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Old 09-10-2013, 04:34 AM   #31
twinrider
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Originally Posted by Wildman View Post
Oh yes!

My route here.
Wish I had known you were in Japan, I could have given you a bit of route advice. If you had kept heading south on the Izu Peninsula you would have gotten to ride some of the best roads in Honshu complete with stunning scenery.
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Old 09-10-2013, 04:36 AM   #32
Edmond Dantès OP
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Good route Wildman, it looks like your route took you through the JuKai Suicide Forest. I was in there once on an old two stroke dirt bike messing about and the bloody thing stalled and wouldn't start for the longest time. Scared the sh#t out of me!That is one creepy place!

Shame you took the congested 246 route out to the wonderful coast road running to Odawara. If you look north, you can see Route 413. That is a peach.

Looks like you rode the Izu Skline as well. Respect bro!

Best of luck with your future traveling Wildman.

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Old 09-10-2013, 04:37 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by twinrider View Post
Wish I had known you were in Japan, I could have given you a bit of route advice. If you had kept heading south on the Izu Peninsula you would have gotten to ride some of the best roads in Honshu complete with stunning scenery.

+1 on that.
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Old 09-10-2013, 09:52 PM   #34
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Today's ride: Nakatombetsu - along the coastline of the fore-mentioned Okhotsk Subprefecture - Over the Shiretoko Pass -locate Rausu Campsite - Soak in Kuma No Yu hot spring.

I double back to the coastal road. Locals warned me not to cross the mountains to the coast due to the rain and very low cloud cover. I took their advice and doubled back.

Relative Calm


There is rain in the air, but it holds off for most of the day.

The wind however gets progressively stronger as the day wears on.

I begin to worry about the Shiretoko pass. Apparently it's gusty up there on the calmest of days.

The Okhotsk Sea looks ill at ease with itself




The Oshin Koshin Falls






Typical coastline along the way





The Shiretoko Pass is covered with clouds and the visibilty down to a bikes length at times. Shiretoko is an Ainu word meaning, end of the earth. It felt like it!
I white-knuckle it through the twisting route and over the pass being rewarded with glimpses of Kunashiri Island on the descent.

I find the campsite 400 yen ($4) for the night, pitch, and head over the road to the free Kuma No Yu. The hot spring is named Kuma (bear) Hot Spring due to the large number of bears in the area. The campsite has signs plastered everywhere warning about Grizzlies. So in fact there is a large number of LARGE bears in the area.

I put all my belongs along the side of the tent facing the wind in a effort to stop the tent being blown over.

The wind is so loud that every Grizzly in the valley could have been singing and dancing a pre-attack war dance outside my tent and I would have been none the wiser.

The campsite at Rausu Kuma No Yu the morning after looking calm and collected


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Old 09-10-2013, 11:53 PM   #35
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The Shiretoko pass as seen from the Rausu side


Along the coast of the Nemuro Straits.


The Island of Kunashiri is a stone's throw away.



Kunashiri was along with several other islands was taken from Japan at the end of WW2.


As evident from this sign, Japan would very much like to have the islands back.

I wonder how Japan would be if Russia had seized more land after the war? People would now have interesting names: Ivan Suzuki, Yumi Tolstoy, Kentaro
Solzhenitsyn, the brothers Yuichiro Yuichirovich Karamazov and Hideki Hidekirovich Karamazov.

Apparently Kunashiri has good fishing grounds which may not be fished by Japanese boats.




Kunashiri from the Nosuke Pen.




I have a ride along the Notsuke Peninsula.


Some interesting wetlands that suggest an African landscape.


The Notsuke Peninsula


The road inland from the coast is again giving me that space I went searching for:


Just horsing around:










The road toward Mashu Lake



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Old 09-11-2013, 12:14 AM   #36
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:38 AM   #37
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Good stuff, one of my favorite areas of Hokkaido. Coming down the east coast did you happen to stop at that scallop factory that sells scallop burgers?
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Old 09-11-2013, 01:46 AM   #38
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The road climbs up towards Mashu Lake.








Always been a big fan of these caldera lakes.


And Mashu Lake is a belter:




Claimed to have some of the clearest water in the world. Transparency depths of over 40 meters having been recorded.
This rivals, if not beats Lake Baikal.


No one is allowed to enter the lake.


Many a lake in this country is spoiled by Mickey Mouse paddle boats and pirate ships. Not this beauty me hearties!


For once I am not kicking myself, but jumping for joy!


The lake is usually covered with fog, mist, clouds in the summer, so I was one lucky camper to catch it in full glory.








A lad on an R1 who was following me up the mountain. He was probably not too impressed with the speed of my progress.
I promise to let him go first on the way down.






From up here i spy Lake Kussharo. I will head that way later and camp on the Wakoto Hanto by Kussharo tonight.


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Old 09-11-2013, 02:12 AM   #39
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Good stuff, one of my favorite areas of Hokkaido. Coming down the east coast did you happen to stop at that scallop factory that sells scallop burgers?
LOL, missed that. The only thing I had on my plate at the time was the Shiretoko Pass!
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Old 09-11-2013, 11:35 AM   #40
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In!

