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Nice Stopover on your trip!
If you are visiting Mombetsu in winter it is a nice opportunity to make a stopover at the Okhotsk Tower (オホーツクタワー). It is located one kilometer offshore. From the observatory you can observe how the ice floes on the Okhotsk Sea and how the ice breaker is making its way through. There is a small 4D cinema, which might be especially nice for children, which shows a cute movie with characters of the local sea life. The main highlight might be the underwater observatory. Unfortunately the water was dirty and you couldn't see much inside the water outside the windows. However, they have some tanks around the area where you can see fishes and other sea life. You even can touch and feed some of them. The Okhotsk Tower is opened from 10:00 to 17:00. Admission is 800 yen for adults and 400 yen for children. A free shuttle service is available from Garinko Station to the tower, but you also can walk there within a few minutes.
Great views of the sea ice, and interesting animal observatories
The Okhotsk Tower makes for an enjoyable stop if you’re in the Mombetsu area. If you don’t plan to go out on the Garinko II icebreaker, heading to the tower will still give you a great view out over the ice, and there are platforms where you can go outside and snap some pictures of the ships heading out. You’re even able to hold pieces of drift ice in the tower here (don’t worry - they provide gloves so your hands aren’t going to freeze!) A fascinating thing they have here is the underwater drift ice observatory. If you’re curious about what kind of marine life are able to withstand the harsh conditions in this part of Japan during winter, you’re able to check those out - and even feed or hold some of them if you’re game. The tower is open seven days a week from 10am until 5pm. Adult admission is 800 yen, child admission 400 yen.