Cycling Japan – day 67 – The last day from Furano to Sapporo

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  • Day 67 – Furano to Sapporo
  • Distance: 118km
  • Ascent / descent: 1122m / 1244m
  • Weather: cold, windy and wet
  • Accommodation: WBF Sapporo Chuo Hotel, ¥9200

I left the hostel this morning on an overcast day and headed up into the mountains on Route 135. It was a slow and steady climb, but nothing too crazy. After turning off onto Route 452, I soon passed a carpark and rest area for Sandan Falls.

Sandan Falls, Route 452

Sandan Falls, Route 452

When I was about 30km from Sapporo, the heavens opened and it was a struggle to get my wet-weather gear on before I was completely drenched. The next 30km seemed to drag on in the rain, and hopes of my shoes staying dry were dashed.

When I finally made it to Sapporo, I cycled past the TV Tower for a quick photo in the drizzling rain. When I tried to put my kickstand down on my bike, it broke off and went flying across the concrete! I somehow managed to hold the bike in one hand and pick it up in the other, and then had to get creative to try and make the bike stand, without its kickstand. Lucky I was now only 500m from the hotel!

Arriving in Sapporo with the famous TV tower in the background

Arriving in Sapporo with the famous TV tower in the background

Arriving in Sapporo with the famous TV tower in the background

The hotel was fantastic and let me keep my bike in their office.

My room at WBF Sapporo Chuo Hotel

My room at WBF Sapporo Chuo Hotel

Jb67 - Elevation profile from Google Earth

Jb67 – Elevation profile from Google Earth

Jb67 - Track from Google Earth

Jb67 – Track from Google Earth

Through two Facebook groups – Touring Japan on Bicycle and Japan Cycling Navigator, I saw a link to a blog by Sue and John from Australia. I then passed them on day 14 when I was finishing the Shimanami Kaido and they were starting it. We kept in contact but never passed each other again. It seemed like we were going to be in Sapporo at the end of our journey’s at the same time, as well as Sander, the Belgian guy I’d met twice. I  messaged everyone and asked if they wanted to have dinner in Sapporo and we ended up a group of six (below pic). Anna on the left is about to start her cycling adventure, Kelvin from Singapore has also just finished his length of Japan, then John, Sue, Sander and myself. It was such a wonderful evening sharing stories and it really felt like a celebration between long-lost friends.

Dinner with new cycling friends in Sapporo

Dinner with new cycling friends in Sapporo

After two days in Sapporo, I met Kanji and Mieko and had one last fantastic night together celebrating the end of this trip and the beginning of wonderful friendships. They helped me box up the bike and even took me to the airport. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Celebratory dinner with Mieko and Kanji

Celebratory dinner with Mieko and Kanji

Packed and ready to go

Packed and ready to go

Sad farewell to Kanji and Mieko at Sapporo airport

Sad farewell to Kanji and Mieko at Sapporo airport

My 4,529km route cycling the length of Japan

My 4,529km route cycling the length of Japan

Thanks everyone for coming along for the ride. Thank you to my Warmshowers and Couchsurfing hosts and everyone I met along the way. Every single day of this journey I received an act of kindness, from motorbike tourists and drivers cheering me on, cold coke at the top of a mountain pass, numerous bananas 😉 , kind words and encouragement, offers of accommodation, and so much more.

I feel so incredibly lucky to have been able to make this journey and prolong spring in this beautiful country. From Kyushu to Hokkaido I followed the cherry blossom and other flowers like wisteria and irises blooming along the length of Japan. I saw rice being planted almost every day and heard the beautiful chorus of the Japanese ‘uguisu’ bush warbler, also known as the nightingale bird, every single day.

If you have a dream, don’t wait, make it happen. Life’s too short to put things off.

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21 responses to “Cycling Japan – day 67 – The last day from Furano to Sapporo

  1. Hi Kat – Congrats on another successful journey and blog! Your adventures just seem to get better and better. I’ll miss not reading your posts with my morning tea. I’m looking forward to your next adventure!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations, Katrina. Indeed a fantastic adventure in the country you love. So many friendships initiated. What’s more your trusty bike held out until the last day! Well done and welcome home!
    Love & hugs
    Jeanxx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Doug and I loved your journal and photos. Thank you for keeping us on your email list, and I hope you will do so for many more adventures.

    Remember, Maine awaits if you ever have the interest. We’d love to host you.

    Doug is in the infancy stages of planning a cross country bike ride set for 2023. It will be his 50th reunion at the U. S. Naval Academy in 2023 and he wants to ride from west coast to Annapolis, MD in memory of their fallen classmates. Each day a deceased classmate will be honored with a blast that goes to all of the class of ‘73. He is determined to ride all the way. The letter explaining all this just went out two days ago so that guys can start thinking about it. He has 15 interested folks, most wanting to jump in somewhere along the way for a day, but there is one guy who is a serious rider, has a trailer, and a camper that could be used for support. So…we’ll see.

    Incredibly moved by your undertakings. I will hit the Portuguese Camino once again on 9/10/19.

    Our best, and congrats on this huge accomplishment.

    Sally and Doug Leland Freeport, Maine

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Sally,
      Your comments along the way were really encouraging, thank you so much for following and commenting 🙂
      I think it’s a wonderful idea and very admirable what your husband is planning to do and it will certainly be an incredible adventure.
      Have fun on the Portuguese Camino and eat a few pastel de nata’s for me 😉
      Thanks again!
      xxx

      Like

      • I’m good Kat. Finished the PCT a couple of years ago and just hike locally now. Starting to slow down a bit, but still enjoy it. I think about that storm occasionally as well. Easily the worst weather I have ever hiked in. But a fun memory.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for sharing your journey and whilst not a cyclist have enjoyed following you. Photos bring back happy memories of my one visit to Japan 🙂
    Where to next????

    Liked by 1 person

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