A little late, but IN! My son lived in Japan for several years; he and I spent a couple weeks touring Japan during a technical conference a year ago.

He said Hokkaido is kinda like the "Montana" of Japan; he always wanted to do a bicycle trip there.

Very much enjoying your pics. Thanks for sharing

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Old 09-11-2013, 09:41 PM   #41
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Dropping down from Lake Mashu the road passes by the active volcano, Mt Iou.



In the parking lot are some bikes with British made Watsonian Sidecars.

Beemer with GP MANX ?




Kawasaki Vulcan? (aptly named considering the location) with Grand Prix 700 sidecar




Grand Prix 700


I hung around a while hoping the owners would return, fascinated to know how they got on riding these bikes with sidecars around the world.

Tired of waiting, I scuffle off to look at the mountain, and once I'm a ways off the riders seem to materialize out of nowhere, jump on the bikes and trundle out of the lot. Oh well.



We all need a good vent from time to time:
















Scoot round to Lake Kussharo and find a place to camp on the water's edge.


Kussharo Lake Wakoto Peninsula Campsite 450yen ($4 and change).


There are two hot springs on the peninsula. Both are free. Both are mixed bathing. Well, gonna have to put away any inhibitions regarding my shortcomings for the bath tonight.
Both the baths look right onto the lake.
I had an early bath one day and it was so cool to be sitting in the hot water overlooking the lake as the sun was rising.


Going to camp here two nights. I want to have a day trip to Lake Akanko and the Ainu Village tomorrow, and the thought of not having to pack everything up in the morning is very welcoming.




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Old 09-11-2013, 09:44 PM   #42
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Dr. Greg wrote:
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Very much enjoying your pics. Thanks for sharing
You're very welcome Doc!
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Old 09-13-2013, 04:05 AM   #43
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If Only Ainu!


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Lake Akan.
It must look beautiful here in the summer. Hold on, it is summer.


On the east shore is an area of bubbling mud known as 'bokke', an onomatopoetic word describing the sound of the mud bubbles bursting.






The lake also contains a weed which rises to the surface and then sinks again. This Marimo is supposed to be protected and it is forbidden to tamper with it. None to been seen in the waters. I did however see lots of it for sale in the souvenir shops of Akan-kohan town.

Within the town of Akan-kohan is the Ainu Kotan.

On the whole a bit of a tourist trap, but there was an Ainu Theatre Musuem type place, and some examples of tradition Ainu houses.


There are Ainu also living on Shakhalin Island. Not much however is known about the Ainu people or their origins. They have a form of worship based on the cult of the bear, and a language with no known relatives anywhere else where in the world. Unfortunately most surviving Ainu can now only speak a few words of the language.


Wood carvings over a shop front.


Most of the shops were selling the usual tourist nonsense.
It did afford me the opportunity to get up close and personal with some taxidermy wildlife though, which is always riveting:


No, it is fine. Really. You can keep those sunnies, I was going to buy a new pair anyway.


On the way back to the campsite I run into a more animated animal:




Sitting right there in the road as if he is waiting to hail a cab.


I tell him he has more chance of catching the bus that runs along route 391. He slinks off doing, yes, of course, the foxtrot.


I decide that there is no way I can return to the campsite only half drenched, so I find a nice field to go and stand around in for a good while to get proper soaked:


All the leaves are brown and the sky is grey. I've been for a ride on such a.....


Today your love, tomorrow Daisestuzan National Park

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Old 09-13-2013, 03:57 PM   #44
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Great trip! This is all just 6 days? Doesn't seem like you are riding 24x7, but you are still packing the miles in. I guess that's the difference with Hokkaido. When I rode Kyushu, being so densely populated, a 100km ride took us through two cities, umpteen towns, and endless farm land, and it was enough for the day. Interesting how Pacific Islander/Maori like the Ainu culture looks. We are back in Tokyo 7 weeks from now, but no riding this time :(

Thanks for taking the time to put this RR together, its lot of effort at the end of a day.
cheers
john
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Old 09-13-2013, 05:39 PM   #45
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Great trip! This is all just 6 days? Doesn't seem like you are riding 24x7, but you are still packing the miles in. I guess that's the difference with Hokkaido. When I rode Kyushu, being so densely populated, a 100km ride took us through two cities, umpteen towns, and endless farm land, and it was enough for the day. Interesting how Pacific Islander/Maori like the Ainu culture looks. We are back in Tokyo 7 weeks from now, but no riding this time :(

Thanks for taking the time to put this RR together, its lot of effort at the end of a day.
cheers
john
John,
this Hokkaido trip was 15 days. Only two hotel nights and the rest at campsites. I still can't get over how nice and comfy my futon is each night after the ground mats!

My 6 day Tohoku trip can be found on the RR links at the end of my posts.

Yes, the Ainu culture is fascinating. I would have liked to have spent more time in around the Ainu village. Perhaps next time.

Best wishes John, and let me know if there anything I can do for you during your Tokyo trip.
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