Trip Report

Shiretoko Loop Tour Day 12: Kotan to Abashiri

Posted on Aug 12, 2012
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Posted on Aug 12, 2012

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Route Guide

This was our last day on the road together for this bear hunt in the Shiretoko region, home to more bears per square kilometer than anywhere else in Japan. We saw not hide nor tail of one. We saw plenty of warnings of bears. But no actual bears. Not even bear poop. This was our last day to see if we could catch one.

Last updated Oct 8, 2018

Route Guide

This was our last day on the road together for this bear hunt in the Shiretoko region, home to more bears per square kilometer than anywhere else in Japan. We saw not hide nor tail of one. We saw plenty of warnings of bears. But no actual bears. Not even bear poop. This was our last day to see if we could catch one.

We said our farewells to Okaasan, Leon, Ric and Matt, and got on the road, feeling very grateful for some quality time with friends and the lovely hospitality of okaasan.

Staying at Ric's mother-in-law's place in Kotan (Hokkaido, Japan)

Staying at Ric's mother-in-law's place in Kotan (Hokkaido, Japan) Staying at Ric's mother-in-law's place in Kotan (Hokkaido, Japan)

And what a sweet road it was. At 6:00 in the morning, it was free of automobile traffic, and the birds were up and singing.

Quiet roads along Lake Kusharo (Hokkaido, Japan)

Apart from one last gasping small pass, most of the day was downhill or flat.

A pass between Lake Kusharo and Koshimizu on Route 587 (Hokkaido, Japan)

This meant that we managed a solid 80km on our last day. Even if there were bears to be found, we probably wouldn’t have seen them.

So we rolled into Abashiri in the early afternoon, and thus ended our 12 day Bear Hunt in Shiretoko. Not a sign of bears on the roads or in campgrounds.

We checked into our accommodation for the night, and readied to depart by train back to Sapporo the next morning.

Route Map


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Distance: 81.6km | Time on bikes: 4h 49m | Average speed: 16.8km/h | Bears: 0
Financials: Food: 4,821yen | Accommodation: 6,980yen

Comments | Queries | Discussion

1 thought on “Shiretoko Loop Tour Day 12: Kotan to Abashiri”

  1. We set off early to dodge traffic on Bihoro pass. It’s lovely to have the road to yourself, although keep an eye out for bears in the forest.
    We climbed through the cloud and hit rain near the 525 metre summit, so we were denied the views over Lake Kussaho. There’s public toilets there, but the cafe didn’t open until 9am.
    The sun came out as we headed down the hill to Biharo for second breakfast and lunch. We stayed in a cute treehouse cabin at the Biharomidori Forest Park campground (Y3000 + Y200 for the shower).

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Shiretoko Loop Tour Day 12: Kotan to Abashiri 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.