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Hokkaido North East 9 Day Tour. 1,290 km. Daisetsuzan, Shiretoko and Lake Akan National Parks.

Note: Campgrounds will be open from May to September. Roadside service areas are open all year.

Always drive with caution. Severe ( snow, ice and strong wind ) weather conditions in autumn, winter and spring. Be aware of wildlife (deer, bear and fox ) on road.


Hokkaido North East Tour Guide Map

Day 1.

Starting from Chitose Airport or Sapporo head north towards Asahikawa city and Daisetsuzan volcanic national park. About 2 hours drive is the town of Biei at the foot hills of Tokachidake Mountain Range. During spring the surrounding area has fields of colourful flowers such as lavenders, sunflowers, poppies, cosmoses and purple salvias.

Full featured camping and hot spring bath house.

Higashikagura Auto Camp.
Phone: 0166-83-7789
Web: http://bluemen-hks.com/premium.html

Free camping at roadside rest area with hot spring bath house.

Toma Park.
Phone: 0166-58-8112

Day 2.

Daisetsuzan national park is Japan’s biggest by area and contains the tallest mountain in Hokkaido, Mt Asahidake. This 2,290 meter high active volcano has a 2 km wide caldera and is accessible by the Asahidake Ropeway. There are spectacular views at the top and moderate to difficult trails up to 2 hours hiking from the top ropeway station. The ropeway operates all year but be aware of changing alpine weather conditions.


Nearby Hagoromono Falls ( Angels Dance ) cascade 270 meters.

Stay at nearby autocamp or free parking area for a second night.

Day 3.

Driving north and then to the eastern side of Daisetsuzan along Route 39 for 1 hour you will come to Sounkyo Gorge and hot spring resort. The road has towering cliff along the side with impressive water falls Ryusei Falls (shooting star falls) and Ginga Falls (Milky Way falls). From here you can take the Sounkyo Ropeway to the Kuro-dake Lift to 1,700 meters and view Daisetsuzan Mountain Range again.




After crossing the mountain pass continue along Route 39 towards Kitami city. Stop for the evening after 2 hour of driving.

Onneyu Roadside Station.
Phone: 0157-45-3301
Web: http://www.hokkaido-michinoeki.jp/michinoeki/685/

Nearby Hotspring Bath.
Phone: 0157-42-2421
Web: http://www.onneyuonsen.jp/onsen/index.html

Fox Ranch ( See Hokkaido Red Fox ).
Phone: 0 157-45-2249
Web: http://kitakitsune-farm.com

Day 4.

Continue 2 hours on through Kitami to Lake Akan and its primeval forest. It is famous for Marimo (moss balls) and sockeye salmon. As it is in the volcanic region, hot springs bubble up along the lakeshore. You can take a boat to Chuurui Island. Near the hot spring town, there is the largest Ainu Kotan (village) in Hokkaido. Ainu are the indigenous people of Hokkaido.


At the gate is a wood carving of 2 Ainu men and a big owl. Bears, eagles and owls are the god of the mountain for Ainu people. There are 2 museums where traditional Ainu dance is performed and you can learn of the culture and see artefacts.


A short drive 40 minute drive away is Lake Masshu. Due to high cliff the lake is only viewable from the top. The water is the clearest in the world at 42 meter underwater visibility and gives a mysterious blue colour.

Lake Kussharo. Another 30 minute drive will take you down into the ancient forest surrounding the caldera lake. Enjoy canoeing, fishing or hiking. At Wakoto Peninsula steam still vents from the lake shore and there are natural hot spring bath in the forest.


Stay at full featured camp ground and nearby hot spring bath,

Wako Campground
Phone: 015-484-2835
Web: http://www.bes.or.jp/kawayu/camp.html

Roadside service area with hot spring bath house,

Mashu Onsen Roadside Station
Phone: 015-482-2500
Web: http://www.masyuko.or.jp/michinoeki/index.html

Day 5.

Take Route 391 past Shari city and then 334 to Utoro city. The gateway to Shiretoko National Park. Make a brief stop on this 2 hour drive at the impressive ocean side water fall named Oshinkoshin Falls.

Enter Shiretoko National Park a short drive past Utoro and see wild deer, bears and eagles. This last wilderness has mountain dropping into the sea and many water fall. Go for a 1 hour walk around Shiretoko-Goko lakes. ( Do not drive along the gravel road past 5 lakes in the camper. Very narrow and low trees ).


Full feature camping with nearby hot spring bath house.

National Foundation Camp Site
Phone: 0152-24-2722
Web: http://www.shiretoko.asia/hotel/camp_utoro.html

Free camping with nearby hot spring bath house.

Utoro Shirietoku Roadside Service Area.
Phone: 00152-22-5000
Web: http://www.hokkaido-michinoeki.jp/michinoeki/2884/

Utoroonsen Yuhidai Hot Spring
Phone: 0152-24-2811

Day 6.

