Cape Soya (宗谷岬) – The most northern point of Japan, Hokkaido

This next post goes over a few days and details the long ride to the most northern point of Japan, Cape Soya. Wanting to avoid as many mountains as practically possible, I went back towards the western coast. David had lectured me about this ‘amazing cycling road’ that will take you most of the way there. I was super keen and found it pretty easily. One thing to note about Japan’s signage, ‘Do not enter’ ‘立入禁止‘ or ‘falling rocks’ ‘落石’ are more like a ‘enter at own risk’ signs, 99.37% of the time. The only reason I don’t say 100% is for this one path… I followed it for roughly 20kms and for the majority of the part it was amazing, but towards the end there were 2 very large sink holes… And a large iron gate. Yeah, it was locked.

It was a proper fence too, no sideways routes. I was actually considering taking off all the bike luggage and somehow shot-putting my bike over. But in a moment of rage I shook the gate as if I was Batista in the WWE ring…

… and bam, the lock snapped and I strolled through. ふざけるな! Stupid gate.

So obstacle one out of the way, I was ready for the next 300kms north. To keep it short there was some great scenery along the coastline, especially during the sunset.

Towards the end of the day, my brother Thomas asked if I was watching the State of Origin tonight, hell yeah I instantly replied. He said it started soon so I raced off to my next campsite and got my Aussie radio app tuned and was ready for the pre-game action whilst having some campsite pasta.

NSW managed to pull off a victory without the 4 main QLD legends from the past. I also snuck in a sneaky hose shower.

I was woken up by bloody crows ravaging through my plastic bags so I threw some rocks at them but missed, unfortunately. I made some 4am power pasta and was on the road early for my longest day of riding to date. To be honest there wasn’t even really any convenience stores between the campsite and the cape. I eventually went so far north I thought I was in Russia.

Not just the sign but it was drizzling and freezing cold. I decided to skip a night sleeping in Wakkanai and pressed on to the cape and from there went back south to the safety of Asahikawas warmth. 130kms from 4am and I had reached my goal. I asked a friendly motorcyclist to take a photo of me.

I saw an onsen on the map another 50kms away and thought that’d be a good shower stop. The weather took more turns for the worse, the rain fell harder, the wind icy and gale force. I finally stumbled into the onsen and warmed up for like 2 hours. I had no idea where I was going to stay as camping in the rain is literally the worst thing imaginable. On the way I passed a lot of bus stops that were made into small little hut-looking things, so I went into one to cook some dinner. I decided it was no good for sleeping when the rain got so bad the bus stop floor was over one big puddle. So I spotted a little underground tunnel connecting 2 sides of the road. Not sure why it was there as the road wasn’t busy but it really was a life saver. It also knew I loved neons and provided some sick photos. I call them ‘bum sleeps in tunnel’.

The next morning I made my way further south and bumped into another fellow cyclist doing a full Japan trip [日本一周中]とサインで書いてあった. Needless to say, cool guy.

I made my way to a small town, Otoineppu, as there was a free loghouse available to use. Especially as it was still raining, I thought that’d be sweeeet. But apparently you need to book it in advance. In spite of this and to use the small bit of shelter it provided, I camped on the verandah.

The next day was another 130ish kms where I made it back to Asahikawa. I slept at a net cafe with free icecream again (快活Club) and had a jolly ol’ time with legs cramping for most of the night.

All in all, it was a 4 day, 500+km journey which was not as fruitful or well-weathered as originally planned, but I met some cool people at onsens and can say I’ve been to the most northern point of Japan – now only 3,400kms to the most southern point.

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