Last updated Jun 3, 2019
Need to know details
This overnight cycle touring route in central Hokkaido starts at Lake Kanayama near Minami-Furano (i.e., south Furano) and heads north to Biei Town via Tokachi Onsen.
For this route guide, we’re joined by my parents from New Zealand. They’re not into cycle touring, but love getting out and about in a camper. So we hired a small 660cc camper for them. These compact camper vans seem to be pretty popular here in Japan. As rentals they are really cheap – this one was only 5,400yen for 24 hours. Despite the engine only being 660cc, it had plenty of power. It had just enough space to fit Mum and Dad for sleeping.
- The 660cc mini-camper van: We hired the mighty 660cc-engine camper-van from 100yen Rentals on Atsubetsu Avenue in Sapporo. The cost was a paltry 5,400yen per 24 hours. You’ll need to be able to speak Japanese, or have someone who can with you, in order to hire from here. Also note that they don’t always have a mini-camper available in their fleet – you’ll need to contact them (in Japanese) to confirm.
- Staying at Hakuginso Lodge: If you’d rather stay indoors on the second night in the Tokachi Range, consider staying at the Hakuginso Lodge for about 2,500yen per person. The onsen there is incredible, and the lodge has communal kitchen facilities. Full details can be found here.
This two-day cycle tour around the Furano area doesn’t stick much to the official cycle routes in the area. However, it does merge with some of the mapped routes, so you’ll ocassionally see blue arrows painted on the roads for cyclists. See all the Furano-Biei Cycleways here >>
The first day is not particularly far distance-wise, but you’ll be climbing almost 1,000m, with all of it in the last 14km or so. So, make sure you get away from the quaint little town of Furano promptly after lunch – it is a great place to linger, but just remember a big climb is awaiting. The second day is a little more up and down as you cut across from Biei to Higashikawa Town.
No particular notes, but do take care that you have all the neccessary supplies and water from Furano for the climb up to the Tokachi Onsen area on the first day. There’s nothing up there in the way of convenience stores, and it is a long stiff climb.
Lake Kanayama has a public baths (かなやま湖保養センター, here), and of course the Tokachi Onsen area is teeming with natural hotspring options. If you’re brave enough, don’t miss the open-air, mixed-gender Fukiage Onsen (here) near the Hakuginso campground. The Hakuginso Lodge right next to the campground is also home to an excellent onsen (600yen per person, here).
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