With a favourable weather window at the end of our planned 6-day Teshio River canoe trip, we’d smashed out the last four days in just two. This left us with two extra unplanned days at the end of the trip.
We’d spent the night after finishing the trip at the Kagaminuma Campground. After paddling 63km for 11 hours that same day, we splashed out 3000yen for an auto-camp site, so we could pitch the tent right next to the car.
The next morning, we went for a bit of a gravel-road blat down the spit separating the Japan Sea from the Teshio River. Haidee was excited to see a bird of prey she’d not spotted up close before.
“This is nice,” Haidee said of the beach. “But I’m pretty sure we drove past a nice shady looking forest walk on the way.”
She was right, like the whole previous week, today was hot. Muggy and sticky and despite the cloud cover, the sun felt hot. A shady forest walk was what today called for.
We high-tailed it off the spit, and drove the short 5 minutes back to the forested walk Haidee had spotted. We’d not expected it, but it ended up being a really interesting walk, with reconstructed pit-houses.
About 1700 years of history, right under our noses.
We’d not really planned to walk the full loop, but we had nothing else to do. And the mosquitoes kept us moving. Any pauses in the pace had the critters biting at my bare elbows and legs.
In places, the trail came out at the river. We’d hurried down the last two days of the river, assisted by a nice tailwind from the north the previous day. Today there was a stiff breeze blowing from the south. It wouldn’t have been impossible, and it certainly wasn’t as strong a wind as I had been expecting. But we were happy to be off the water, rather than battling into a headwind.
All along the trail, there were a variety of interesting looking mushrooms.
Towards the end of the trail, there was one more reconstructed pit-house. Two in total for the walk. Apparently, there are 230 divots in the ground, indicating that once there was quite the village here.
We ended up at the northern trailhead, and debated our options. The forest trail – back the way we came from – was shady and cool. But, the mosquitoes.
In the end, we opted to take the straight and direct gravel road and main road route back to the southern trailhead. This was nice in its own right, passing through some local farms and businesses. Run-down looking, they made us ponder what winter must be like way up here in the north of Hokkaido, on the coast.