In the first half of the 20th century, 70% of the world's mint was produced in Kitami, but there has since been a decline. Despite this, agriculture is still thriving, and Kitami is Japan's largest producer of onions. Housing branches of many large companies, Kitami is also the center of Okhotsk Subprefecture's economy. Kitami is the largest city in the subprefecture, and the second largest city in Eastern Hokkaido.
In 2006, the towns of Rubeshibe, Tanno and Tokoro merged with Kitami to form the current, larger city of Kitami. The city of Kitami extends from Daisetsu mountains in the east to the Okhotsk Sea in the west.
The Memambetsu Airport nearby. JAL and Air Do operate flights from Tokyo and Sapporo to Memambetsu. ANA operates flights from Nagoya to Memambetsu.
Hokkaido Kitami Bus operates an airport bus service from the center of Kitami that connects with each of the aforementioned flights. The bus ride is about 42 minutes long and costs ¥1000 per person. Taxis are also available, but cost approximately ¥7500 per car.
The JR Sekihoku Main Line runs through Kitami Station as it travels from Sapporo to Abashiri. The Limited Express Okhotsk, servicing Kitami, runs 4 round trips from Sapporo to Abashiri daily. The trip from Sapporo to Kitami is around 4 hours and 35 minutes.
The Hokkaido Kitami Bus operates an intercity bus service.
- Dreamint Okhotsk [formerly dead link] (ドリーミント オホーツク号) - Hokkaido Kitami Bus and Abashiri Bus co-operate this service. It runs through Kitami from Sapporo to Abashiri with 9-10 round trips per day. About 4 hours and 30 minutes and costs ¥5190 from Sapporo to Kitami.
- Express Sekihoku (特急石北号) - Runs from Kitami to Asahikawa via Onneyu Onsen and Sounkyo Onsen with 4 round trips per day. About 4 hours and 30 minutes and costs ¥3500 to Asahikawa.
- Express Senboku (特急釧北号) - Hokkaido Kitami Bus and Kushiro Bus co-operate this service. It runs from Kitami to Kushiro via Lake Akan with 2 round trips per day. The trip is about 3 hours and costs ¥3300 to Kushiro.
The Doto expressway arrives in Kitami from Obihiro in the south. National Route 39 goes through Kitami from Sapporo and Asahikawa in the west to Abashiri to the east.
The JR Sekihoku Main Line runs through in the city. Local trains run every 1-2 hours.
The stations in the city from west to east are:
- 1 Nishirubeshibe Station (西留辺蘂駅).
- 2 Rubeshibe Station (留辺蘂駅). Limited Express stops. Center of Rubeshibe area.
- 3 Ainonai Station (相内駅).
- 4 Higashiainonai Station (東相内駅).
- 5 Nishikitami Station (西北見駅).
- 6 Kitami Station (北見駅). Limited Express stops. Located center in the city.
- 7 Hakuyō Station (柏陽駅).
- 8 Itoshino Station (愛し野駅).
- 9 Tanno Station (端野駅).
- 10 Hiushinai Station (緋牛内駅).
The Hokkaido Kitami Bus operates several routes in Kitami. In the Tokoro area, Abashiri Bus services several areas.
There are many rental car providers in Kitami:
- 1 Kitami Mint Memorial Museum (北見ハッカ記念館), 1-7-28 Minaminakamachi, 南仲町1-7-28 (10 minute walk away Kitami Station), ☏ . Tu-Su 09:30AM-16:30, closed the day after national holidays. On display: material exhibiting the previous nature of the mint. Free.
- 2 Pierson Memorial House (ピアソン記念館), 7-4-28, Saiwaicho, 幸町7丁目4-28, ☏ . Tu-Su 09:30AM-16:30, closed the day after national holidays. The former house of Mr. and Mrs. Pierson, Christian missionaries in Kitami in tye 19th century. There are displays also covering Elizabeth City - Kitami's sister city. Free.
- 3 Wakka (ワッカ), 242-1, Sakaeura, Tokoro, 常呂町字栄浦242番地1 (1 hour by car away Abashiri or center of Kitami.), ☏ . 28 Apr - 10 Oct only: 08:00-17:00. A long sandbar that separates the Sea of Okhotsk and Lake Saroma. More than 300 kinds of wild flower bloom on the sandbar. There is a Nature Center at the entrance to the sandbar. The center provides bicycle rental (for a fee) and information on the area. Entrance free. Rental cycle ¥600.
