Trip Report

HOKKAIDO (Mini-tour Day 2): Shioya to Bikuni

Posted on Aug 6, 2011
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Posted on Aug 6, 2011

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Waking up to a beautiful morning on the beach in front of the kayak place this morning was magic. Following a quick breakfast, we were onto the kayaks for 3 hours of very relaxed paddling around the coast. The tour guides were not quite sure what to do when Rowland and Alicia decided it was time to cool off by jumping into the ocean…

Last updated Oct 12, 2018

Camping on beach in front of Blue Holic Kayaks in Bikuni near Otaru, Hokkaido, Japan

Waking up to a beautiful morning on the beach in front of the kayak place this morning was magic. Following a quick breakfast, we were onto the kayaks for 3 hours of very relaxed paddling around the coast. The tour guides were not quite sure what to do when Rowland and Alicia decided it was time to cool off by jumping into the ocean…

Sea kayaking morning tour with Blue Holic at Shiyoya (near Otaru), Hokkaido, Japan

Sea kayaking morning tour with Blue Holic at Shiyoya (near Otaru), Hokkaido, Japan Sea kayaking morning tour with Blue Holic at Shiyoya (near Otaru), Hokkaido, Japan

Sea kayaking morning tour with Blue Holic at Shiyoya (near Otaru), Hokkaido, Japan

Sea kayaking morning tour with Blue Holic at Shiyoya (near Otaru), Hokkaido, Japan

Following the kayak tour (which ended at around 12 noon; the height of the heat of the day), we set off on the bikes towards Bikuni, a short 20km cycle away. Lunch was had at a local rider’s house, accommodation for cyclists and motorcyclists. They must be accustomed to cyclists’  appetites, because the portions were massive.

Massive pork cutlet curry on the Shakotan Peninsula, Hokkaido, Japan

The heat made the following 20km a real challenge. There was one big hill in the way. If I had any doubts about getting a geared hub for my bike (it is still set up as a single speed), this hill swept those away. I was standing the whole way up, essentially on a stepping machine for about an hour. Things were tougher for Alicia, however. Rowland and Alicia had just come from a week in Indonesia, and Alicia had picked up a tourist…some sort of stomach bug, which was sapping her strength and making the whole experience rather trying.

Very hot uphill cycling on Shakotan Peninsula, Hokkaido

Tunnels continued along our way to Bikuni, some with wide walkways, some without.

Cycling through tunnel near Bikuni, Shakotan Peninsula, Hokkaido, Japan

All in all, we arrived in Bikuni quite disheartened and dejected. We were hoping for beautiful empty beaches and wondrous coastline, but what we got was lots of traffic and congested campgrounds. The likely culprit was the timing of our trip. Summer holidays coupled with a weekend meant that campgrounds were full of noisy Sapporo City residents enjoying the beaches with their BBQs and loads of beer. We checked out three campgrounds (all free) before reluctantly settling on a steep, stony beach away from the maddening crowds.

Camping on coast near Bikuni on the Shakotan Peninsula, Hokkaido, Japan

The site ended up being great, however. Quiet, toilets nearby, and a fresh water spring (what looked to be that, in any case). After a nice meal of potatoes and eggs (the guys at the Blue Holic gave us 10 fresh eggs), we were quite happy to be sitting on the shore listening to the quiet lapping of waves. The water was even tempting enough for a couple of the troupe to go for a swim.

Camping on coast near Bikuni on the Shakotan Peninsula, Hokkaido, Japan

Camping on coast near Bikuni on the Shakotan Peninsula, Hokkaido, Japan Camping on coast near Bikuni on the Shakotan Peninsula, Hokkaido, Japan

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HOKKAIDO (Mini-tour Day 2): Shioya to Bikuni 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.