Trip Report

Cycling Across Hokkaido, Japan (Days 14 and 15): Hobetsu to Sapporo

Posted on Aug 29, 2014
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Posted on Aug 29, 2014

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Inevitably on the last few days of our annual cycle trips here in Hokkaido, I stop taking photos. Things get familiar, and I am less inclined to take out the camera. But that’s not to say that our route on these last two days was not any fun. The rural surrounding areas of Sapporo are a delight to travel by bicycle in. And especially at this time of the year: right on harvest time means plenty of very cheap local produce to be had (and hauled back home on a groaning bicycle).

Last updated Oct 14, 2018

We got away from Hobetsu campground fairly early after a solid breakfast.

Breakfast on a cycle tour across Hokkaido, Japan

And it must be the season for dragonflies, because they were everywhere…seeking the highest spot to bask in the morning sunlight…such as my head…

Friendly dragonflies at Hobetsu Campground, Hokkaido, Japan

The day would turn out to be a scorcher. By the time we got to Yubari – the town famous for going bankrupt…and for producing very delicious melons – it was almost 30 degrees Celsius. A 300 yen watermelon was the perfect treat for parched bodies.

A watery melon snack in Yubari, Hokkaido, Japan

A watery melon snack in Yubari, Hokkaido, Japan

The day was mostly downhill or flat. Until we decided to try to find the free-range egg farm whose eggs we often buy in Sapporo. Whenever we buy the eggs from the sellers at markets in Sapporo, they encourage us to come for a visit. So we went for a visit.

Yuni Farm was the place we were aiming at, and it was up a rather steep hill. Or at least it seemed steep to two hungry, sun-beaten, tired cyclists. The promise of fresh bread from their bakery kept our spirits up.

Until we got there and the place was shut.

Plan B was quickly put into action. It was already 12:30pm, and we just wanted something to eat, but we decided to hightail it to the Yuni Hotspring Onsen Spa Resort, 5km away. We had been there once before, and were impressed by their great restaurant and baths. From the onsen it was only a 2km ride to Yuni Campground.

Up hill and down dale, we made it to the onsen just before 2pm. We were well ready for some lunch.

Lunch and a hot spring soak later, we cycled to the campground, another spot we’d stayed before.

The name of the game the next day was just to get to Sapporo, via the Kita-Hiroshima/Shiroishi Cycleway. Highlights along the way included discovering an awesome bakery in Naganuma Town (with free coffee)…

A great bakery in Naganuma, Hokkaido, Japan

A great bakery in Naganuma, Hokkaido, Japan

And an inspiring group of people mosaic-ing the walls of one of the underpasses on the cycleway.

Mosaic work on the Shiroishi Cycling Road, Sapporo, Japan

We were back home in our apartment in Sapporo by 4pm. And thus brought to a close the cycle across Hokkaido summer trip of 2014.

Comments | Queries | Discussion

3 thoughts on “Cycling Across Hokkaido, Japan (Days 14 and 15): Hobetsu to Sapporo”

  1. Hey Rob, thanks a lot for putting together all this information. I’m going to Japan in October for a month. I’m flying in to Tokyo and thinking about taking a train to Hokkaido pretty much straight away. I’d love to do a tour from the north to the south of the island and then bike back to Tokyo. In your experience: Will it be too cold to do a tour like that in October? My plan ist to camp pretty much all the time.

    Best!
    Merlin

  2. Hi Rob, Since discovering your website I’m hooked! Have been thinking about & researching cycle touring in Hokkaido for at least a year (and currently learning Japanese simply to enjoy a trip more), but the detail you’ve provided has been what I’ve needed to actually commit!! Just one question – really interested in a route across Hokkaido: I know you can’t predict the weather, but in your experience is mid June likely to offer okay conditions/no snow?! I find I’m getting colder as I get older, but don’t mind the rain.
    Thanks so much for sharing your experiences
    Gill

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Cycling Across Hokkaido, Japan (Days 14 and 15): Hobetsu to Sapporo 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.