It is a short 45 minute scenic drive across the mountain pass to Rausu. Stop at the top for view of Kunashiri Island ( now Russian territory ). 30 minute drive along the coast from Rausu is Seseki Onsen open hot spring bath. Sit in the ocean as hot water bubbles up around you.

Head back through Rausu and south along the coast road Route 335 for 1 hour. After passing through remote fishing villages you will come to Cape Notsuke. This 28 km sand bank arches into Nemuro Strait and is only 16 km from Russian territory.

The cape surounds marshland that is supports many birdlife including the extremely rare Red Crown Crane or Tancho. Wild deer also roam the salt and wind bent forest land on the peninsular.


Notsuke Penisular Nature Centre
Phone: 0153-82-1270

Full featured campground.

Odaitofureai Camping Ground
Phone: 0153-75-2111
Web: http://betsukai.jp/blog/0001/index.php?ID=175

Free camping at roadside rest area.

Odaito Roaside Service
Phone: 0153-86-2449
Web: http://www.hokkaido-michinoeki.jp/michinoeki/3099/

Day 7.

Continue 2 hours south along the coast towards Nemuro city and Cape Nosappu. Stop by Shunkunitai, a long and narrow sandbank which lies between the Sea of Okhotsk and Lake Furen. There is boardwalk for viewing seashores, grasslands, marshes, forests and mudflats.

Nemuro City Shunkunitai Primeval Wild Bird Park Nature Center
Phone: 0153-25-3047
Web: http://marimo.or.jp

After visiting Nemuro city it is just 30 minutes to the most Eastern point of Japan, Cape Nosappu. Stay here overnight and be the first in Japan to watch the sunrise. On the cape is the oldest lighthouse in Hokkaido, built in 1872. There is also a 90 meter high observation deck called peace tower with sweeping views. Try local seafood from market in the area and Hanasaki-gani, a small unusual shaped crab.


Cape Nosappu, Sasagawa Memorial Peace Tower
Phone: 0153-28-3333
Web: http://www.tower-of-nostalgia.com/

Camping and bathing facility are limited in this area but parking overnight in the car park is no problem and there are public toilets. For campsite and bathhouse it is a 1 hour 40 minute drive west along Route 44 at Cape Kiritappu.

Kiritappumisaki Camping Ground
Phone: 0153-62-2239
Web: http://www.kiritappu.jp/home/nn/taiken/kyanpu2.html

Kiritappu Hot Spring Bath House
Phone: 0153-62-3726
Web: http://www.kiritappu.jp/home/nn/midokoro/5yuyu/5midokoro.html

Day 8.

Continue on Route 44 through Kushiro city on Route 38 to HIroo city. This 3.5 hour drive follows the coast and you will see many dairy farms along the way.

Full featured camping.
Seaside Park Hiroo Camping Ground
Phone: 01558-2-0181
Web: http://www.town.hiroo.hokkaido.jp/choumin/koukyoushisetsu/sports_shisetsu.html

Free roadside side service area with hot spring bath house in Taiki city.

Churui Roadside Station
Phone: 01558-8-3111
Web: http://www.arco236.co.jp/

Day 9.

Follow coast road Route 336 to Cape Erimosaki. It’s about a 40 minute scenic drive. Stop at Meguro fishing village along the way and in the river you may see Pacific Salmon spawning. It is possible to fish here too if you have the equipment.

Cape Erimo is on the southern tip of the Hidaka mountains and there are 60 meter high cliff into the ocean. The rocks extend several kilometres out to sea and there are seal colony.

It is one of the windiest places in Japan and there is a wind museum where you can experience wind of 25 meter per second.


Cape Erimo Wind Museum
Phone: 01466-3-1666

You may decide to stay closer to the cape instead of Hiroo city at this campground.

Hyakuninhama Auto Camping Ground
Phone: 01466-4-2168
Web: http://www.town.erimo.lg.jp/kankou/pages/k9mfea0000000bxo.html

Continue north west along Route 336 and then Route 235 towards Tomakomai and Chitose airport. This 3 hour coastal journey will take you through fishing villages and surf beach. Stop and eat freshly caught seafood including “ Uni “, sea urchin sashimi which is a Japanese delicacy.

Mitsuishi Seaside Park is an ideal resting point or if doing this journey in reverse is a good place to stay on the first night as it is only 2 hours from Chitose.

Roadside station with hot spring bath house,

Phone: 0146-34-2333
Web: http://www.hokkaido-michinoeki.jp/michinoeki/564/

Full feature camping,

Mitsuishi Seaside Park Auto Camping Ground
Phone: 0146-34-2333
Web: http://www.shinhidaka-hokkaido.jp/hotnews/detail/00000025.html

Reflect on an amazing journey and share the experience with you friends.

To download a PDF of this travel plan click here.

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