This blog is about travelling through Japan on a foldable bicycle (Brompton) but also by train, ferry, plane, bus or any other transport, if sea, weather, mountains or the like come between me and my desire to ride.
I have tried to summarise information that could be potentially helpful also for other bicycle travellers through Japan, such as list of bicycle roads, helpful web pages etc. Once I start my ride, I will upload the actual routes taken, together with some pictures and description.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

From Wakkanai to Rumoi 稚内から留萌へ , 2 days before start

The flight for the first leg of my travel has been booked. I even had enough ANA miles for a flight to Wakkanai and flying back from Chitose.

On 31st August will be my last working day in Tokyo and on the morning of 1st of September on to Wakkanai, on to my first leg of cycle travel. (Check out here my plan for Hokkaido)

Surprisingly it has been quite difficult to find available rooms both in Enbetsu 遠別 as well as Haboro 羽幌. Both apparently small cities on a far away part of Hokkaido. I would not have expected that finding rooms there on a Sunday and Monday evening would be complicated. So I am happy that I did not just set off and thought on winging it, but actually booked ahead.

So here is the current plan:

  • Day 1, 1 Sep, fly to Wakkanai 稚内, cycle along the coast to the Northern tip of Wakkanai and then stay in Fujimi 富士見, just on the West facing coast behind Wakkanai. The first day we are talking 20 km only, but also only half a day or less.
  • Day 2, 2 Sep, cycle along the coast until a hotel close to the coast and approximately at the same hight as Tokumitsu 徳満 station. Here we are talking 44 km, all of them should be quite flat.
  • Day 3, 3 Sep, continue cycling along the coast until a bit behind Enbetsu 遠別. As I was completely unable to find an accommodation in Enbetsu (3 hotels were closed on that day, 1 was fully booked and the other 2 did not answer the phone) I took the Asahi onsen 旭温泉 hotel. From the map it seemed quite high in some mountains, but actually it is only about 50 m above sealevel. So should be okay. This day will be about 60 km, but still mostly flat
  • Day 4, 4 Sep, onwards to Haboro 羽幌, where I found a room at Cafe&Inn Kirikiri, I vaguely remember that on some of the web pages it was suggested for cyclists. But again, I called main hotels/ryokans in that small town, and even the biggest hotel with 120 + rooms was fully booked, on a Monday in September! This day will be probably the hardest, around 45 km, and with quite some up and down.
  • Day 5, 5 Sep, onwards to Rumoi 留萌. Continuing along the coast on a course that only initially should have some up-and-down and then be nicely flat until a sharp peak just before Rumoi. I have not booked a room at Rumoi, as I think I could get the last train into Sapporo 札幌 from Rumoi in the evening. 20.20. I guess this should be possible after a ride of about 50 km. 
    • This obviously assumes that it is easier to find a hotel in Sapporo... But a quick search on Jalan reveals about 90 possibilities. So that should be fine. 
  • Day 6, 6 Sep, I have the flight back to Tokyo 東京 in the evening, so I think I will go to the open air museum in Sapporo and then cycle on to Chitose 千歳 airport. From the museum to the airport its about 38 km, along a railway line and in flat landscape. 
So that will be my first week of cycling in Japan. Wish me luck!

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