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Japan - Hokkaido: Infos needed

Old 03-18-08, 03:28 AM
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Japan - Hokkaido: Infos needed

Hello,

now my next travel destination is choosen. I'm going in August to Hokkaido (Japan). Does anybody have any information about Hokkaido? Everything (nice roads, sights, hiking possibilietes, accomondation, travel reports, etc.) in English, Spanish, French or German is welcome.

Unfortunatly I don't speak and can't read Japanese

Thomas
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Old 03-18-08, 08:28 AM
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You probably already started with this: https://maps.google.com/?utm_campaign...&utm_term=kmlg

By the way you might want some sort of bi-lingual map. I'm pretty sure they speak/write in Japanese.
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Old 03-18-08, 08:37 AM
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Have you seen Peter Gostelow journal? He did a 26(?) day "warm up" ride on Hokkaido before embarking on his adventure. It looks like a great place to to a tour.

https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?...c_id=985&v=3iU
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Old 03-18-08, 08:55 AM
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Here are two links to information about bike touring in Japan.

Ray
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Old 03-18-08, 09:04 PM
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Hokaido Japan

CHeck out Josie Dew's book A Ride in the Neon Sun. Scads of information on Hokaido
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Old 07-07-08, 01:55 AM
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JonnyW, I lived in Hokkaido and rode alot of it. What parts are you thinking of riding? An outer loop? The SE end?

The best book you can buy is called the "Hokkaido Touring Mapple". It's actually for motorcycle touring but applies to bikes too. It has distances between points on all the close-up maps, camping spots marked, onsen (natural hot springs) noted-which are vital at the end of any riding day, and anything else you may need. Its about 1600yen in any bookstore in Hokkaido.

If you have any questions just ask.
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Old 07-07-08, 04:10 AM
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Hi HokkaidoRider,

The route is (I have some problem typing in names without my map): Kushiro - Akan NP - Shi... NP - Abashiro (the town at the coast) - Daiz... NP - through the inland to Wakkanai (the new route of japancycling.com) - Ribishi/Rebun - from Wakkanai along the coast to Sapporo - Then a loop via Otaru - the famous skiresort with N. - Lake Toya.
After Hokkaido a short trip on Honshu (Ferry terminal - Kyoto - Nara - Osaka)

I'm preparing the route in google maps. This will take a few weeks - but then I can send you the exact route

Questions right now:
- Exists on street signs the number of minor roads (three letters) or it is necessary to stop on every crossing and compare Japanese letters?
- Camping places: Exists are barbeque facility there? And if yes do they sell wood or charcoal?
- Is there a ferry from Ribishi to Otaru?
- Ferry close to Kyoto: How many days needs this ferry booked in advance?
- Is it possible to buy the mapple in gas stations also?

Thomas
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Old 07-07-08, 05:26 AM
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Isn't that where they built the Machine?
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Old 07-07-08, 06:03 AM
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Originally Posted by slvoid
Isn't that where they built the Machine?
Pardon?
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Old 07-07-08, 10:06 AM
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Hey JohnyW! Have you seen Bikely.com? It lets you draw bike routes on Google maps or even use the GIS information. That might help you speed up the process.
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Old 07-07-08, 01:58 PM
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Hey Jonny,
Sounds like a great trip. Gas Stations are a little different compared to N.America ones I've seen. A bookstore in Sapporo would have the Mapple, at the airport you could ask where the nearest bookstore would be.
Are you not carrying a stove, is that why you ask about the bbq? Most campgrounds in Hokkaido are free or nearly free (most I paid was 600yen or $6), but they don't have a fire pit. The occasionaly one may have a bbq spot, but most are a grassy 'choose your own' spot. The convenience stores are awesome, just buy food along the way. It's inexpensive, and good too.
I'll go through my old logs later, but from memory..from Cape Soya (the northern tip) to Wakkanai the wind is in your face, but its only 30-40km. From Wakkanai to Sapporo following the coast can be done in 4 days, averaging about 80km a day. I'd recommend hanging out on the northern islands off of Wakkanai, hit up Rebun and cruise it for a day or two, and then Rishiri is little more than a massive volcano for the island.. its so nice.
And as for street signs, most major routes you'll have no problem with, they'll have roman letters. Therew ill be the odd time you might have to match up kanji, but that's part of the adventure right.
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Old 07-10-08, 03:43 AM
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Hi Hokkaidorider,

the problem is that we start in Kushiro instead of Sapporo and don't stay only a night in town. We want to start early in morning... So we pass some gas stations but I have no idea if bookstores open Sunday evening.

I'll be carrying a stove, but sitting at an open fire in nice landscape is something really nice. And I'm a big BBQ supporter (By the way I was invited in Korea to a Korean seafood BBQ and now I have to make one on my own. Grill shells, crabs, and a lot of seafood stuff that you never seen outside Asia :-))

Wind isn't a problem for me (but maybe for friend). 4 days Wakkanai - Sapporo? **** I planned only 3 (from Rishiri - incl. 1,5 h ferry trip) okay but on a whole day cycling we will make more than 80 km

If you was on the Rishiri volanco. How far is it possible to cycle up? (I don't like hiking so much in the lower area (under 1000m altitude))

Thomas
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Old 07-20-08, 11:38 PM
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Hi Thomas,
On Rishiri Island, you will come into the Oshidomari Ferry. From there you can bike west along the coastline to Katsugata. Alternatively, I think there is a ferry from Rebun Island to Katsugata Ferry terminal. Either way, at Katsugata there is a small campground next to the ocean that has amazing sunsets and nice waves. There is a small coin operated laundry at the campground as well, and when a typhoon rolled in while I was there, myself and another camper hunkered down inside of the laundry building for a few nights until the ferrys could resume again. A bonus about this campground is that its cheap, maybe 500 yen at best ($5), and there is a hot spring almost right next door to soak and relax while looking at the ocean.

