Hokkaido Sights

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Rishiri-to (Rishiri Island) Review

If you're driving along the western side of Hokkaido, the coastal road offers you a view of Mt. Rishiri for an hour or two. This Mt. Fuji clone is the result of an underwater volcano whose cone now rises 5,640 feet out of the water. The scenery is wilder than on Rebun, and though it's a larger island, Rishiri has fewer inhabitants. The rugged terrain makes it harder to support life and warrants hardier climbing. The intermediate Kutsugata Course (four hours for the fittest hikers) on the west side of the island takes you past patches of wildflowers—including the buttercup-like botan kimbai and the vibrant purple hakusan chidori—and numerous bird species. Cycling around the island is also an option (four hours of flat coastal road if the weather is not too windy).

Updated: 09-20-2013

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