Sapporo to Yubari
Distance: 42 miles
Total Distance: 1816 miles
Photo Album

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After a couple of days of being very lazy in Sapporo, Vicky and I felt refreshed and ready to get back on our bikes! We have a lot to look forward to in the next week as we make our way north to Asahikawa: lots of open country, onsen, the flower fields of Biei, and the glaciers and mountains of Daisetsu-zan national park.


We had a nice farewell from our hostel–the owners are very friendly and made us feel right at home. We were sorry to leave, but got some nice pictures on our way out! There were a few errands we needed to take care of before leaving Sapporo (new air mattress for Vicky since hers has a leak…), but we finally headed out on a great cycling road that goes from the center of the city all the way to Kitahiroshima about 15 miles to the east.

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Riding on the cycling road out of Sapporo

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North of Sapporo, we saw fewer rice fields and a lot more farms like this

From Kitahiroshima, we headed generally north through a nice farming area–a few rolling hills but nothing major until the afternoon, when we started climbing up to the small mountain town of Yubari. In Honshu, there are signs of human habitation everywhere, even in the mountains–it’s rare to go even a mile there without seeing a farm or house tucked away in the hills. Here in Hokkaido it’s very different. As soon as you get outside a town or city, almost all signs of human habitation disappear and you are left with just the trees, mountains, and the road ahead.

Yubari is famous for its honeydew melons, and they appear on signs all over the town. You would think that we would be able to buy them cheaper at the source, but they were still 30 or 40 dollars each! Good thing this is one fruit Vicky doesn’t like :) We bought supplies at a convenience store and went to find a campground marked on the map, but found that it was no longer in operation. As it turned out the campground was located in the “Coal Mining History Town Theme Park”, which had an eerily abandoned feeling to it. We walked through the empty food stalls and souvenier stands, but never found the campground itself. Too tired to ride around and find another place to stay, we ended up sleeping in the parking lot that night. We were worn out enough to sleep well, but woke up in the middle of the night to local teens drag racing…

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A Yubari Melon!

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A cat bus! Does this remind anyone of Totoro?