Day 3: Shiretoko to Lake Kussharo

Full day of riding and a walk through the Shiretoko National Park.


START Shiretoko
END Lake Kussharo


08:30 AMhave breakfast, start riding
10:00 AMarrive at Shiretoko National Park and go for a walk
12:30 PMlunch at 711
06:30 PMarrive in Kawayu and use the onsen
09:00 PMarrive at campground


Today was a long day with not much time to stop. Most of the food was to-go snacks/instant food from the local convenience stores–711 and Seicomart.

We stayed at the Sunayu campground.

Shiretoko National Park is  World Heritage Site. We walked part of the Shiretoko 5 Lakes elevated boardwalk.

Travel Log

We were all still tired from traveling the past couple days, so we let ourselves sleep in a tiny bit.

We picked up some quick breakfast snacks from the local 7-11. It’s true what they say about the 7-11’s…THEY ARE AMAZING! All the pastries and food and bentos and onigiri’s made me feel like a kid in a candy shop. I LOVE JAPAN!

We then made our way to the Shiretoko Peninsula. There were two climbs to get there–one 500ft pitch and one 800ft pitch. But the ride with the sea on the side was gorgeous.

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There are many areas to check out at the Shiretoko National Park, many of which are only accessible by nature walks. However, we only had enough time to check out part of the Five Lakes heritage site which included an elevated boardwalk to protect the fragile ecosystem.

We rode back towards the direction we came and since there wasn’t much time, we picked up a quick lunch from the same 7-11 we got breakfast from.

The rest of the ride was mostly chugging away. We had another 55 miles to get to Lake Kussharo and not enough daylight.

At around 6:30pm, we arrived in a little town about 5mi away from camp. James had done research and said that there would be a nice onsen nearby but we had difficulty locating it. When we finally did, it was closed! But there were actually a lot of other signs that said “onsen” so we picked a random hotel and asked if we could use theirs. It seems onsens are popular with the local community so using one at the hotel even though we weren’t guests wasn’t a strange ask. We paid about $10 to use it.

symbols for onsen

This was our first onsen experience! It was amazing. A hot bath after two long days of riding was sublime. Even though the onsen is a bath, it is communal so it’s important to shower beforehand to maintain cleanliness.

We stopped in a Seicomart to pick up some pre-made meals to eat back at camp. Seicomarts are just like 7-11’s but they seem more popular in Hokkaido. At this point it was totally dark so we rode another 5 mi to get to the campsite. When we arrived, the only other people there were a group of rowdy Japanese fisherman. They laughed and partied until late into the night but I didn’t care as I fell asleep immediately like a rock.

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