Trip Report

Japan Far North: Day 4 (Seihoshi-Misaki to Kutsugata Point Park, Rishiri Island)

Posted on Aug 14, 2013
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Posted on Aug 14, 2013

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We woke to heavy rain today, but with a keen desire to continue exploring Rishiri Island. Once again the tarp helped give us some well-needed extra outdoor living space; the MSR Hubba Hubba tent is great for sleeping two people, but try any daily chores, and it becomes cramped.

Last updated Oct 14, 2018

A rainy start to the day (yay for the lightweight Montbell tarp) (Rishiri Island, Japan)

Today we decided to stay off the Rishiri Island cycle road. As nice and traffic-free it is, it bypasses many of the quaint Japanese fishing villages along the coast at the south end of the island.

Cycling through one of many quaint fishing villages on RIshiri Island, Japan
Cycling through one of many quaint fishing villages on RIshiri Island, Japan

The volcanic coast was raw…

A small shrine on the coast on Rishiri Island, Japan
A small shrine on the coast on Rishiri Island, Japan

and mostly untouched. The roads were smooth; I am thinking this part of Japan would be perfect for a skateboard trip. No traffic, smooth roads, great scenery…

Cycling past a rugged coast on Rishiri Island, Japan
Cycling past a rugged coast on Rishiri Island, Japan

The real highlight of the day was arriving in the sleepy little village of Kutsugata. The campground, costing only 300yen (US$3) a night for one tent site, was situated right next to a lighthouse on a point just out of the village. It easily rates as one of my most idyllic and picturesque campsites I’ve ever camped in.

Lighthouse overlooking the Kutsugata-misaki Park Campground on Rishiri Island, Japan
Lighthouse overlooking the Kutsugata-misaki Park Campground on Rishiri Island, Japan

It was super windy however, making outdoor cooking a task we happily eschewed in favor of some tempura at a local restaurant.

Sunset on Rishiri Island, Japan
Sunset on Rishiri Island, Japan

As the sun set into the west, we noticed the town’s preparations for the annual Obon festival. This festival happens every August all over Japan. The basic idea is that spirits of ancestors return to their ancestral home, where the still-living entertain them with music and dance. To our delight, we found out the festival would be happening tonight! To our dismay, we later found out it had been cancelled due to high winds.

We settled on making our own festival lights instead.

Lighthouse overlooking the Kutsugata-misaki Park Campground, at night, on Rishiri Island, Japan

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Japan Far North: Day 4 (Seihoshi-Misaki to Kutsugata Point Park, Rishiri Island) 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.