Mashu Kokuritsu Kōen) – known for the crystalline mountain lakes of Akan, Kussharo and Mashu
- 2 Daisetsuzan National Park (大雪山国立公園 Daisetsuzan Kokuritsu Kōen), – Japan's largest national park named after its "Great Snowy Mountains"
- 3 Kushiro-shitsugen National Park (釧路湿原国立公園 Kushiro-shitsugen Kokuritsu Kōen)
- 4 Shiretoko National Park (知床国立公園 Shiretoko Kokuritsu Kōen) – the most inaccessible and least explored of Japan's national parks
The most sparsely populated region in all Japan, this vast area is nearly 40,000 km² in size. While the easternmost part is largely flat, rural and filled with endless cow pastures, much of the circuit is ringed with mountains.
Here, if anywhere in Japan, a rental car will come in handy. Train coverage is severely lacking (many lines have been terminated due to a lack of customers) and buses are infrequent, inconvenient and expensive.
Eastern Hokkaido has beautiful coastline, wonderful outdoor hot springs, and remote hiking. Some combination of these should make for a satisfying visit.
Hokkaido on the whole is good for seafood — if you're on the coast — and dairy, and the east is no exception. In central Hokkaido, near Asahikawa and Furano, there are a plethora of melon stands, though by foreign standards, Japanese melons are exceedingly expensive.
- Pork Bowl (豚丼 Buta-don). Pork bowl with sightly bigger pork. Obihiro is originated, it is possible to eat in Tokachi whole area.