Zuzana & Michal Czech couple
― CYCLING ACROSS JAPAN ―
The flowers of Nakafurano
With a lot of inspiration from the mountains and the lives of Ainu, we left Daisetsuzan and headed towards Hokkaido’s probably most photographed area.
The route to Nakafurano was too long for one day so we camped halfway. A nice and long cyclepath lead all the way from Kamikawa to a free campsite in Asahikawa where we saw dozens of frogs, some feasting-while-love-making insects and had to scare away countless foxes, which are obviously used to feeding on leftovers from humans.
Our hatinosu.net helper indicated a free campsite in Nakafurano. We arrived to the described location shortly after sunset but couldn’t find anything but a shinto shrine. Luckily we carry a pocket Wi-Fi with us so we googled and found out that the right spot is further uphill. To make sure we wouldn’t be mistaken again, I hit “navigate” on Google Maps. We were guided uphill on a paved road so steep that we had to get off the bikes and push them. Around 150 m further, the road finished. Google insisted we continue straight on a grassy path by a lavender field for another 50 m.
You’d think that 50 m is nothing but this was the worst stretch of our entire journey on Hokkaido 😀 The hill was so steep we could hardly push our loaded vehicles (mine is just 5-6 kg lighter than I am). Mosquitos were biting us, we were heading towards a dark forest with kuma san potentially anywhere and our muscles had close to zero energy left!
Finally we discovered the campsite and immediately used the bathroom’s sink to wash ourselves (there was no shower or onsen around). Michal is already an expert in building our tent after dark so he was very quick and we had a good sleep, finally in complete darkness (oftentimes campsites have street lamps that stay lit all night, which we understand has safety benefits but is a pity for the quality of sleep).
The next day was a sunny and warm one, ideal for admiring the flower fields of Nakafurano. Together with like 1 million other tourists though :))) We headed to Farm Tomita, the most famous flower spot of the region and were surrounded by coaches of fellow spectators. It’s really just a photo spot, so we shot a few pictures, made some videos, tasted lavender ice-cream and left. We prefer real nature to artificial and clearly heavily fertilized man-made landscapes. But it was worth a visit and we’re happy for the region to have such a strong reputation and tourist income thanks to the flower formations!
|Zuzana & Michal|