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May 4th, 2013 | categorizilation: all categories,Hokkaido (Japan),Japan,Post-2008

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Another perk of the Shinotsu Park Camping Ground is a free morning soak in the New Shinotsu Golf Course onsen. Nothing quite like a hot spring soak in the morning…

Post-soak and post-breakfast (porridge and apple for Haidee and I), we got on the road.

Cycle camping at the Shinotsu Park Camping ground (Shinshinotsu Town, Japan)

Cycle camping at the Shinotsu Park Camping ground (Shinshinotsu Town, Japan) Cycling around Shinotsu Lake (Shinshinotsu Town, Japan)

Cycle camping, outside the New Shinotsu Golf Club Onsen (Shinshinotsu, Japan)

Michel, our Czech rider, was only able to stay for the one night, so headed back to Sapporo on his own. The remaining four of us carried on for a quick 20km to Tsukigata.

Cycling along the New Shinotsu Golf Course cycling road (Ishikari River, Shinshinotsu Town, Japan)

For some of the way, we had expansive blacktop on the top of the Ishikari River stopbanks.

Paved road on the Ishikari River stopbank (near Shinshinotsu, Japan)

The blacktop soon stopped, forcing an impromptu clamber over gates to get access to a nearby road.

Hauling a bike over a gate (near Shinshinotsu Town, Japan)

Rice is an important staple here…although I can imagine the local variety must be quite hardy, to cope with a mild and rather short growing season…it is May here and there’s still snow on the ground.

No Rice, No Life sign (Tsukigata, Hokkaido, Japan)

The big idea behind coming to Tsukigata early, and making it a short day, was so that we could go and have a look at Miyajima-numa, a popular stop-over for migrating geese. By the time we got to the campground at Tsukigata (a very palatable 200yen (US$2) each a night) and got our tents set up, it had started raining again. The short 3km cycle to Miyajima-numa was scrapped, and we headed to the nearest onsen. Which would be our second hot-spring soak in about 6 hours. Tough work.

Camping at Tsukigata Kairaku Campground (Tukigata Town, Hokkaido, Japan)

Giant hybrid bicycle set up for touring (Tsukigata, Hokkaido, Japan) More rain during Golden Week camping (Tsukigata Town, Hokkaido, Japan)

The Tsukigata Kairaku Campground has a great BBQ area. So we decided to eschew our camp cookers and go all out. Grilled meat and veges over a charcoal BBQ was the feast for the night. Warming and fun. Charcoal, meat and veges bought from the local farmer’s coop supermarket.

BBQ at Tsukigata Kairaku Campground (Tsukigata Town, Hokkaido, Japan)

BBQ at Tsukigata Kairaku Campground (Tsukigata Town, Hokkaido, Japan)

BBQ at Tsukigata Kairaku Campground (Tsukigata Town, Hokkaido, Japan)

Route/Travel Details

Sat 4th May | Shinotsu Park Camping Ground to Tsukigata Kairaku Park Campground
Distance: 21km
Approximate route: http://goo.gl/maps/QpbGk

Lake Shinotsu to Tsukigata (near Bibai City) 21km along Ishikari river stopbank road. If the weather is good, cycle around Miyajima-numa, a migration point for wild geese and other birds. Camp at the Tukigata Kairaku Park Campground (月形皆楽公園キャンプ場, 200yen per person per night). Campground is right next to Tsukigata Yurikago Onsen (月形温泉ゆりかご, 500yen).

Campground address: 樺戸郡月形町皆楽公園内(http://goo.gl/maps/yZyGg
TEL: 0126-53-2577
Campground URL: http://bit.ly/14y1NB5

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