Posted on Oct 11, 2018
0

Posted on Oct 11, 2018
0
Reading time: 4 min
330km

Distance

8 days

Time

4300m

Ascent

835m

Highest point

5/10

Difficulty

100%

Paved

This is a 330km door-to-door cycle tour starting and finishing in Sapporo. Once you’re out of the urban sprawl past Yoichi, the coastal bays and beaches of the Shakotan Peninsula are fantastic. Approaching the famous ski resort town of Niseko from the north, up up up over the hills is tough going but very rewarding. The highland Goshiki area is onsen heaven. The route also dips down to the expansive Lake Toya before heading over Nakayama Pass back to Sapporo.

Last updated Dec 10, 2018

Route Map

Route Overview

Of all the cycle touring routes we’ve posted on the Hokkaido Wilds, this may be one of the best for people who love swimming! When we did the route, it was the height of summer, and we were cooling off in water every day. Crystal clear coastal bays around the Shakotan Peninsula, waterfalls on the climb up to Niseko, Lake Toya, the hopelessly clear river downstream from Kyogoku next to Mt. Yotei, and the Toyohira River in Sapporo. Even if you’re not partial to a wild dip, this 330km route still delivers a solid impression of the coast northwest of Sapporo and a glimpse of the varied beauty of the Niseko area.

  • Getting out of Sapporo: The route from central Sapporo, through Otaru, and on to Yoichi is a fairly continual urban sprawl for about 50km. Get respite from the traffic and monotony by making the time to stop off at the fruit stalls as you approach Yoichi City, do some sightseeing in the gorgeous and touristy Otaru City canal area, or doing some kayaking at Shioya.
  • Route timing: As is the case for most Hokkaido cycle touring routes on the Hokkaido Wilds, daily distances are short, to make time for looking around (and swimming 🙂 ). Stronger riders will quite happily merge multiple days into one and still have a great time.

Photo Gallery

Daily Route notes

↔ 44km | ↗ 360m | 🚵 100% paved | ↓ GPX file

Today’s mission: get out of the city. Unfortunately there’s not much other option but to brave the National Highway 5 out of Sapporo towards Otaru today. But the small sandy-beach oasis that is Shioya Bay is waiting with baited breath for your arrival. There’s no official campground in Shioya Bay, but there’s unlikely to be any objection to cyclists setting up camp. There’s no public toilets here either, for that matter. We camped here because we were taking part in a kayak tour with Blue Holic Kayak Tours the next day.

If you’re not signed up for a kayak tour, you might prefer to keep on going to Bikuni, and get the urban biking out of the way on this first day.

Onsen: None

Camping on beach in front of Blue Holic Kayaks in_6036954364_l

↔ 50km | ↗ 410m | 🚵 100% paved | ↓ GPX file

Highlights of Day 3 include rolling past the highest point on the Shakotan Peninsula – Mt. Shakotan (hiking guide here – or backcountry skiing, if that’s your thing) – as well as Cape Kamui, and of course some more endless, gorgeous coastal scenery. There are a decent number of tunnels on this section, but they are mostly new, modern, well lit, and have wide paths to ride on. Plus, there’s not a whole lot of traffic this far around on the peninsula.

Accommodation: Kamoenai Campground (神恵内青少年旅行村) | 600 yen per tent

Shakotan Peninsula

↔ 51km | ↗ 1000m | 🚵 100% paved | ↓ GPX file

Today is where this Shakotan and Niseko Hills tour starts to get hilly. The climb up and over the Niseko Range from Iwanai to Yumoto Onsen is long and relentless, but utterly beautiful. The vegetation becomes sub-alpine nearer the top. And the end of the day guarantees a soak in an onsen. The campground is only 5oom from one of Hokkaido’s largest geothermal lakes, Niseko Onuma Lake (here).

Onsen: Yuki-chichibu Onsen (雪秩父温泉) | 700yen | 0.3km from accommodation

Niseko cycle touring

↔ 25km | ↗ 380m | 🚵 100% paved | ↓ GPX file

Most people know the Niseko region as a winter paradise for skiing. We sometimes brave the throngs and have done some ski tours there before. In the non-snow months, the area transforms into a lush agricultural vege basket. Here, we speed down the hill from Yumoto Onsen and skirt around the base of the conical Mt. Yotei’s southern side.

Accommodation: Mt. Yotei Nature Park Campground (羊蹄山自然公園キャンプ場) | 600 yen per tent | 600 yen per person

Onsen: Makkari Onsen (まっかり温泉) | 500yen | 3.7km from accommodation

Cycle touring near Niseko, Hokkaido, Japan_6037048206_l

↔ 25km | ↗ 261m | 🚵 100% paved | ↓ GPX file

It would be a shame not to head south and see Lake Toya, Japan’s 9th largest lake. At its widest point it is 11km across. There are multiple campgrounds and hotsprings around its 46km circumference.

Onsen: Toya Ikoi-no-Ie (洞爺いこいの家) | 370yen | 0.6km from accommodation

Looking over Lake Toya, Hokkaido, Japan_6037711362_l

↔ 30km | ↗ 500m | 🚵 100% paved | ↓ GPX file

Today we headed north again to the spring-water town of Kyogoku. We visited Fukidashi Park, an area where over 8 tons of 6.5°C spring water per day gushes from a spring at the foot of Mt. Yotei. The campground is just downstream from the spring.

Onsen: Kyogoku Onsen (京極温泉) | 600yen | 0.2km from accommodation

Swimming at the Kyogoku Camping Ground, Kyogoku, Hokkaido, Japan_6037750886_l

↔ 72km | ↗ 930m | 🚵 100% paved | ↓ GPX file

The last day is a relatively tough one. Nakayama Pass is a solid climb. But, once at the top, it is a downhill run all the way to the Toyohira River cycle path to get you back into Sapporo City.

Accommodation: ()

Onsen: () | yen | km from accommodation

Cycling along the Toyohira River cycle path in Sapporo, Japan_6037774812_l

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