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Thread: ** AUG 10-18 ** Hokkaido Touring

  1. #1
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    Default ** AUG 10-18 ** Hokkaido Touring

    I'm planning to tour Hokkaido by motorcycle during the August holidays, from 8/10 till 8/18. Just started planning. I thought it would be better to let GRs know so that if someone is planning on the same, I can join.

    Don't really have a solid plan (don't want to make one!) but the rough idea is to roam around Hokkaido, see the national parks, the nature and have some fun.

    Getting there: I plan to take a ferry from Oarai till Tomakomai. During the Summer time, the ferry fare seems too expensive but riding my super thirsty Firestorm all the way would be more expensive

    What to do? No clue, as of now. I will get Touring Mapple next weekend and start looking at the attractions.

    Accommodation: I've never camped. Would love to try it out in this trip. Anyone with any suggestions if Hokkaido is suitable for camping? Since it's Summer, temperatures wouldn't be a problem. But, how are the regulations of camping in Japan?

    Food: This is my biggest concern! I'm an ovo lacto vegetarian and this severely constrains my travel plans. Anyone with similar food habits and having done touring in Japan?

    I will be doing all the research in the next couple of weeks. Ideas/suggestions most welcome.

    Regards
    Rakesh

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    Quote Originally Posted by rakeshogi View Post
    Food: This is my biggest concern! I'm an ovo lacto vegetarian and this severely constrains my travel plans. Anyone with similar food habits and having done touring in Japan?
    If you plan where you'll be staying ahead of time, you can contact the places and tell them that you don't eat meat. Some places might be sniffy about it, but in my experience people tend to be accommodating. Tell them that you don't eat beef, chicken, fish or pork, but eggs and dairy are ok. You need to be specific about what you don't eat because you could end up being fed processed meat like ham. I've often been served fish after telling people that I don't eat meat. Some people seem to classify 肉 as being beef only. You can also stock up on nuts and dried fruit. Great for snacking through the day, and then feasting on fresh fruit and salads out of the supermarkets for lunch. If you do camp, and are planning on bringing a small gas stove, there's no better breakfast than porridge with banana, walnuts and soy milk. Keep you going all morning, that will.


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  3. #3
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    there are a lot of cheap or free campgrounds in hokkaido. you can also usually get away with camping at michinoekis (rest stops) or even at rural public toilet rest areas if you dont make a fire, or otherwise cause a nuisance. there are also quite a few 'riders houses' which offer a space to throw down your sleeping bag and pad indoors with other riders for around 500 -1500 yen!

    i like to stop at a supermarket for a deli lunch and buy my supplies for dinner and breakfast. in this way you can completely control your own menu. i didnt eat in a restaurant once for the first 7 days of my tohoku tour last summer by doing this. i tend to do a lot of pasta peperoncino because you can buy the packets of peperoncino at most supermarkets and they are lightweight as is the pasta.

    you should probably get out and camp a few times before you go to get some camping experience and work out what you need.


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    Hi Rakesh,

    I added the dates of your trip to the thread title and made it sticky, so more people will see it and possibly join you.

    Sounds like you are going to have a lot of fun in Hokkaido. August 17-18 is the GR family campout, though, so I will have to pass on this ride.
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    @Dualta: Thanks for your advice! I don't usually eat at Japanese restaurants because it's very difficult to explain. Often, I just go to Indian restaurants or Subway or Italian restaurants (Margherita!). Also, for this ride, I will take a stove. I'm just gonna buy rice, eggs and some veggies and make a simple meal. As you said, nuts are big life savers. Snickers, Red Bull are the other options I'm thinking of. It's gonna be challenging but a lot of fun!!!

    @HailDamage: Thanks for the information. "Rider Houses" seem to be a very interesting option. I will do my research on them. I will be buying the Touring Mapple for Hokkaido this weekend. Are the rider houses mentioned in that book? Any idea?

    @Guy: Thanks for making it sticky. And by the way, when you went to Sakhalin, how earlier did you book the ferry? The Sunflower ferry from Oarai to Tomakomai.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rakeshogi View Post
    @Dualta: Thanks for your advice! I don't usually eat at Japanese restaurants because it's very difficult to explain. Often, I just go to Indian restaurants or Subway or Italian restaurants (Margherita!). Also, for this ride, I will take a stove. I'm just gonna buy rice, eggs and some veggies and make a simple meal. As you said, nuts are big life savers. Snickers, Red Bull are the other options I'm thinking of. It's gonna be challenging but a lot of fun!!!

    @HailDamage: Thanks for the information. "Rider Houses" seem to be a very interesting option. I will do my research on them. I will be buying the Touring Mapple for Hokkaido this weekend. Are the rider houses mentioned in that book? Any idea?

