Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Hokkaido!... Around the Southwestern Tip.
2 weeks of motorcycle touring has officially begun. I didn't do much research before I came, I figured people I met would give me suggestions, and the Japanese Touring Mapple guides show free campgrounds and free onsens, so its gonna be a day by day thing. Anyways, I got pointed to the southwest, around the Matsumae Peninsula. Here's the route:
The roads: 228 -> 229 -> 277 -> 229
Microsoft Paint has a GPS feature.
The insect of this leg of the trip is tanbo, dragonflies. My new white riding jacket was covered in tanbo bits. Dudes on Harleys with their skull cap helmets better like the taste.
The coastal route was great. And the rain stopped for the first time in 3 months. Nature straight hooked me up!
Popped into this free mountain onsen for an hour with some crazy dudes from Asahikawa. They took a lot of photos, which probably means theres nude photos of me on the internet now. If you are lucky enough to see em, sorry about the blinding whiteness, I don't go out in the sun... ever. Also, we jumped in the river and it was cold. Anyways...
Camped at this free camping spot in the mountains.
Ate some hella good foods.
And some more hella good foods.
And more onsens.
And more camping.
The roads here are long and scenic. The speed limit is 50kmh almost everywhere you go. That's like 35mph. It's almost a joke. Everyone I talked to said to expect at least one speeding ticket. But it seems that the cops only hang out on the main roads. The Mapple Touring atlas warns of some spots, so of course I slowed down there, but other than that I maintained a comfortable speed (50kph ain't comfortable) and never got spotted for the whole time.
Your mileage may vary.
FYI, there are sometimes speed cameras that take a photo of the front of your vehicle. S.W.I.M. was speeding and suddenly, bam!, a big flash of red and white light. Ticket in the mail?
The coast here is some really good camping. At night, the squid boats go out and use high powered lights to lure their catch. It's pretty magical, seeing their lights dotting the horizon.
Working north along the coast, I headed inland to Niseko, home of Youteizan. Because of the shape, it's known as the Mt. Fuji of Hokkaido. It's there somewhere, I think. I didn't stick around long.
Back to the coast, Cape Kamuimisaki is pretty nice.
Next time: Headed inland for some ramen, flowers, and the only day of rain on my trip.