Trip Report

HOKKAIDO (Mini-tour Day 8): Final Day from Kyogoku Campground to Sapporo

Posted on Aug 14, 2011
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Posted on Aug 14, 2011

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We were not sure how far we would end up going today. One option was to camp at Jozankei, about 50km up and over Nakayama Pass, and then cycle the remaining 25km to Sapporo the next day. The weather, however, was markedly cooler than previous days, so we ended up having the energy to cycle all the way back to Sapporo.

Last updated Oct 12, 2018

We were not sure how far we would end up going today. One option was to camp at Jozankei, about 50km up and over Nakayama Pass, and then cycle the remaining 25km to Sapporo the next day. The weather, however, was markedly cooler than previous days, so we ended up having the energy to cycle all the way back to Sapporo.

We began the day half an hour earlier than usual, and instead of having our usual breakfast with coffee, we all just wolfed down bakery breads and rice balls. We were keen to get on the road and on the feared Nakayama Pass before it got too hot. We parted ways with Saoka this morning, as she had to be back in Sapporo earlier than us. We heard later that she had successfully returned her hired bicycle to Niseko, and was back in Sapporo by train.

Haidee, Rowland, Alicia and I were on the road by 5am (an hour after daybreak) and I was loving the delicious early morning light.

Cycling around Mt. Yotei, Hokkaido, Japan

Cycling around Mt. Yotei, Hokkaido, Japan

The climb up the 835m high Nakayama Pass was not as steep as we had expected however, and by 8:15am we had reached the top.

Cycling around Mt. Yotei, Hokkaido, Japan Cycling up Nakayama Pass, Hokkaido, Japan

Cycling up Nakayama Pass, Hokkaido, Japan

Cycling up Nakayama Pass, Hokkaido, Japan

We filled up on the local delicacy – deep fried batter-coated potatoes – before indulging in some well earned downhill goodness.

Cycling up Nakayama Pass, Hokkaido, Japan

Lunch was had at a very nice little cafe/pasta restaurant on the way into Sapporo. Rowland was happy to see good quality coffees on offer, as he has not been overly impressed thus far with the quality of coffee in Japan. Mind you, our four-person group, wearing week-old unwashed clothes was probably a bit of a sight in the rather nice cafe surroundings.

A nice cafe in Sapporo, Japan

A nice cafe in Sapporo, Japan A nice cafe in Sapporo, Japan

Bare feet near Jozankei, Hokkaido, Japan

All tanked up on carbohydrates and caffeine, we were ready to make the assault into Sapporo. Luckily, Haidee and I had done this route into Sapporo before, and knew of some nice cycle paths along the Toyohira River which would deliver us more or less to our apartment door. They were a welcome respite to the busy roads. They even had toilets. Typical Japanese park toilet style too. Urinals open to the world at large. A man has to have a view when he pees, don’t you know?

Urinals open to the public eye in Sapporo, Japan

Hardly a day went by on the tour without a swim in a river or ocean. Today was not exception. The upper Toyohira River was a nice a spot as any to cool off in the heat of the day.

Cooling off (swimming) in the Toyohira River, Sapporo, Japan Cooling off (swimming) in the Toyohira River, Sapporo, Japan

Looking towards Sapporo City over the Toyohira River, Hokkaido, Japan

Cooling off (swimming) in the Toyohira River, Sapporo, Japan

The final 5km push on into Sapporo was under a blazing sun and a stiff, hot headwind. At least we had a cycling path almost entirely to ourselves.

Cycling along the Toyohira River cycle path in Sapporo, Japan Cycling along the Toyohira River cycle path in Sapporo, Japan

Cycling along the Toyohira River cycle path in Sapporo, Japan

Arrival home to our pokey wee apartment was a welcome relief. Cold showers and the breeze of a shaded 11th floor apartment is hard to beat after 8 days outside. Time to get back to the business of keeping in touch…

The post-bike-tour email check in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan

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HOKKAIDO (Mini-tour Day 8): Final Day from Kyogoku Campground to Sapporo 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.