Hokkaido Summer: Wild is the Wind

Higashimokoto – Abashiri

71 miles


The road out of Highashimokoto continued in the same hilly prevalence from where it had left off yesterday. Yet the rise and fall of the landscape would today be the least of my concerns. As a far more brutally sinister enemy raged from the east, an enemy cruel and merciless, and an enemy that on this day would take no prisoners. That enemy being the wind, the unrelenting, soul destroying wind that over the coming hours would completely dismantle any progress in the direction of Shiretoko National Park. In some 4 hours I managed a pathetically meagre 20 miles, I was very much getting my arse kicked. I needed to conjure up a new strategy. Finding a desolate and sheltered wooden shack of a bus stop to the side of the road I would pitch a seat and pull out my map book and accompanying thinking cap. With still some 50 miles to cover the chances of reaching my destination by sundown were looking pretty desperate. Whilst in the process of planning my next move the wind would pick up further and a hurl a contingent of abuse in the bus stops general direction, a lose piece of plywood beginning to flap about wildly as a patch of dust kicked up into my face blinding me temporarily. ‘Fuck this!’ I scorned. My mind was made up. I was defeated to which I hated, but I didn’t have to be here. Just being in Hokkaido was enough. Reaching Shiretoko would have made the journey through this exciting prefecture a nice touch but in the current conditions just wasn’t viable. My psychological willpower completely diminished I opted to change direction, heading directly north instead, my tail between my legs.


After a couple hours of cycling I would find Hokkaido’s northern coast before veering west toward the city of Abashiri to its scenic lakeside camping ground.

There is no ignoring the fact that the wind has the oppressive ability to grind a man down, well this man anyway. But just being able to break free of the wind’s binding shackles was of a massive relief to me, for I was no longer its prisoner. And in Abashiri, ‘prisoner’ is not a word that one should take to lightly.

PS: If you’ve enjoyed my blog then you may enjoy my as of yet unpublished book of my venture around Japan. Something that with a little help from friends and strangers I’d like to publish for the whole world to see. Please if you have the time could you take a look at my Kickstarter campaign at: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/675565076/tokyo-to-tokyo

I appreciate your time, thank you.


7th June 2014


08:30 – 19:00

Today’s distance – 71.2miles     ODO – 1667 miles

Today’s RT – 8hrs                         Total RT – 174 hrs



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