Another of our ‘rest’ days. This time we got an early ferry to Notsuke Peninsula, and cycled back around to Odaito.
We were the only passengers on the ferry, so we had our very own personal guide. The ferry ride takes 30 minutes, but that includes a 5 minute stop half way, to have a gander at spotted seals. They were indeed there today. Spots and all.
Once at the peninsula (or, rather, gigantic sand-spit), with my nice fat 60mm tyres, I had a wee cycle along the beach. Haidee, with her skinny 25mm tyres, walked.
The beach only lasted about 500m, after which there was boardwalk. Today’s beautiful blue skies made up somewhat for the rainy and cloudy weather of previous days.
Wild flowers are the name of the game here. In particular, Irises seemed to be in full bloom at this time of year.
Notsuke Peninsula also happens to be a perfect vantage to gaze upon the long-lost Kuril Islands, or at least the southern-most of the islands, Kunashiri Island (Kunashir in Russian). Basically, the islands, which were originally Japanese, but were occupied by Soviet forces at the end of World War II, are presently claimed by Russia. The Japanese government disputes this claim. More on Wikipedia here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuril_Islands_dispute.
Sentiment in Hokkaido in general and in this area in particular seems quite strong that the islands should be returned to Japan. The text in red in the sign above says “Islands 16km away; so close yet so far”.
The wind was at our backs as we pedaled our way back to our campsite. Dinner was a fairly standard fare of fried onion, garlic, and mushrooms mixed with a tomato pasta sauce to make some nice vegetarian pasta.
The nearby Seaview Hotel has an onsen for 500yen per person, so, like last night, we dropped by later on for a soak.
Distance: 35.8km | Time on bikes: 2h 34m | Average speed: 13.9km/h | Bears: 0
Financials: Food: 3,809yen | Accommodation: 700yen | Onsen (hotspring): 1,000yen | Ferry ride: 3,200yen