Around Rishiri is about 60kms, the entire circumference. There is a great cycling road set up for alot of it, with a few climbs too. You can stop off at little towns along the way and see the sights.

As for climbing the volcano itself, I biked up to the 5th Station, its quite a climb, but nice views from up there. The mountain is divided into 10 station (all mtns are) of somewhat equal spacing. But I dont think its halfway up, from memory I thought it was only the 3rd station. You can park your bike there and hike from there if you have good shoes, its still a big rugged mountain.
https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e6876.html

I left Rishiri on a Monday first thing in the morning, arrived in Wakkanai, rode out to Cape Soya then back (about 30k each way). From Wakkanai I rode around the NW peninsula and then down that highway, its a great rode just right on the water, straight as an arrow. I camped at a roadside stop, it was a 95km day.
Day 2 was 86kms to Shosanbetsu.
Day 3 (from Rishiri) was Shosanbetsu to Mashike town, 102kms.
Day 4 Return to Sapporo (85k ish) OR bike inland slightly to see the farmland. Id recommend this too, because from Mashike to Sapporo there is a million tunnels, some very old ones too, and it was the least enjoyable part of my whole trip. You can cut inland from Mashike on Route 94, its quiet and nice, and I camped at the town of Urausu (total 83kms). From Urausu to Sapporo its another 72k the last day.

Take your time, Hokkaido is worth it.
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Old 07-20-08, 11:45 PM
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More on cycling around Hokkaido here...
https://www.wikihow.com/Bike-Tour-Around-Hokkaido
https://www.e-wadachi.com/howto/map_e.html

And to solve your Hokkaido Mapple problem, you can order one from Amazon Japan and it will ship internationally. Follow this link:
https://www.amazon.co.jp/%E5%8C%97%E6...0472126&sr=1-6

I hope this helps!
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Old 07-23-08, 01:39 AM
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Hi

yes it helps. Regarding the route 94 I have to check - but tunnels aren't the problem - we both have very very good lights. I still have personal problem, because I have only 1 day for Kyoto and the ferry schedule for Rebun, Ribishi, Wakanai is unconvienent. So we planed so far to cycle from Ribishi to Sapporo in 3 days. May be it's better to stay 1 day more in Ribishi and take the train from Wakanai the next day to Sapporo. (and so we have the additional day for Kyoto)

Do you have any information about travelling with bikes in Japanese Railway?

Thomas
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Old 07-25-08, 06:00 PM
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Hi Thomas,

One thing with JR (Japan Rail) that I know for sure is that they need some sort of bag or cover to allow any bike onto the train. One time I even put a garbage bag on each end, matched them up together, and went on. I know people who use a thin light bike bag for whenever they need the train.

Riding the Hokkaido coastline down is really nice, and there are some great campsites along the way... Shosanbetsu for one, Obira is another, Mashike another. Its not really how dark those more southern tunnels are, its how narrow they are. There isnt much of a lane for a bike in many places, let alone a sidewalk. I didnt mind most tunnels, but those from Sapporo to Mashike weren't much fun.

Any luck getting the Touring Mapple ordered? When do you fly?
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Old 07-28-08, 04:05 AM
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Hi,

okay I have plastic bag for the flight. So that should work for the train also. No the Mapple I didn't ordered, because I fly on the 9th of August. I just make a printout of the cover - That should work. May be there is bookshop in Nagoya(?) where we shift to the domestic flight to Kushiro. We should be in downtown Kushiro at 5 PM so may be we get it there.

I still have to check the route 94. I cycled the Taroko Canyon Road in Taiwan with more than 100 tunnels without any light at all. The only problem were the 80 cm deep shoulder in the tunnels - so I just cycled in the middle and the cars had to follow me :-)

We both used to the traffic in Dubai, so the traffic in Japan shouldn't be a problem.
May be the bridge from Osaka downtown to Kansai Int'l Airport because they don't let us cycle on it...

Thomas
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Old 07-28-08, 09:06 PM
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Taking the coastline won't be that bad, there are alot of tunnels like I said but don't let it worry you too much, its all doable. Hokkaido has a reputation for 'fast drivers' because the roads are alot more open than on the main island, be careful that's all.

Either way have a great trip!
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Old 08-08-08, 04:52 PM
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So in 7h I am at the airport.

Thanks to all guys posted in this thread.

Another country under my wheels...

Thomas
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Old 08-08-08, 05:46 PM
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I'd be very interested in hearing about your trip. My wife and I lived in Japan for many years and she wants to visit again. She has the idea that I'd bike and she would take the train and we'd meet at the same ryokans every night. Best of luck!
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