We still had a few days before our flight out of Sapporo, so we planned take a side trip over to Rishiri Island for a few days. Even though we had plenty to take care of for this, we had a lazy morning in the youth hostel. First order of the day was a nice breakfast (soup, eggs, ham, salad, rolls, coffee and tea all for 300 yen!), after which we slowly packed up and headed out. Once back down the hill, we made another stop by the post office to send some of our gear back home. While we were inside packing boxes and filling out forms, some crows attacked our bikes and at some of our food–reinforcing our negative opinion of these birds that have been plaguing us all trip!

Once we were done at the post office we headed over to the ferry station, but found that we had missed the last morning departure and would need to wait for several hours. We finally arrived at Rishiri in the late afternoon and took our time riding to the hostel. The island was beautiful–dominated by the central peak of Rishiri-fuji, but with a rugged coastline and very little human habitation except for the main port town and a few small villages. We rode slowly through town to our hostel, stopping along the way to watch a festival for a local shrine.

We eventually reached the hostel, and after checking in with the very friendly staff we unpacked in our private room and went out to take some pictures of the sunset. We could see neighboring Rebun Island from the viewpoint and got some great pictures of the surrounding area. We stocked up on dinner and hiking supplies at a nearby Seicomart, and then headed back to the hotel for dinner. We had been saving our “emergency rations” (freeze-dried backpacking food from back home) all trip, and decided that we might as well use it up. Compared to what we had been eating all through Japan, it tasted horrible!

After packing up supplies for tomorrow, we went to bed early as we had to get up at 4:30 the next morning to start our hike up the mountain.