Posted on May 31, 2015
56 8

Posted on May 31, 2015

56 8

km

Distance

km

Time

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Ascent

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Highest point

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Difficulty

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TOPO

Aoba Park Picnic Grounds (Campground) is at the southern end of central Chitose City, only 5km from Sapporo International Airport. If you're arriving to or leaving Hokkaido by air with a bike, it would be a nice spot to stay the night after or before a flight. Or, just for a nice get away in the Sapporo region.

Last updated Oct 26, 2018

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Explore the official Japan topomaps online for the area around Aoba Park Campground here. Follow these instructions to print out the area you would like as a hardcopy.

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Route Trip Notes

Aoba Park campground happens to be less than 15 minutes from where we live in Chitose (EDIT (2018/10/13): we now live in Sapporo), so we decided to load up our bikes with camping and BBQ equipment and stay a Saturday night there with some friends.

We were at the campground on the 23rd of May. “This is still very early in the year for camping,” said the enthusiastic Mr. Kutsuwa. He said there had been a couple of travelers stay earlier, but the busiest season won’t start till June.

Being late May, Mr. Kutsuwa was slowly making his way around the campsites, clearing twigs and leaves from tentsites that had accumulated over winter. One of those campsites was the kabutomushi (rhinoceros beetle) site; all the sites had insect names. This site had tentsites covered in the most amazing layer of soft moss. We quickly opted for this spot and set up camp. By 6pm we had tents set up, our charcoal BBQ hot, and the drinks and food ready.

No one had a wine bottle cork removal implement with them, so I did as I have before, using my Leatherman. The steps are as follows: Find a wood screw (there is always one somewhere in a campground), remove it from whatever wood it is currently screwed into, screw it into the cork, grab the screw head with the pliers on the Leatherman, and pull. Cork is now removed. (Return the screw to previous location.)

Before long it was night time and time for an onsen. Walking through a pitch black dark park is always so exciting…

The next morning broke with clear skies and no wind. Everyone in good spirits. Breakfast consisted of BBQ goodness…Including Japanese imo-mochi (mashed potato with potato starch shallow fried, with a dash of soy sauce)…And of course coffee brewed in a mokapot atop a beer can alcohol stove, the stove made the day before.

The perfect spot for an overnight weekend adventure.

Comments | Queries | Reports

Done this route up to Aoba Park Campground? Thinking of doing it? Please post any feedback or queries here. Thanks!

8 thoughts on “Aoba Park Campground (Chitose City)”

  1. Franziska Lehmann

    Hi
    We will come to Chitose Airport on 05.07.2020 for a bike trip for 4 weeks. It is difficult to find a payable hotel for the night, when we come back to chitose. We could also stay on the campground. Is it possible to leave somewhere the bike-cartons and one backpack for 4 weeks?
    Best regards
    Franziska Lehmann

    1. Hi Franziska, great to hear you are planning to head up this way. There are lots of hotels in Chitose. Just try a Google search. If you need to leave gear, I would recommend staying at a hotel in Chitose on the first night, and leave your gear there. If you book to stay at the same hotel on your last night, then I am sure they will happily store your gear.

  2. Thank you for this blog post! We are planning our bike trek around Hokkaido this summer. We will fly in to Chitose on May 29. Looks like this campground would be a perfect place to start. By any chance, do you know where the closest outdoor shop would be to purchase camp fuel. That will be the first purchase we will need to make. If you have any other advice, we would love to hear it.
    Thanks in advance!
    Cheers from Barbra and Jack
    Chignik Lake, Alaska

  3. Hi Rob,

    Thanks for taking the time to write your journal, its a great read.

    I was wondering where you found bear spray in Japan? I am landing at Chitose airport soon and am not able to find anyinfo on where to buy it.

    Any pointers you can give will be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks,
    Nik.

    1. Ah, those things that look like strings are just the brake and gear cables…no strings needed. The Ortlieb front bag that I have doesn’t touch the fender.

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Aoba Park Campground (Chitose City) Difficulty Rating

Category

Grade

Points

Strenuousness

Vertical Gain

D

25

Time ascending

D

0

Technicality

Altitude

D

0

Hazards

D

Navigation

D

Totals

25/100

GRADES range from A (very difficult) to D (easy). Hazards include exposure to avalanche and fall risk. More details here. Rating rubric adapted from Hokkaido Yukiyama Guidebook 北海道雪山ガイド.