The fifth stage was the shortest of our tours. We wanted to stay one day at the Daisetsuzan National Park and thought Sounkyo was the best opportunity. We planned some hiking and wanted to enjoy the wild environment. So we had just to go a bit more than 20 km and do a few height meters. In the evening the day before we had a lot of rain, but this morning the sun greeted us. After waking up we had a great view out of our accomodation. Of course before the start we had breakfast at 7eleven in Kamikawa.
Discover the environment
Such a short tour gives you the possibility to really discover the environment. So we used the time and had a long break at an abandoned bridge to enjoy the view over a river. We took it so slow that even deers weren’t scared of us and began to greet us next to the road. Also very nice was the little bike path starting around 10 km before Sounkyo which leads through the forest. Those bike paths are very rare so it was a interesting variety to drive on a way without cars.
In general, Hokkaido is known for a huge bear population across the island. But in the region of the Daisetsuzan National Park it was the first time that we actually saw some signs of warning. So we used our bear bell to make some noise so that any bears were aware of us. Luckily we didn´t meet one 😉.
When we arrived in Sounkyo it was around lunch time and we could not already check-in but at least leave our bikes and the luggage at the Kumoi Hotel to take the Rope Way up to Mt. Kurodake. Again this was a very traditional hotel with onsen and tatami floor. It was the best decision to stay there because of heavy rain throughout the next night.
Once we got up the mountain it was a stunning place with fascinating views and also some climbing in the snow (with our bike (short!) clothes). So we got some extra workout high in the mountains and were really tired when we finally arrived in Sounkyo again. After a nice hotel own onsen visit we had a great dinner in a restaurant in the city of Sounkyo (Beer Grill Canyon).
Max elevation: 652 m
Min elevation: 333 m
Total climbing: 475 m
Total descent: -165 m
Average speed: 15.09 km/h
Total time: 02:52:21