Sunday 23 October 2022

Part 5: Tomakomai to New Chitose

To Sapporo, Here I come.

The night was fine and warm as I descend from the Sliver ferry and rode off. It was raining 3 hours earlier while we were sailing past the tip of Aomori but for now, the rain has stopped and the night was perfect. Hokkaido's weather is unique from the rest of Japan. It is usually cold on summer nights. However, tonight was just perfect for cycling.

Before I started this trip. I planned to continue cycling to Chitose city when I get off the ferry at Tomakomai. Chitose city is between Tomokamo city and Sapporo city. In fact,  its 28 km northeast of Tomakomai and 45km southeast of Sapporo. To get to Chitose city I have to cycle for at least 25km through the New Chitose airport. 

New Chitose airport is the main airport for the Hokkaido area. I remembered 2019 when I first landed at New Chitose airport. I was taken aback by the unique designs of the airport and the environment around the airport.

To get to New Chitose I have to take route 36. Route 36 starts at Hokudai and goes to Sapporo city. So, I followed the port road out of Tomakaomai port and crossed onto route 36. Then I took route 36 northbound.

While halfway through my cycling it started raining.  I took a shortcut to avoid the heavy traffic on route 36 due to the rain. The shortcut took me through the back of New Chitose airport before backing onto route 36.

I went through forested areas and it was dark. I have to use two flashlights to cycle. There were fewer cars on that road and less number of houses, too.

I continue cycling on that route for almost 2 hours before I saw a sign board that say. Go straight is Sapporo, Turn left is New Chitose airport.  

I  took the left and headed for Chitose city station. This time I crossed into a route that is a little busy. Big trucks were driving past me at high speed. Most main highways in Japan are very spacious. 

Unlike in Papua New Guinea where the main highways are only built for cars and trucks, and if you are on the highway by foot or bike, your chances of getting run over are 80%. In Japan, the road is designed well to accommodate pedestrians, cyclists, animals, and even roadside emergency stops or parking.

Anywhere, it was still raining. But at this point, I did not care about the rain anymore. My excitement about getting to Sapporo is overwhelming. So, I  cycled with all the power I I have. I have to reach New Chitose station in time for the last train.


                                          New Chitose station entrance 

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