Hokkaido in summer

As always our road trip -this time to Hokkaido-  started a little bit chaotic, because we lost the parking key, almost stopped because we were running out of gas on our way to Aomori. at the ferry port, we were really lucky to get a place on the ferry because even it was only the short distance ferry, it was already overbooked. lessons learned: book everything in advance! really everything. It’s Japan and it seems everybody is doing it like that …

In the end, everything has worked out!
After 4 hours by ferry to Hakodate we could start the road trip along the south-east coast to Noboribetsu. here you can find a lot of hot springs and natural onsen. we went eastwards. apparently, there should be some surf beaches and just before we wanted to give up, we found the perfect camping beach in Haamatsuma, drove up close to the water and woke up with a sea view this morning …
Hokkaido is quite different to the main island! Fewer people, cities, and traffic. thus rarely supermarkets and gas stations. A lot of free camping opportunities can be found, and even if nothing comes up the resting areas close to the highways can be used for one night.

Next stop: Akan national park! During our hike up to Mt. Meakan, we were almost as well equipped as the Japanese. a cowbell against the brown bears, which we did not see (and I’m happy about it). We visited a really old school onsen (hot bath) close to Lake Onneto afterward. this time I brought the tape to hide my tattoo.
We almost had this beautiful landscapes all for ourselves, and when we arrived at the crowded Shiretoko national park the next day, we immediately decided to skip the “most remote place of Japan”. therefore a short stopover at Cape Ohonku – somewhere in nowhere … our night was very short because we woke up due to some young guys drifting their cars on the parking area (scary!)

the weather is against us, it has been raining for days. the days in the mountains literally dropped into water. change of plan! found a nice campsite near Ashi Betsu, where only some short MTB tours were possible, thanks to the weather.
A day in Sapporo has shown, the city is very manageable and the lonely planet, as so often, gives pretty stupid tips. but as we were here already, we checked out the botanical garden and the beer museum …
one tip for Hokkaido: try the lamb (Genghis Khan) and local soft ice cream! delicious!
now what? it was still raining, so we drove along the coast, visited Otaru (according to lonely planet: the Venice of Japan) and found some nice beaches. we even saw the sun for a few hours.
at the end, we drove back to the Haamatsuma beach. at least here you can surf while it is raining. during an evening barbecue at we had an uninvited guest. reineke fox wanted the meat, despite Saschas running around with a torch. so the rumor seems to be true: rabid foxes are apparently a problem in Hokkaido. I’m just glad, it wasn’t the brown bear!
after 18 hours with the ferry, we had both imagined something more spectacular, now arrived at home…
hokkaido in the summer was fun and really is worth a trip because it is completely different to the main island, and usually it is not raining that much in summer

 

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