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Situated at the northernmost tip of Hokkaido - and thus Japan itself - the two islands of Rishiri-to and Rebun-to offer good hiking and some fantastically dramatic coastal scenery. Both are accessible by ferry from the northern port of Wakkanai - not in itself of great interest to the traveller apart from its Russian streetsigns and the Japan Cup National Dogsled Races - held annually in late February.

Rishiri-to Island

Dominated by the conical volcanic peak of Rishiri-zan, the island has some excellent hiking and cycling paths. The island is vibrant with colour during June and July when rhododendrons come into flower. As with mainland Hokkaido, there is no shortage of onsen resorts, the pick perhaps being Rishiri-Fuji Onsen - a mere 30 minute walk from one of the two mainports of the island - Oshidomari.


Generally more low-lying than Rishiri-to, Rebun-to still has plenty to offer in terms of hiking and floral vistas in season (Approx May - August). The classic hike down the western coast of the island is known as hachijikan haikingu kosu. Parts of this can be tricky so be prepared and allow a full day (at least 8 hours) to complete it. Best attempted as part of a group.




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