Samani Coast Area
Shiogama Tunnel and Rosoku-iwa
The rocky mountain here with its tunnel was a checkpoint for people heading to Samani in bygone days, although the boundary of Samani's administrative district lies further to the west. The name of the tunnel - Shiogama (meaning "salt pan") - is derived from the first saltern in eastern Ezo (corresponding to the southern half of Hokkaido), which was located nearby. The rock standing by the tunnel on the seashore is called Rosoku-iwa (meaning "candle rock"). This name is derived from its previous resemblance to a candle flame, but the collapse of its tip due to an earthquake has resulted in a slightly different shape. According to Ainu legend, Rosoku-iwa is a skewer that fell while a colossal god known as Ainu rakkur was grilling a skewered whale, and the recessed ground to the side of the mountain was created when he was startled by the skewer dropping and fell on his behind. He was perhaps rather sensitive despite his colossal size.