Secrets of Hokkaido by Bike

8 days from 2590.00

This is a small group program with our trusted operator, World Expeditions.

Hokkaido is one of Japan’s most idyllic cycling destinations; stunning coastlines, rolling mountain scenery, World Heritage National Parks and a rich cultural heritage that would fascinate the most discerning traveler. Team this with an exquisite cuisine, hot springs and onsens to soothe and soak in after a stunning days ride and you soon see why Japan is fast becoming one of the great cycling destinations of Asia. Our cycle adventure begins in Abashiri in Eastern Hokkaido, from where we follow quiet rural roads through a variety of landscapes; farm lands, mountains, caldera lakes, volcanoes and the wild coast. We travel and eat like the Japanese, preferring to stay at traditional inns and guesthouses where an appreciation of the culture and delightful food is most apparent. There is time to explore ancient fishing villages, temples and one of the highlights is cycling in Shiretoko National Park, a World Heritage Site, home to shika deer and brown bear.

Trip Highlights:Hokkiado by Bike

Breathtaking cycling odyssey through the dramatic landscapes of Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido.

Inclusions:
  • 7 breakfasts and 6 dinners
  • 24 speed hybrid bikes
  • Bilingual group leader & bike mechanic
  • Medical kit
  • Traditional ‘ryoken’ inns and guesthouse accommodation (1 night shared bathroom)
  • Support vehicles during cycling days
  •  Sightseeing and entry fees as listed in itinerary.

 Local cash payments are becoming increasingly popular with many operators in the adventure travel industry. The policy seems to benefit the tour operators, more than the local economies or travelers, as it avoids local taxes and transfers the cost and risk of cash handling to travelers. In accordance with our Responsible Travel practices we have chosen a policy not to ask for such payments.

Day 1, Join Abashiri

We will meet at approximately 6pm at our hotel in Abashiri near the station. After a tour briefing & introduction we stroll the city of Abashiri and have a welcome dinner in town. Abashiri is the largest city in the east coast of Hokkaido and is famous for the winter attraction Ryuhyo, the huge ice that has drifted down from the Amur River. The Okhotsk Ryuhyo Museum, Hokkaido Museum of Northern Peoples, and Abashiri Prison Museum are other popular attractions in Abashiri.
Meals: Dinner

Day 2, Abashiri to Notoro Misaki Loop Ride

This morning we will be fitted for our bikes and receive a safety briefing. Once we are all equipped we head towards Notoro Misaki. Leaving the town we soon hit the Okhotsk Sea and ride along the coastline passing beautiful shrines and a fishing village. A short gradual hill towards the cape is good preparation for tomorrow’s ride and from the Notoro Misaki lookout you are rewarded with a wonderful ocean panorama. We then have a pleasant downhill cycle towards Lake Notoro. We cycle the lakeside road around Lake Notoro, which then links onto the cycling path to Abashiri. Tonight we go out to our favorite restaurant and try out okonomiyaki (savoury pancake) prepared & cooked right in front of your eyes!
Cycling distance - 50km, Altitude gain - 100meters
Meals: Breakfast

Day 3, Abashiri to Lake Kussharo-Ko

From Abashiri we head south to a beautiful caldera lake. The ride takes us via Bihoro Pass, which looks over the lake and surrounding mountains. At the top of the pass we have lunch at a rest house, it is then a pleasant ride downhill to the shore of Lake Kussharo-Ko. Lake Kussharo-Ko is the second largest lake in Hokkaido, and one of three lakes in the Akan National Park. The area is well known for its abundant hot springs, a result of the volcanic activity in the area. We have a brief stop at sunayu, a popular foot spa site on the shores of Lake Kussharo-Ko. Tonight’s accommodation is located on the lakeside of Kussharo-Ko.
Cycling distance - 75km Altitude gain - 500m
 Meals: Breakfast / Dinner

Day 4, Lake Kussharo-Ko to Nakashibetsu

Today we continue cycling along Lake Kussharo-Ko to the active volcano Iozan, known as “Sulphur Mountain”. It erupted about 600 years ago, but is still steaming and reeks of sulphur! After a gradual but long uphill ride, we reach the lookout of Lake Mashu-Ko. Most of the time the lake is covered with mist, but if we are lucky we will be able to view the emerald-colored lake surface. The rest of today’s cycling is easy, downhill and flat into the farming area of Nakashibetsu.
Cycling distance – 75km, Altitude gain – 700 meters
Meals: Breakfast / Dinner

Day 5, Nakashibetsu to Rausu

This morning we ride through farmlands, enjoying the changing scenery as we approach Shiretoko Peninsula, known as the last unexplored region of Japan. We cycle along the east coast of the peninsula, heading to the small fishing village of Rausu. Famous for its sea kelp production, it’s here that you can also enjoy a sumptuous meal of fresh seafood and king crabs. This afternoon, you have an option to ride (or drive) a further 20km along the coast to a secluded onsen Aidomari, offering a perfect seaside setting.
 Cycling distance – 65-105km, Altitude gain – 200 meters
Meals: Breakfast / Dinner

Day 6, Rausu to Utoro

From Rausu, we cycle the Shiretoko Crossroad to the other side of the peninsula. It is approximately 16km to the top, a scenic ride with a spectacular view of Mt Rausu, the highest peak in the Shiretoko Mountains Range. We head downhill and lunch at the Shiretoko Nature Centre before we make a side trip to Iwaobetsu Onsen (beautiful natural rock pools surrounded by trees). By the mid afternoon we head off to our accommodation in Utoro, the gateway to explore the Shiretoko National Park. Cycling distance – 65km Altitude gain – 1000 meters
Meals: Breakfast / Dinner

Day 7, Utoro to Abashiri

We continue riding along the coast and enter into farmlands again. The long straight road travels through potato farms, which will be in full bloom in early July. We have a brief stop at Koshimizu Gensei-Kaen (Koshimizu Wild Flower Reserve), where about 40 kinds of flowers bloom in spring and summer. We finish our ride back in Abashiri, this time our overnight accommodation is near the lake. Tonight we celebrate the end of our trip with a final dinner and outdoor onsen, with a spectacular view of Lake Abashiri.
Cycling distance – 90km Altitude gain – 200 meters
Meals: Breakfast / Dinner

Day 8, Finish in Abashiri

Tour concludes after breakfast.
Meals: Breakfast

This itinerary is subject to change with any change in Community regulations as well as Governmental changes and natural circumstances beyond our control.

For information on travel dates, updated rates and trip notes, please contact us!