Trip Report

Cycling Across Hokkaido, Japan (Day 3): From Nemuro to Hamanaka

Posted on Aug 17, 2014
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Posted on Aug 17, 2014

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We got away from Nemuro relatively late, at around 10am. The sun was already up and it promised to be a hot day. In the end we would cycle 71km to a cow-shaped campground. Cow-shaped. I kid you not. But first we did a quick detour to the famous (or so we are led to believe) kuruma-rock (wheel-rock) just outside of Nemuro. A geologist I am sure would have something to say about how these rock formations came about, but all I know is that it has something to do with magma.

Last updated Oct 14, 2018

Posing at the Kuruma-stone near Nemuro city, Hokkaido, Japan

We stopped for lunch under the porch of a local fisheries coop, enjoying the shade. Generally on the road, however, I have snacks stashed in a feedbag made by Alpkit. This is the first tour I’ve used it on, and it is super handy. On this tour, it would mostly have plum tomatoes, cucumbers, or bananas stashed in it for handy access.

I am in love with feedbags (Genesis brand, on a Surly Karate Monkey)

Our route along highway 142 along the coast was quiet for most of the day. We passed some beautiful coastlines, and through quiet, ancient-looking forests.

Cool and quiet forest along the coast near Konbumori, Hokkaido, Japan

For cycle touring, you could hardly ask for a better road to be on.

Equally quiet roads along the coast near Konbumori, Hokkaido, Japan

Nice light along the coast near Moraito Town, Hokkaido, Japan

The poles lining the sides of the road, with the arrows pointed down…they’re to guide snow-plows in the winter, when this area spends around 4 months in snow.

Did I mention this route was idyllic?

Idyllic scenery near Hamanaka, Hokkaido, Japan

Our destination for the night was the Motto Kazete campground in the small village of Hamanaka. The campground is part of a larger park, with a dairy product promotion building on the grounds. When the facility is open, they offer cheese making and yogurt making experiences for tourists. It wasn’t open when we were there.

The campground had lovely spacious toilets…

Nice spacious toilets at Motto Kazete Campground in Hamanaka, Hokkaido, Japan

And great facilities for cooking.

Motto Kazete Campground in Hamanaka, Hokkaido, Japan

And as I mentioned at the top of this post, the entire park is shaped like a cow. The picture below is a map of the grounds. The blue lines are roads. We were camped in the cow’s nose.

Mo-tto Kazete campground, shaped like a cow, in Hamanaka Town, Hokkaido, Japan

Approximate route for the day: https://goo.gl/maps/dz8y2

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Cycling Across Hokkaido, Japan (Day 3): From Nemuro to Hamanaka 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.