Hamatonbetsu - The fifth step ... the length of Japan. - CycleBlaze


We woke up to bright sunshine this morning.  Despite quite a few clouds around the day managed to stay sunny for a lot of the time.  I'd say that we have had more sun today than the whole of our time in Japan up until now.

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We got going at about eight o'clock first stopping to pick up food and drinks at the Seicomart down the road.  We are running short on cash so we made a detour to the airport which is about ten kilometers out of town on the way to Cape Soya.  Google Maps, bless it, had indicated that there was an international ATM at the airport.  The ATMs at the Seicomarts only accept local cards.  Unfortunately Google was wrong buit it did give us a chance to see an international airport with the least facilities and conveniences that I have ever seen.

Soya Hills in the background, Leigh and drying seaweed in the foreground.
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After that we pushed on to Cape Soya, the northern most tip of Japan.  We took the obligatory photographs, visited the various small monuments and had a pee, mostly in that order.  In some ways, our journey only starts now and we have a little over two months to get to Cape Sata in the south.

The standard Cape Soya shot.
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The wind was blowing from the north west which meant that after Cape Soya it was almost directly on our backs.  This helped a bit with the two small climbs over the headland and then catapulted us down the coast in a south easterly direction through cow country - this is the heartland of Japan's dairy industry.

After about sixty five kilometers we stopped at a Mich-no-Eki where we had a the most flavour-packed ramen noodles I have ever tasted.  Then it was another thirty kilometers or so down to Hamatonbetsu.  We swung slightly southwards just as the wind swung south wetsrely so we battled it for about ten kilometers before we swung easterly again.  Still, when we reached Hamatonbetsu we were feeling quite good.  Just ten days ago we were worried about our fitness levels and now we are feeling quite quite comfortable with longer days.  I guess tailwinds and flat roads help.

The campsite at Hamatonbetsu is absolutely fabulous.  Where else in the world can you get a lakeside campsite for free with free Wifi, spotless toilets, washing facilities and an Onsen within walking distance ?

After a good scrub and soak at the Onsen I headed back into town to pick up some riceballs and inari sushi for supper pushing the speedo over a hundred kilometers in a day for the first time on this trip.

Today's ride: 103 km (64 miles)
Total: 524 km (325 miles)

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