Mt. Chisenupuri (チセヌプリ) is one of the classic Niseko-area backcountry ski locations. At the lower reaches is the Chisenupuri ski area, closed since 2013 (but re-opened for cat-skiing in December 2016). Word on the ground (when we did this trip in December 2016) is that the cat-skiing operation (run by […]

Chisenupuri Ski Area ski touring (near Niseko, Japan)

All good things must come to an end, and such did our 10-day cycle tour around the deep south of Hokkaido. We bundled the bikes back onto the train, and that train whisked us back to Chitose, ready to face another semester at university. Thermarest posted on Instagram and Facebook […]

Southern Hokkaido Cycle Tour Day 11 – Onuma back to ...

*Featured image by Haidee Our last day of cycling on this end-of-summer cycle tour around southern Hokkaido would end up being the only day where we had rain. And the day was topped off with a shared campfire on a lakefront with another cycle touring couple. In the morning, we […]

Southern Hokkaido Cycle Tour Day 10 – Kakkumi to Onuma

After a thoroughly relaxing two days sightseeing in Hakodate, we were back on the road again. At 66km, it would be our longest day of the trip, and our minds and bodies felt it. The sleepy little fishing villages and quiet roads kept things interesting though, as did the quirky […]

Southern Hokkaido Cycle Tour Day 9 – Hakodate to Kakkumi

Not being one to overly enjoy popular sightseeing locations, I’d never been to the tourist-bustling city of Hakodate before. But despite my reservations about its popularity with hoards of Asian tourists, it was an overwhelmingly worthwhile place to visit. The old star-shaped fortress and its painstakingly reconstructed magistrate’s building is […]

Southern Hokkaido Cycle Tour Day 7 – Shiriuchi to Hakodate

Matsumae Town on the south coast of Hokkaido was a surprise. As one of the earliest settlements on Hokkaido by the Japanese in the late 1800’s, it still maintains its mainland-Japan feel, with traditional Japanese architecture not seen in other parts of Hokkaido. Today we also caught a glimpse of […]

Southern Hokkaido Cycle Tour Day 6 – Matsumae to Shiriuchi

Despite being late September, it was a sweltering day today. Climbing high up over bluffs and cliffs along the Japan Sea coast kept our speeds down. The views were to notch though. Wild beaches, untouched forest, and wild-camping in Hokkaido’s first-settled towns, full of history. The theme of early mornings […]

Southern Hokkaido Cycle Tour Day 5 – Okushiri Island to ...

In 1993, one of the most powerful tsunami in modern history hit Okushiri Island. Just 5 minutes after a powerful magnitude 7.7 earthquake, the 30m high 500km/h wave destroyed much of the north, west, and south areas of the island. We weren’t fully aware of the magnitude of that event […]

Southern Hokkaido Cycle Tour Day 2 – Setana to Okushiri ...

After an unusually hectic July, August and September, Haidee and I finally managed to head off on our annual two-week cycling vacation. Being the last two weeks of September, days were already getting short, and the evenings and mornings were getting a chill on them. After a summer of more […]

Southern Hokkaido Cycle Tour Day 1 – Oshamanbe to Setana

I’ve finally gotten around to compiling together all the cycle trips we’ve done over the last few years in Hokkaido. There are quite a few, and they all focus on a different part of this amazing island we live on. I hope this page can be a solid resource for […]

A Hokkaido Cycle Touring Resource

Easily accessible by Japan Rail train from Sapporo, this 350km Shiretoko loop tour of Hokkaido’s eastern reaches is world-class. World Heritage Site level, in fact. Enjoy the wide open coastal route from Abashiri to the Shiretoko Peninsula (World Heritage Site), before the grunt over the pass. Return via Lake Kussharo. […]

Shiretoko Cycle Touring (Hokkaido, Japan)

Cool oak groves. Quiet roads. Quirky farmlets and friendly horses. And Hokkaido’s second oldest natural hot springs to top it all off. This 40km round trip from Chitose Station southwest into Abira Town is a delightful day ride that takes in some great sights in the region. Rent a bike […]

Horses and Forgotten Valley Ride (Chitose City, Japan)

Aomori Prefecture. The name Aomori (青森) means ‘green forest’. Situated at the northern-most tip of Japan’s largest island of Honshu, it is well off the beaten track. But it lives up to its name. Vast swaths of untouched forest, teeming with wildlife. Lakes, ocean coast, and wild rivers. It is […]

Aomori Prefecture Cycle Touring (Japan) – A 7-day Loop

The last two days of our 2016 Golden Week cycle tour of Aomori Prefecture saw us complete the circuit around Aomori Prefecture, back to the port city of Hachinohe. They also saw us catch the Silver Ferry back to Hokkaido, to complete a trip well worth taking. After a very […]

Aomori Cycle Touring Days 8 and 9 – Lake Ogawara ...

Shimokita Peninsula at the northern-most tip of Honshu in Japan has one of the best gravel roads I’ve ridden in Japan. Today we crossed over the Sai Village to Yagen Onsen mountain pass road, and it was pure bliss. Raining, but beautiful. Over a day the most I’ve ever climbed […]

Aomori Cycle Touring Day 6 – Fukuura to Yatate Onsen ...

Today’s route included the transport ferry cum dolphin tour, aka the Mutsu Bay Ferry. We saw at least three pods of the beautiful creatures on the 1 hour ferry ride. The afternoon was a stark contrast – hills and an unexpected early ending to the day in a small fishing […]

Aomori Cycle Touring Day 5 – Odaiba Auto Camp to ...

Japan coastal cycling at it’s finest today. A short-ish 60km, easy day as we meandered along the Sotogahama coast. Highlight for Rob was an amazing raw fish lunch at prices to make city-dwellers weep. Camping in luxury at the picturesque Odaiba Auto Camp. With the promise of a shorter day […]

Aomori Cycle Touring Day 4 – Aomori Prefectural Park to ...

A baptism by fire today…headwinds, hills, and a long day in the saddle. We were rewarded, however, by the beautiful Oirase Gorge – 10km of beautiful forest and endless waterfalls. If you’re ever looking for a place to stay in Hachinohe City (the apocalyptic mess of a port-town) then I […]

Aomori Cycle Touring Day 2 – Hachinohe to Lake Towadako

Haidee and I have lived in Hokkaido, the northern most island of Japan, for over five years now. For at least three of those years, we’ve made sure to get away during ‘Golden Week’ for a short cycle tour. Golden Week Tour 2013 – A door-to-door tour around the Ishikari […]

Aomori Cycle Touring Day 1 – Hokkaido to Aomori by ...