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A road trip to Cape Kamui – Shakotan

Once more a post about a trip from a while back!
A friend visited me in Hokkaido and we went on a trip around the Shakotan peninsula, just north-west of Sapporo. While Shakotan can be accessed by Bus, it is a whole lot more convenient by car especially in Autumn/Winter as the Bus service is very limited.

We stopped by in Otaru and its Habour to have some Sushi and rent a car..

Otaru

And off we went! Shakotan has a lot of mountains – or rather hills. Therefore, there are an astonishing amount of tunnels, some of which are a few kilometeres long. I am always wondering about the viability of building and maintaining those tunnels – it probably does not pay off, considering that Shakotan has a population of only 2500 people. But fortunately Countries are not entirely for profit entities – yet…

Shakotan

Shakotan is, amongst other things, known for having one of the most beautiful sunsets in Japan. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t play along and after some great food we called it a night.

Shakotan

The Youth Hostel at Shakotan Cape has really good food and the price is reasonable as well!
The sunrise did not present us with a red sky either..

Shakotan

But many fishermen were already at work (6am)

Shakotan

and preparing their boats..

Shakotan

Shakotan

Some of them looked really fancy with a lot of lights on board. I would really like to see one of those fully lit up!

Shakotan

The breakfast was really good as well! The Youth Hostel has a really utilitarian Japanese country style touch, I think. Cosy and a little bit dated with some modern bits and pieces thrown in.

Shakotan

Shakotan’s most popular place is probably the tip of Cape Kamui with its eccentric rock formations. In summer Shakotan is also very popular with surfers for the waves and the perfekt “Shakotan Blue” water – of which we rather saw Shakotan grey due to the weather.

Shakotan

The path to the lighthouse..

Shakotan

Shakotan

A hint of Shakotan Blue!

Shakotan

looking back into the clouds..

Shakotan

From Cape Kamui we opted to go a different way back, half way around the peninsula and then over a mountain pass (998 from Kamoenai to Furubira) back to Otaru. Apparently, according to many locals, it was impossible to drive on that road at that time due to snow. Mostly it was an issue of the “from November on there is snow and today is Nov 2nd, so it is not safe and there has to be snow. On Oct 30th you would have been fine though” kind of mentality. Fortunately, we asked some young guy working at a local conbini for his opinion and he told us we’d be perfectly fine.. It had not snowed yet and as it turned out, most turns were actually canopied so snow wouldn’t have made that big of a difference after all..

Shakotan

The Autumn colours were already gone though..

Shakotan

After some more driving along the coast..

Shakotan

We had some really good Kaisendon in Otaru..

Otaru

And hopped on the train back to Sapporo (the new one on the left :D)

Otaru

Thanks for stopping by!

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