The essence of the far north is to be found here. Caldera lakes and volcanoes, high snow capped peaks, crystal clear mountain streams and deep mysterious forests of Hokkaido Red Pine and Silver Birch with their population of brown bears still largely intact.
Throughout is the ever present Japanese foot print, existing side by side with nature. Small seaside fishing villages and rural farms with large land holdings still have their temples tucked away in quiet Larch filled groves. Ever present are the many artisans who have escaped the crush of city life in the south to the frontier land of Hokkaido. All of this makes for a destination that mixes wild nature at its most beautiful with the elements of this unique culture.
For cyclists, this place is superb. The wide open smooth roads roll before you as you explore from the coast to the mountains, staying nightly in wonderful inns. Here you can soak your cares away in a hot spring bath before a banquet of superb local food.
The route takes you through the wild east of Hokkaido with its unique world heritage area, the Shiretoko Peninsula. We also visit the superb caldera lakes and mountains of central Hokkaido, as well as the mighty Daisetsusan National Park and the Furano area.
How to book
Download a booking form and send to us via email fax or mail. Send the booking form with $A250 deposit/person. All credit cards accepted. Full trip notes will then be sent which include equipment lists and other details. Trip numbers: 4-10
Day 1. Arrive Memanbetsu airport and meet group and leader approx. 3:00 pm.
Day 2. 90 km Our first day's full ride takes us through coastal hinterland farming country and through small coastal villages as we head towards the Shiretoko Peninsula.
Day 3. 70 km We start the day with a long climb! The support vehicle can be used but we encourage you to ride this hill to fully enjoy the beauty of this world heritage area. We cycle through coastal fishing communities with plenty of time to stop and explore the small harbours and beaches en route.
Day 4. 85 km Continuing on down the coast we pass though yet more small villages where we can stop and relax by the sea or just enjoy the local cuisines.
Day 5. 56 km The superb hot mix roads continue as we head inland through rich alluvial farm lands. Today is caldera lake day as we travel past several of these extinct volcanoes with their crystal clear mountain water during the course of the ride. Superb cycling.
Day 6. 100 km. We continue over the fertile northern reaches of the Tokachi Plain with its huge farms and backdrop of steep mountains. After lunch we enter the native forests around yet another superb mountain lake. Tonight's accommodation has both indoor and outdoor baths, the latter set amidst the forests and clear mountain streams.
Day 7. 102 km. We depart the mountains early and after a good climb of 8 km, we head through magnificent alpine forests and mountain lakes before a long descent back onto the edge of the Hidaka Mountain Range. Our accommodation tonight is by yet another mountain lake. Again the delights of thermal waters await you to soothe you after your day in the saddle.
Day 8. 55 km Today we head into the rural serenity of the central Hokkaido area under the imposing slopes of nearby mountains. En route there are some must see artisans, including the gallery of Japan's most famous landscape photographer, as well as several other artist's and photographer's galleries.
Day 9 79 km Leaving early the next morning we continue over farming valleys to the base of the final climb of the tour, a 12 km gradual climb to the base of the highest mountain in Hokkaido. Here we stay amidst the towering Hokkaido Red Pine and the ghost like Silver Birch forests. Yet again the soothing waters of natural hot springs await us in this area.
Day 10. 45 km After a morning hike to the base of the mountain to see the wildflowers we have a relaxing two and a half hour cycle for our last mornings ride. This last ride is all downhill or flat and is a relaxing way to finish our “Tour de Hokkaido”. After checking into your Inn you can visit potters, glass blowers and the Ainu textile museum. That evening we will have a celebratory dinner and you can then go out and explore the night life of this northern Japanese town.
Day 11. Depart by charter bus for Chitose Airport where we say goodbye to our Hokkaido adventure.