    @Guy: Thanks for making it sticky. And by the way, when you went to Sakhalin, how earlier did you book the ferry? The Sunflower ferry from Oarai to Tomakomai.
    yes, they are marked in the mapple with a helmet symbol if i am not mistaken.


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    Quote Originally Posted by rakeshogi View Post
    @Guy: Thanks for making it sticky. And by the way, when you went to Sakhalin, how earlier did you book the ferry? The Sunflower ferry from Oarai to Tomakomai.
    Timetable:
    http://www.sunflower.co.jp/english/f...ne/index.shtml

    Reservations:
    http://www.sunflower.co.jp/english/f...de/index.shtml
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    you asked about basic camping gear in another thread but i thought i would answer here. you might wanna start a thread on camping gear 101 to get more input.

    basic camping gear involves:

    shelter = tent
    sleeping gear = sleeping bag and sleeping pad
    light = headlamp
    cooking gear = stove and mess kit - but you could just do sandwiches, etc.
    toilet gear = toilet paper

    of course you can add stuff to that to make you more comfortable, etc. google camping checklist to get an idea of what else you might want to take:

    http://www.lovetheoutdoors.com/camping/checklists.htm

    if you want specific quality gear recommendations, we can surely give some advice.


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    Quote Originally Posted by haildamage View Post
    you asked about basic camping gear in another thread but i thought i would answer here. you might wanna start a thread on camping gear 101 to get more input.
    This is really the perfect subject for an entry in the wiki.

    UPDATE: And here's a wiki page I've created for camping info:

    www.gaijinriders.com/wiki/Camping

    Haildamage, let the knowledge flow! Where to go, what to bring, how to pack, tips and tricks...
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    Default ** AUG 10-18 ** Hokkaido Touring

    Hokkaido is loaded with Michi no Eki which have campgrounds attached to them.

    Get an app called 道の駅ナビ and you can find them so easily you'll think you're cheating.

    Rider House Listings, including twenty in Hokkaido.

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    Wow! Thank you so much folks!! Really appreciate the guidance...

    Will keep this post updated on my Hokkaido travel plans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Cash View Post
    Rider House Listings, including twenty in Hokkaido.
    I'd just caution that rider houses vary widely in terms of cleanliness and quality. Some are apparently great, while others have generated complaints about dirtiness and bugs. I originally planned to stay at some rider houses on my first bike trip to Hokkaido in 2008; one was closed and the other looked so sketchy that we stayed at a (relatively) cheap ryokan instead. So I wouldn't rule out rider houses all together, but try to get some feedback from people about particular ones you're considering staying at.
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    Good job on that camping wiki page, HD! You work fast!
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    Default ** AUG 10-18 ** Hokkaido Touring

    The site contains reviews, including date of stay, which should definitely be read first.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Jinbaiquerre View Post
    Good job on that camping wiki page, HD! You work fast!
    thanks, its a work in progress and it will take time to complete as i will recommend lots of various equipment. ill do the high quality gear section. maybe others can do the budget equipment version.


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    i suppose we need a riders house wiki too. i stayed at 3 that were fine in hokkaido. the coolest one is on p. 18 of the hokkaido touring mapple. it was 500 yen to sleep in a converted train car.

    keep in mind that some riders houses also might not be gaijin friendly. the asshole at "Walk On" on the Sadamisaki Peninsula in Shikoku told us no gaijin allowed for example once he figured out my friends japanese was not quite perfect on the phone.


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    Quote Originally Posted by haildamage View Post
    the asshole at "Walk On" on the Sadamisaki Peninsula in Shikoku told us no gaijin allowed for example once he figured out my friends japanese was not quite perfect on the phone.
    If I recall, that was many, many years ago... I wonder if he's changed his tune since then. If not, sounds like we should have a Japanese guy make some reservations there and then show up with a bunch of GR's finest in tow...
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    Just heard from a Japanese friend that the tolls are very cheap in midnights. But he told me that it is cheap only for the ETC holders. Any idea if these discounts are valid for non-ETC holders?

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    Default ** AUG 10-18 ** Hokkaido Touring

    Quote Originally Posted by rakeshogi View Post
    Just heard from a Japanese friend that the tolls are very cheap in midnights. But he told me that it is cheap only for the ETC holders. Any idea if these discounts are valid for non-ETC holders?
    Without ETC you pay full price 24/7.

  20. #20
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    Just went to the book store to check out the Touring Mapple. There are 2 types of them - One is the normal book and the other a spring bound book. I asked the shop fellow to know what's the difference and he said it's the same in different forms. Is that so?

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