40ml. Another humid night and not much sleep due to a noisy group at it till 3am.
Leaving Samani campsite
After breakfast I’m on the highway heading to Tomakomai. Seems very busy on here today compared to yesterday and already had 2 close passbys from quarry trucks, which is unusual here. No campground on this route for a long way now so maybe a Michi no Eki or a quiet park for camping tonight. Got in touch with Dan and Ell and they was camping at a place 40kms in front of me so I headed for there and had a few beers and chat on a nice campsite up a steep hill.
54ml. After breakfast and packing up it’s another black sky out there but no rain falls and the sun appears after an hour. Lots of tunnels south of Hiroo and the longest was 3mile. But the road is quiet and I take the R34 down to Erimo Cape. As soon as I turn down the 34 I’m hit hard by a strong wind and it’s slow going. The crosswind neatly blows me off twice but after 10ml I reach the Cape. Very misty so hardly any view but I have an ice cream and a rest here. When I set off again now it’s a head wind with 25ml to go. Few ups and downs but eventually I make it to Oyakowafureai beach campsite. At 6.20pm.
39ml.Up early again today with the sun making the tent like a greenhouse. 5.00am. onto R336 again heading to Hiroo. Quiet road to start with but as I get closer to Hiroo there’s more traffic on the road but not too bad with a good shoulder to ride on. Stop at Hiroo at a brand new supermarket just past 7/11 and stock up on food. As I come out the rain starts so I shelter at 7/11 but the sky is black and I decide to stay at Hiroo campsite about a mile back. It’s 210 yen and in a forest but the toilet and kitchen is superb. Lots of charging points around the kitchen. Only thing is there’s lot of insects to contend with due to being in nature. Never seen as many daddy long legs lol. Struggled sleeping as well as it’s so hot and humid tonight.
171ml. Nosappu to lake Chobushi.
Did this over 4days.all along the coast road. 53ml to Kiritappu Cape, then a short day 28ml, adjusted my brakes on route to Akkeshi and I met the Dutch cyclists, Darna and Janneka again. Had a day off with them and we sheltered all afternoon and night due to drizzle and fog. Managed to clean all the bike and fit a new chain in the morning. Then after saying goodbye to Darna and Janneka, who made a delicious meal last night and pancakes this morning, yummy, 51ml to Shiranuka and wild camped just outside of town near a baseball ground with a portaloo. Lastly, 39ml to a great campsite at lake Chobushi. I took R1038 and it was deserted. I called down to Otsu on a bike path to try and find a shop but no luck. Glad I had some food with me. The lake was busy with people swimming and picnics but they all left in the evening and there was only 2 more camping. Very quiet night.
71ml. Said goodbye to Mel this morning as she headed to lake Kussharo and I’m heading to Nemuro. I headed down R244. It was windy so it was not easy going. I caught up with Joonsuk, a Korean rider I met a couple of days ago and heading the same way. It’s still only 4pm when I reach Nemuro so I decide to go all the way to the Cape. The park I planned to camp in was all open and I would have had to wait for it going dark to set up the tent, but it was cold and I found a rider house nearby, so I book in there for 1,200 yen. I spotted red crowned cranes and a white tailed eagle on the way today.
31ml. After the rain all night and most of the morning it’s a late start and Dan and Ell arrived just as we was leaving. Dan was shivering from the cold and the same happened to them, as us yesterday on the climb. Steady day to Shibetsu and arrived pretty early about 3.30pm. great campsite with an onsen and 7/11 within 200m. So it was set up tent, coffee and snack 7/11 then into the onsen for a nice clean up. I made curry and rice for my tea and Mel ate out. We had a few sherberts sat at the tents as we go separate ways tomorrow. A cheeky fox ripped it’s it’ into Mel’s tent and stole some food while she was away and it came back and stole some chocolate while I was sat within a few feet away. It was so brazen and not scared at all. This is the reason you shouldn’t feed wild animals. I learnt from this.
23ml. After leaving Dan and Ell me and Mel set off up the 10km climb in beautiful sunshine. About 2 miles from the top it gets cold and wet. Eventually we reach the campsite about 4kms before Rausu and call it a day. My hands take an hour to get feeling back in them. There’s a free hot spring opposite the campsite but after stripping off, I can’t go in as it’s too hot. It rains the rest of the day and all night.
42ml. Rode with Dan and Ell today to the Shiretoko peninsula. Wasn’t a bad road and a nice waterfall on the way. Got to the campsite and set up the tents and me and Mel rode the 14kms up to the Goko 5 lakes. Beautiful place. There’s an elevated boardwalk to the 1st lake which is protected by an electric fence due to so many bears in the area. You can do the full walk at ground level but you have to book the guided group tour because of the bears. Then it was back to the campsite for a few beers and more laughs with Dan and Ell.
28ml. From Yamabe to here, I’ve left out as I more or less did the route in earlier posts. Me and Mel met Dan and Ell at the 7/11 and camped with them at the lake. They’re both from England and very funny so it was great to sit down and chat with them. In the morning Dan and Ell left early and Mel had a problem with her rear derailleur so we messes about with that for a while and just as we was about to leave another cyclist from England turned up. Pete from Scarborough. He’s been on the road for 14month. Sold all his possessions and decided to cycle the world. Good on yer Pete. So now after finding a bike shop in Abashiri, but they don’t have any rear derailleur, we carry on hoping the old one holds out. We get to a rider house in Shari but it’s also the campground and Dan and Ell are there so another funny night.
