Posted on Oct 11, 2018

Posted on Oct 11, 2018

0 5


8 days





Highest point





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 Jun 3, 2019

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.

Daily Route notes

Comments | Queries | Reports

Done this route or parts of it? Thinking of doing it? Please post any feedback or queries here. Thanks!

5 thoughts on “Shakotan and Niseko Hills”

  1. Are there sufficient trees along this route each day to allow for hammock camping? We generally prefer this to tent/bivy camping.

    1. Hey FB, as someone who hasn’t hammocked much in his life, I hesitate to give any definite answers on this one! That said, there are trees. And parks with pagodas etc. My gut feeling is that you’ll be fine, but claim no responsibility for that gut feeling 🙂

  2. Hi guys and girls i’m working in sakazuki (tomari) in front of benten island until august, just wanted to say the camping has been renovated recently and is super duper clean just hide your food from the family of foxes. If any cyclist is passing by you can refill your bottles at the campgrounds behind the village or just drop by at the café and we’ll gladly refill them even after closure if we’re there.


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REGION: The general mountain/geographical region the route is in.

BEST MONTH(S): Time of year a route is suited to visiting. Some pop all season, some are more limited.

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FREERIDE/SKITOUR: Very subjective, but is a route more-of-a-walk-than-a-ski or the other way around? Some routes are all about the screaming downhill (freeride), some are more about the hunt for a peak or nice forest (ski-tour). Some are in between. 

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Shakotan and Niseko Hills Difficulty Rating





Vertical Gain



Time ascending













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.