Trip Report

Southwest Hokkaido Cycle Tour Day 5 – Leaving Kuromatsunai by Train

Posted on May 6, 2015
20 0

Posted on May 6, 2015

Our final day on our cycle tour in southern Hokkaido involved more train travel than bicycle travel. Needing to be back to work the next day, we bundled the bikes on the train and enjoyed a relaxing journey through the mountains back home.

Last updated Oct 14, 2018

Taking bicycles on the train in Japan is fairly easy, so long as you come prepared. By prepared, I mean some way of covering and/or wrapping your bicycle. For Haidee and I, we have perfectly-sized bicycle bags that fit our folded bicycles. For Dirk and his 29er mountain bike, I lent him my homemade stretchy mesh ‘bag’, which happily engulfs a bike of that size. Trains do not charge any extra for bicycles, and there are no dedicated ‘bicycle-friendly’ carriages. Just pick your entrance and go for it.

Note: There was no station master at the Kuromatsunai Station…that’s why we were able to sneakily roll our bikes onto the platform. Usually bikes need to be packed before being taken onto the platform.

Packing a Bike Friday folding bike up at Kuromatsunai Station, Hokkaido, Japan

Packing bicycles for the train at Kuromatsunai Station, Hokkaido, Japan

Folding the Tern Verge S27h folding touring bicycle

We were catching the train from the super sleepy Kuromatsunai station. We had arrived 30 minutes early, so enjoyed the warmth of the morning sun on the platform.

At Kuromatsunai Station, Hokkaido, Japan

Even once we were on the train (a quaint two-carriage one-driver train), we had it to ourselves.

On the one-man train near Ranshima (Hokkaido, Japan)

We had chosen a route that would take us through the mountains via Niseko and Otaru towards Sapporo. This is always a nice route to take by train; the trains are uncrowded, and the scenery is spectacular.

On the one-man train on the Niseko line near Ranshima (Hokkaido, Japan)

We arrived back in Chitose around 1pm, enough time to eat lunch out, and get all our equipment washed and packed away before getting back to work the next day.

All in all, an awesome few days on the bikes, and well worth the extra effort of getting there and away by train.

Today’s Route (by train)

NOTE: The route map below may show the Hakodate-Line selected…we took the more northern-looping route in grey, via Niseko, Otaru, and Sapporo.

Comments | Queries | Discussion

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

See More Like this

Download may take some time

Hokkaido Wilds Foundation

We’ve got affiliate links on to help fund the Hokkaido Wilds foundation.

The Foundation gets a small commission on sales from affiliate links, but we only link to stuff we think is worth checking out for people keen on the outdoors in Hokkaido and Japan.

The Hokkaido Wilds Foundation is a fund where 100% of funds are donated to Hokkaido volunteer groups involved in sustainable, safe, and responsible access to the Hokkaido outdoors.

Learn more here


Filter by location

About Filters

REGION: The general mountain/geographical region the route is in.

BEST MONTH(S): Time of year a route is suited to visiting. Some pop all season, some are more limited.

DIFFICULTY: How strenuous a route is, and how technical it is. Full details here.

FREERIDE/SKITOUR: Very subjective, but is a route more-of-a-walk-than-a-ski or the other way around? Some routes are all about the screaming downhill (freeride), some are more about the hunt for a peak or nice forest (ski-tour). Some are in between. 

MAIN ASPECT: Which cardinal direction the primary consequential slope is facing, that you might encounter on the route. More details here.

ROUTE TAGS: An eclectic picking of other categories that routes might belong to.

SEARCH BY LOCATION: You can find routes near your current location – just click on the crosshairs (). You may need to give permission to to know your GPS location (don’t worry, we won’t track you). Or, type in a destination, such as Niseko or Sapporo or Asahikawa etc.

Please let us know how we can make it easier to narrow down your search. Contact Rob at with your suggestions.

Southwest Hokkaido Cycle Tour Day 5 – Leaving Kuromatsunai by Train Difficulty Rating





Vertical Gain



Time ascending













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.