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

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2 days





Highest point





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


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.


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 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.

Show Full Route Notes Close Route Notes

Route Trip Notes

Distance: 50km | Ascent: 1253m | Paved: 90% | ↓ GPX file

Day one of the Fuchs Loop Bikepacking Route (if doing the route as an overnighter) involves a mix of river-side paved cycle paths, quiet paved backroads, some busy 4-lane road riding, and a short 5km section of 4WD track up to the Ginreiso Hut (hut details here). The last place to stock up on supplies is in Jozankei Village, which has a few convenience stores (here).

Accommodation: Ginreiso Hut (銀嶺荘) | 800 yen per tent

Onsen: None

Bikepacking the Fuchs Loop (Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan)

Distance: 32km | ↓ GPX file

Day Two is all descent, but is another mixed day regarding surface. It starts with some single/hiking track directly from the hut, which then opens out to some fast gravel forestry road, before narrowing to single-track again. Before long, you’ll be spat out into the sleepy Zenibako settlement for a final paved descent to the coast. Follow the coast around to the mouth of the Shinkawa River, and from there you can follow the river-side cycle paths that run close to the center of the city.

The end of the Shinkawa River cycle paths are close to the expansive Hokkaido University campus, so take a shortcut through there to avoid the busier city roads.

On your way into the city, you’ll be passing some decent Super-Sento (large public baths), so drop in for a soak on your way into the city if that’s your thing.

Accommodation: None ()

Bikepacking the Fuchs Loop (Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan)

As with each ski touring, cycle touring, and hiking route guide published on, should you choose to follow the information on this page, do so at your own risk. Prior to setting out check current local weather, conditions, and land/road/track closures. While traveling, obey all public and private land use restrictions and rules, carry proper safety and navigational equipment, and of course, follow leave-no-trace procedures. The information found herein is simply a planning resource to be used as a point of inspiration in conjunction with your own due-diligence. In spite of the fact that this information, associated GPS track (GPX, KML and maps), and all information was prepared under diligent research by the specified contributor and/or contributors, the accuracy of such and judgement of the author is not guaranteed., its partners, associates, and contributors are in no way liable for personal injury, damage to personal property, or any other such situation that might happen to individuals following the information contained in this post.

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