Hakodate to Onuma Koen
Distance: 26 miles
Total Distance: 1558 miles
Photo Album

IMG_4562

We planned a short day of riding today, since we wanted to camp at a “quasi-national” park about 30 miles north of Hakodate. I had visited this park a couple of times when I lived here, and I thought Vicky would enjoy its picturesque islands and striking views of Mt. Komagatake.

Knowing that we didn’t have far to ride, we slept in and then took our time getting on the road. It turns out that Saito-san (the lady who runs our hostel) has an old friend in San Diego, and she convinced us to take a “small present” to him. It turns out that the present is a large box of Hakodate butter cookies; to thank us for taking them back with us she gave us a box as well, so we’re set for desserts for the rest of our trip!

IMG_1056

Outside the hostel with some Australian travelers

IMG_1066

New stamps for our book!

We finally got out of town around noon, and enjoyed the ride out to the park. There was a bit of traffic getting up to the park (everyone was out for a Sunday drive), but the beautiful scenery more than made up for it. The rest of the ride was right along the edge of the lake, and the evening fog rolling in over the mountains dampened all sounds except for the waves gently lapping against the shore. We stopped for a little snack at a group of souvenir shops, and met a nice store attendant who joked with us (we hope!) about bears coming down out of the mountains.

IMG_1069

Our best bear impressions

IMG_4547

Onuma islands in the fog

We arrived at the free campground at the north end of the lake and set up camp after purchasing some supplies from a very friendly store owner just outside the entrance. By late afternoon we were all settled and enjoying the view. The only problem was the massive number of mosquitoes, and my legs were covered in bites before I had time to get out the bug spray. Other than that, we really enjoyed this campsite–for the first time on the trip, we were camping with other people, and it felt very nice to be part of a larger community of people enjoying the outdoors.

IMG_4551

The campground store owner showing us the best view spots along the lakeshore

IMG_1071

Our first camp in Hokkaido!

IMG_4566

Peaceful fisherman

After enjoying a nice dinner, we settled in for the evening to read the books we had purchased in Hakodate. Our trip through Hokkaido was already turning out very nicely!

IMG_4577

Foggy lake