Campsite at lake Abashiri with Dan and Ell
Nice waterfall on route between Kamikawa and Sounkyo
88ml. After an early rise and 6.15am start I’m off and away to meet Mel and Anna at Yamabe. It’s freezing as I cycle straight over the pass to start and it’s very foggy and drizzle in the air. R241 to Kamishihoro then I take some parallel quiet roads to R274 then R593 and across to R38. I have a 10km climb up Sahoro Dake and on the way down the sun comes out and I eventually start to feel warm. It’s downhill all the way to Minifurano. A stop at the 7/11 for coffee and a bite to eat and now it’s only 20mile to Yamabe to meet Mel and Anna at the campsite.
56ml. I missed out the days from Yamabe as I did this earlier in the trip and it’s a repeat of earlier posts in the other direction. I came back to Furano and Biei to see the flowers in full bloom which I was too early for last time, and wow, am I glad. It was beautiful. I left the campsite at Shirogane with Mel from Canada and Anna from Austria went solo in a different direction. We rode a really nice river path from Nagayama to Kamikawa and stopped short of Sounkyo, due to the rain starting. We stayed at the side of a baseball ground with a toilet there and just camped under some trees. Went to 7/11 for wine and had a nice meal, which Mel cooked of veg and rice and a good chinwag with the wine.
Campsite at Kamifurano with Mel, Anna, and the Dutch ladies, Janneka and Darna. World travellers from Holland
59ml. After leaving campsite I’m straight onto R1093 to lake Akan. 1st 10mile is asphalt then it turns to gravel for 10ml. It rises to 400m and I had to push in one stretch due to the loose surface and back wheel spinning. Down into the village on the shore of lake Akan and it’s beautiful. The Lake Akan Ainu Kotan is an Ainu kotan (settlement) inhabited by about 120 people in 36 residences. As a point of production and sale of traditional crafts which are among Hokkaido’s best-known souvenirs. It’s fascinating and I was here a long time looking at the souvenir shops. There’s also a theatre where dancing and singing ceremony takes place. This makes me late and still 40ml to go. I arrive at Ashoro just before dark and the campsite is closed but I go in anyway. It’s empty and I pitch my tent hoping I leave early before anyone comes and tells me off ha.
71ml. A few days off at the Cape due to having vertigo again and feeling dizzy. Had a great time. On Sunday it was the fish festival and the night before I was invited to join a group of Japanese friends who gave me food and drink. I can’t remember their names but great people, I even met the mayor and was given crab and oysters. There was a crab speed eating contest at the fish festival which was really good to watch and a young woman won. Everyone there was given a free pass for the onsen neat the campground.
Lovely group who made me feel at home.
Crab speed eating contest at the fish festival
Cape Azechi just past the onsen near Cape Kiritappu campsite.
I did this route over 2 days due to the late start, so I rode 26ml to Akkeshi 1st, a great site for ¥210 and from there the next day I took the R14 up to the R1128 and then some unnumbered quiet roads over to lake Toro. I was heading to lake Akan today but after visiting the fantastic shibecha museum, opposite the lake Toro visitor center about the wetlands history and wildlife, I only have enough time to get to Tsurui, the 2nd time I’ve stayed here now. Oh and I passed a viewing observatory for one of the wetlands views so I climbed the steps for a few photos.
52ml.After brekki I follow the coast route 142 and after 17ml I reach route 44 and there’s a 7/11 on the junction so it’s coffee time. When I reach Akkeshi, I do a little food shopping and decide to take the coast route to Hamanaka, Even though the highway looks the easier route. I arrive at Cape Kiritappu after 6pm and it’s cold but luckily there’s an indoor cooking facility open till 8pm so I cook some pasta for tea in the warm out of the wind instead of making my intended sandwich. I’ve been getting dizzy spells in the morning last few days and it seems my vertigo has come back from when I was in NZ, so I’m looking at having a day off tomorrow or even the weekend as there’s also a hot springs within 2miles. Nice to have a soak and good wash ha.
25ml. At least the temperature is up lol. Rain all day again. I’m heading towards Kushiro and sheltering at mo on free WiFi outside a seicomart at Tsurui. Just took my waterproof off because it looked like a break in the cloud and my weather app said no rain. 5mins later it’s coming down again ha. I was told no rain on Hokkaido in june. It’s now July and the weather is so unpredictable. An uneventful day so far. Just been to look at the free campground here and it’s quite nice on the river with a stage there and free WiFi. There’s quite a few there as well which I’ve noticed last couple of nights so maybe it’s the start of the holidays here. May be stopping here if the rain doesn’t stop. Well by the time the rain stops and the sky towards my intended direction to Kushiro looks black, I’m staying here. It’s 16.40 and not worth the risk of a downpour for the sake of pushing on 20ml.
48ml. Left bright and early this morning and after a short while I was on a 650m climb up Mt Mokotoyama and the full waterproof gear came out. Couldn’t see any views which was a shame, for the low cloud. Got to the top and a great viewing area of lake Kussharu but was dull and cloudy so not a great view. I was making for the campsite here but after all the rain I decided to head for a rider house about the same distance away. I was cold and couldn’t feel my fingers in my right hand. I arrived at a rest station at Teshikaga and met a family of 4 on great bikes, from Switzerland. I chatted for a while and decided to camp in the nearby park with an onsen round the corner. The Swiss family were also getting warm and had the same plan to camp in the park. Luckily my tent fit under the shelter in the park so I could keep out of the rain and have a dry tent in the morning. After pitching the tent it was off to the onsen, ¥400, and felt great and warmed up after. Then it was curry and rice and a cup of tea before bed.
The amazing Swiss family, travelling now for 9months.
Sumo museum at Kawayu
Lake Kussharu from the view point. Shame about the cloud