On a Saturday night, at 9pm I left Monbetsu. Just after this bomb ass dinner made by the farmer's daughter!
This meat dish, made from lamb, is crazy popular in Hokkaido. The name is hilarious... ジンギスカン... Jingisu kan... Genghis Khan. Stir fried lamb and vegetables is named after the 11th century warlord... awesome.
At 11pm the next day, 26 hours and 1400km later, I arrived at my doorstep in Tokyo. I have nothing interesting to report about that stretch, except that I will never ride that far again. I saved a few yen, with the discounted weekend tolls, but I could have taken a ferry all the way to Tokyo, and in the end it would have cost maybe $60 more, factoring in gas prices and what not. Around hour 20 my brain was all mushy, and lane splitting at 80kmh was probably not something I should have been doing. I took a couple random photos:
An $80 steak. At a highway rest stop.
A $5 bowl of fried noodles made with the $80 steak meat.
Kilometers travelled: 5705
Nights stayed: 30
Yen Spent: 119,525 (roughly a thousand bucks)
Ice cream cones consumed: 9
Ramen bowl slurped: 8
Free onsens entered: 18
Cow nipples yanked: 160
Insects splattered on my helmet: 655,321
Did I mention that Hokkaido is god damned wonderful? Well it is, and I'll be going back there every summer that I remain in Japan. Done deal! As far as motorcycle touring goes, camping was great, but next time I think I'll stay at a rider's house every night. I'll also consult the ramen rankings before I go!
I was able to go to one of these shops, but would have for sure hit up Muroran if I had known it was the hot new ramen town.
People always say that everyone is so nice in Hokkaido. I guess so. Are people jerks in Tokyo? I haven't really noticed too much assholery in this city.
A lot of people were surprised that I really didn't check out Hakkodate or Sapporo much. But every time people talk about Sapporo, it's like, "Sapporo is awesome! It's like a small Tokyo!"
Thanks for reading along, I hope my trip inspires you somehow. I'm back in Tokyo, and back to the usual. A month in Hokkaido was actually my big dream of the past couple years, ever since getting a motorcycle in Japan. So now it's on to something new. Any suggestions?