Posted on Sep 18, 2018
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Posted on Sep 18, 2018

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174 0
Reading time: 2 min
82km

Distance

2 days

Time

1322m

Ascent

721m

Highest point

6/10

Difficulty

87%

Paved

The Fuchs Loop (named after Dirk Fuchs who first 'discovered' the route), is an 80km loop mixed-road bikepacking route around the hills west of Sapporo. The main attraction is the 12km gravel/4WD/single-track route over the Zenibako Pass from Jozankei Lake to Zenibako on the Japan Sea coast. This Zenibako Pass route goes past Tokai University's character-filled Ginreiso Hut, which makes for a nice overnight stay in the woods. Distances are relatively short, however, so there's no reason you can't make this a daytrip too.

Last updated Jun 3, 2019

Route Map

Need to know details

Location

This route makes a brief excursion into the hills west of the northern Sapporo suburbs, and passes over the old Zenibako Pass.

Daily Stats
Day 1

↔ 50km | ↗ 1253m | 🚵 90% paved

Ginreiso Hut (銀嶺荘) | 800 yen per tent

Day 2

↔ 32km | ↗ 0m | 🚵 95% paved

General notes

While this route is billed as a ‘bikepacking’ route, it is fairly standard Japan all-road touring. That is, expect some extremes: a decent amount of on-road paved riding, with some fun but rough-at-times single-track and gravel forestry road. The Ginreiso Hut (details here) is a great place to spend an overnight stay on this route. The single-track (and then gravel road) downhill from the hut to the coast is steep, short, and sharp, so we recommend doing the route clockwise (approaching the hut from the Jozankei side). Of course, the route can be done in one day too. For getting in and out of the city, the route utlizes the Toyohira River cycle path, and a cycle path along the Shinkawa River.

Hut

Haruka-yama Ginreiso Hut (full details here)

Ginreiso Hut is owned by Tokai University (Sapporo Campus). It can take up to 50 people, and can be used year round (booking is required two working days in advance). There is a hutkeeper at the hut year-round also (although there are times when he is not present). Call Tokai Univesity on 011-571-5111 (in Japanese) for details and to book.

Route markers

There are sporadic markers and signs on trees along the gravel/hiking sections of the route, but they are all in Japanese and few and far between. Take care at junctions to check you’re going in the right direction.

Route Timing

Expect it to take around 4 hours from central Sapporo to the hut. From the hut, it will take about 2 hours to get back into central Sapporo City.

Physical maps

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

Route safety

Take care on the hiking trail sections of the route beyond the hut on the way down to Zenibako. This is not a particularly popular route with cyclists (even though there’s no restriction on bikes on the trails), but hikers won’t be expecting you. Also consider notifying the police of your backcountry plans online using Compass – instructions here.

Weather forecast

Windy.com weather forecast for Ginreiso Hut
Other resources

Boating: Hokkaido Canoe Touring Book by Tamata (1993) | The Book of Leisurely Hokkaido Rivers by Ishimoto (2009)

Onsen nearby

On the way back into Sapporo City on the second day, you’ll have the option of passing some run-of-the-mill urban public baths, such as Shinkotono Ichinoyu (新琴似一乃湯) (location). Jozankei Onsen is full of onsen. One recommended option is the Shika-no-yu (鹿の湯 – location) in the middle of the onsen area.

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Route Trip Notes

Comments | Queries | Reports

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

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

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The Fuchs Loop Bikepacking Route 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.