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 onsen at the end of the day.
It was threatening to rain as we rolled out of the hotel this morning. I was happy to get out of the hotel, as the whole morning vibe was more of the herding and feeding of cattle than that of a relaxing holiday experience. It was, after all, a fairly typical Japanese tourist hotel, catering mainly to bus tour groups. The buffet breakfast hall was a chaotic mess of humanity, everyone feeding their faces before being ushered off into their sardine-cans-on-wheels.
We were, accordingly, somewhat of a curiosity as we wheeled away from the hotel on our bikes. Muted gazes followed us from behind bus windows. I did not envy them.
Once out of Hakodate proper, we were back onto small fishing-village roads. A real treat after the hustle and bustle of Hakodate City.
Haidee had been mulling for a few days about why there weren’t more surfers out in the water around these parts, and as it happened, today we came across what appeared to be somewhat of a famous spot for surfing near Hakodate – Choshi Beach at Todohokke Village.
It wasn’t the surf that had immediately caught our attention, however. It was the quirky little pink cafe just across the road from the beach. Run by a retired husband and wife team, the cafe served killer cheese cake and OK coffee.
The relaxing half hour at the surf beach was just what we needed for the two tunnels that followed after the beach. One in particular had no path, and not even a white line demarcating any shoulder. Luckily there was very little traffic – that was one sketchy tunnel.
The rest of the day was more coastal fishing villages…
And a delightful old onsen just a few hundred meters from our campsite for the night in Kakkumi Village. The elderly lady running the place was a real talker. “Ah, you’re staying at the campsite? Don’t worry about the wildlife. The bears won’t listen to a thing you say, so don’t even bother yelling at them,” she informed us. Apparently she’d run this old onsen hotel most of her working life with her recently deceased husband. She looked like she must be at least 80 years old, so it made me wonder what would happen to the place if she ever decided to retire. It was oozing character.
After the onsen we headed up a little further up the road to the campground, pitched the tent, and settled in for the night.