For most hiking enthusiasts in Sapporo City (in Hokkaido, Japan), a popular summer hiking route is the one that goes up Mt. Shioya-Maruyama. This easy route is less than two hours drive from Sapporo City, and is officially within the Otaru City limits.
For this trip, we had two cars for the group. One rented and one from one of the group. If you’ve not got a car, the official start of the hike is a 15 minute walk from the Shioya-Maruyama JR train station.
The trail starts along enclosed bush along a well-traveled trail. After less than 90 minutes, the trail opens up to views over the northern coast of the Shakotan Peninsula. On this particular day some low cloud obstructed the best of the views. The top of this low mountain is characterized by bare boulder outcrops. Perfect for a sun-soaked lunch at the top.
On this trip we spent a leisurely 45 minutes on the top before making our way down again.
The day was finished off with a pancake party at Stephanie’s place. A shoebox of an apartment in the Hokkaido University international scholars’ accommodation. We tried to make the most of the space.