Trip Report

Japan Far North: Day 5 (Rishiri Island to Rebun Island)

Posted on Aug 15, 2013

Posted on Aug 15, 2013

On our 2013 summer vacation cycle tour (August, 2013), we really took it easy for the first half, taking our time to enjoy Rishiri and Rebun Islands, off the north west coast of Hokkaido, Japan. On the second day in Rishiri Island, we jumped on and off the Rishiri Island cycle path (complete with warning signs about seagull poop)…

Last updated Oct 14, 2018

Rishiri Island cycle path (Hokkaido, Japan)and took in the largely untouched beauty of the south-western side of the small island, punctuated only occasionally by sleepy fishing villages.

Wind swept coastal scenery on Rishiri Island, Japan

Wind swept coastal scenery on the cycle path on Rishiri Island, JapanIf it hadn’t been so windy, we would have gone for a swim.

Wind swept coastal scenery on the cycle path on Rishiri Island, Japan

The mission for today was to catch a 40 minute ferry ride to Rebun Island. We made it with plenty of time, but for the first time in almost a week, the sun was out and it was scorching hot. This made the ferry terminal a stressful hot environment as we lined up to buy our tickets.

Queuing up for tickets for the ferry from Rishiri Island to Rebun Island, Japan

We were soon on our way…

Bicycles on the ferry from Rishiri Island to Rebun Island, Japan

and exited the ferry on Rebun Island to be greeted by another world: Much fewer tourists, and an end-of-the-world feeling.

Lots of fur seals on the coast of Rebun Island, JapanAt the other end of Haidee’s confused gaze was a group of fur seals. The amazing thing was there were groups of seals all along Rebun’s eastern coast; the first time I have seen seals in such numbers in Japan.

Lots of fur seals on the coast of Rebun Island, Japan

We had almost missed this bit of coast. Our destination for the day was a campground at the northern end of Rebun Island (the island is only 30km long), and there are two ways of getting there: A shorter inland route, and a longer coastal route. The coastal route paid off. We set up camp at the Kushuko-han Campground and headed into the nearby village of Funadomari for a soak in the public baths (which were scalding hot!).

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2 thoughts on “Japan Far North: Day 5 (Rishiri Island to Rebun Island)”

  1. We camped at a sheltered site at the Midorigaoka Park Camping Ground. They have wooden platforms so you don’t need to camp on the grass. There’s a cooking shelter with electricity.
    It was Saturday when we reached Rebun. In summer that means there’s often a matsuri / festival in the evening. The helpful camp manager directed us to the (free) bus to Kafuka, where there was taiko drumming, games for the kids, and lots of food stalls. Twice, people bought us beer and sake. I think they were keen to see us tipsy. All very rowdy and fun.
    A highlight on Rebun was Cape Sukai. The bay is insanely gorgeous, with clear water.
    We also went beach combing at Menou Beach, by Jizoiwa Rock. If you’re lucky you will find agates.

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Japan Far North: Day 5 (Rishiri Island to Rebun Island) Difficulty Rating





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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.