- 4 Aquarium of Mountain (山の水族館, Yama no Suizokukan), 1-4, Matsuyama, Rubeshibe, 留辺蘂町松山1番地4 (2 min walk away bus stop "Onneyu Onsen"), ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Summer: 09:00-17:00, winter 09:30 - 16:00. Aquarium for freshwarter fishes. Adults ¥670.
- 1 Onneyu Onsen (温根湯温泉), Onneyu-Onsen, Rubeshibe, 留辺蘂町温根湯温泉 (Bus stop "Onneyu Onsen"). There are a lot of hotels and day spas with alkaline springs resulting in smooth skin after bathing. Only bath -¥700.
- 2 Shiobetsu Onsen (塩別温泉), 201 Takinoyu, Rubeshibe-cho, 留辺蘂町滝の湯201, ☏ , fax: . 11:00 - 21:00. There is one inn that deals day bathing. The spring quality is alkaline which is similar to Onneyu Onsen, get smooth skin after bathing. Only bath ¥500.
- Mint (薄荷). Kitami was one of the world's leading producers in the past. They sell such as at Kitami Mint Memorial Museum, Michi no Eki and Kitami Station. Mint oil one bottle 20 ml ¥1050..
- Salt Chow Mein (Sio-Yakisoba 塩焼そば). Local cuisine of Kitami. You can eat in the city each restaurants and hotels.
- 1 Toriton, Miwa (トリトン三輪店), 4-12-20, Higashimiwa, 東三輪4丁目12番地20 (10 min by car away Kitami Station), ☏ . 11:00 - 22:00. It is conveyor belt sushi restaurant. There are many delicious sushi restaurants in Kitami, but this one is relatively cheap.
- 1 Okhotsk Beer (オホーツクビール), 2-2-2, Yamashita-cho, 山下町2丁目2-2 (15min walk away Kitami Station), ☏ , fax: . 11:30 - 22:00. It is local beer of Kitami that got the local first beer production license in Japan. There is the restaurant: "Okhotsk Beer Factory".
- 1 Super Hotel Kitami (スーパーホテル北見), 11-1, Kita4-Nishi2, 北四条西2丁目11-1 (10min walk away Kitami Station), ☏ , fax: . Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 10:00. Stay with breakfast ¥4980+ (Jul - Sep ¥5480). Parking fee ¥500.
- 2 Tōyoko Inn Kitami Ekimae (東横INN北見駅前), 4 Odori-Nishi2, 大通西2-4 (1 min walk away Kitami Station), ☏ , fax: . Check-in: 16:00, check-out: 10:00. Stay with breakfast ¥4480+ (May - Oct ¥5480+). Parking fee ¥500.
- 3 Ōe-Honke (大江本家), 466-1, Onneyuonsen, Rubeshibe, 留辺蘂町温根湯温泉466-1 (6-min walk away bus stop "Onneyu Onsen"), ☏ , fax: . Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 10:00. In Onneyu Onsen town. Stay with 2 meals from ¥8800; only bath ¥700.
- 4 Onneyu Hotel (温根湯ホテル 四季平安の館), Onneyuonsen, Rubeshibe, 留辺蘂町温根湯温泉 (6min walk away bus stop "Onneyu Onsen"), ☏ , fax: . Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 10:00. In Onneyu Onsen town. From ¥13,800 for single; from ¥7,980 for 2 people; only bath ¥600.
- 11 Jiyūkūkan, Kitami-Midorimachi (自遊空間 北見緑町店), 1-1-2, Midorimachi, 緑町1丁目1-2, ☏ . 24-hr. Internet cafe with private rooms. First 30 min ¥280, thereafter every 15 min ¥100; 8-hr Night Pack ¥1500.
- Daisetsuzan National Park
- Abashiri - a capital city of the subprefecture
- Ōzora - Memanbetsu Airport
- Bihoro - Akan National Park
- Kamikawa - Sounkyo Onsen
|Routes through Kitami|
|Asahikawa ←||W E||→ Bihoro → Abashiri|