Hokkaido Summer: The Bus Stop

Shosanbetsu – Mashike

66 miles


The night saw yet more heavy rainfall, but camping under a picnic shelter I’d find myself smug and unfazed by what would have otherwise been another soggy dilemma. I’d soon be seeing the bright lights of Sapporo again, where I’d be able to rectify my current tent situation.

As I continued south along the west coast, I found very little gradient to contend with; allowing for a productive day’s progress. Passing through the charmless industrial city of Rumoi, the grizzly Mt. Shokanbestu didn’t altogether seem too pleased to see me. For the best part of the day, the weather had been composed, but from the mountain range a dark foray of clouds had assembled. Vast hazy drifts of precipitation were coaxing the far reaching forests that clustered the periphery of Mashike; Rumoi District’s last stronghold of civilisation, before entering the gauntlet of the mountains.

As the wind gathered and the rain forced itself in my direction, I was lucky enough to find sudden refuge in a very homely bus stop; a wooden and spacious structure with sliding doors so that one could keep the elements at bay. Inside was spotless, clean and perfectly habitable. And not only was there a nice long bench for me to sprawl myself out upon, but there was also room for my belongings and my trusty steed. I parked my derrière on the bench and uttered a small sigh of relief as the rain began to pummel the world around me. With the drone of the rain loudly rebounding off the shelter’s roof, I closed my eyes for the briefest of moments. Some 12 seconds later, I found myself impulsively waking up, my head spasmodically clanging against the wall of the shelter. I was epically tired, and any ambitions of passing the mountain range this day were truly dashed. I lay back upon the bench, placing my head upon my makeshift pillow of a rolled up fleece. Again, closing my eyes, I slept instantly.




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