Trip Report

Shiretoko Loop Tour Day 9: Nijibetsu to Lake Kusharo

Posted on Aug 9, 2012
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Posted on Aug 9, 2012

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When we left the library, it started raining again. Not that that is all together bad. Cycling in the rain is actually quite a lot of fun, in a strangely sadistic way. It is the camping in the rain (with no guarantee of drying the tent out before leaving the next day) that tends to be tough work, and something I generally try to avoid where ever possible.

Last updated Oct 8, 2018

Today it rained. Like cats and dogs it rained. We waited out much of it inside the Teshikaga Public Library, where we both did some work on some distance study we are doing at the moment.

Waiting out the rain and using free internet at the Teshikaga Public Library (Teshikaga, Hokkaido, Japan)

When we left the library, it started raining again. Not that that is all together bad. Cycling in the rain is actually quite a lot of fun, in a strangely sadistic way. It is the camping in the rain (with no guarantee of drying the tent out before leaving the next day) that tends to be tough work, and something I generally try to avoid where ever possible. In this case, we managed to avoid camping in the rain by availing ourselves of the services of a “Rider’s House”. Riders’ houses are small, cheap accommodations, at the most charging 1,000yen per person for a night, and are specifically aimed at non-automobile travelers (motorcyclists, bicyclists,  walkers etc). Some are even free. Ours was 1000yen, and included a free drive to the local onsen, and cheap meals. We even got our own room to ourselves (usually you’re sharing a room with multiple others).

Breakfast time at the Rider's House at the south end of Lake Kussharo (Hokkaido, Japan)

They are a great place to meet interesting characters. One guy was traveling around taking photos. He spent about 45 minutes showing us his photos. They were actually very good.

Route Map


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Distance: 44.2km | Time on bikes: 2h 47m | Average speed: 15.8km/h | Bears: 0
Financials: Food: 6,231yen | Accommodation: 2,000yen | Onsen: 400yen

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1 thought on “Shiretoko Loop Tour Day 9: Nijibetsu to Lake Kusharo”

  1. A short, easy day’s ride from Nijibetsu to Lake Kussharo. There’s not much food on sale at the lake, so we stocked up at Teshikaga. The campground at Wakato has two sites, one by the visitor centre and one by the lake. We camped right beside the lake. Y1000/2 people. There are coin showers, but we bathed in the free Wakato hot spring. There’s a restaurant open until about 5pm by the visitor centre. Also power and wifi at the visitor centre.
    We did a one-hour easy walk around the Wakato peninsula, past a shrine and hot spring.
    If you’re interested in Ainu (indigeous people of Hokkaido) culture, I recommend a visit to the Kussharo Kotan Ainu museum. If you don’t speak Japanese, ask for the English-language video. It’s about 30 minutes, and has valuable insights into Ainu folklore, culture and the history of colonisation and repression. In my experience, this is a topic glossed over by official Japanse history.
    Next to the museum is a wonderful free natural hot spring at the edge of the lake. Basic but all you need.

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