Wake, a little stiff from yesterday’s hike, on the cold, grey morning we leave Rebun Island. We must catch a bus at noon, in front of our hotel, in order to make the 1.25 pm. ferry that goes by way of Rishiri. The morning, is ours to fill.
Kushuko Hiking Course
Consequently, we opt to walk around Lake Kushu, the Kushuko Course (4.2km). This walk is very gentle and, as it follows the lake closely, has no inclines to test your aching limbs. It is a pleasant, if unremarkable walk, following a mown grass trail along the lakeside and through an area of marsh and reeds. This section is alive with birdsong though we rarely see any birds.
The latter part of the walk comes out onto the road and follows it back into the village. At this point, we head down to the beach. This beach is a mass of shells. In some places you are walking on layers of shells – no sand, just shells. Many of these shells have perfect circular holes in them about 5mm. diameter.
These holes, I believe, are drilled by a predatory snail. Once the snail has bored through the shell it sucks out the unfortunate shellfish.
Rebun to Wakkanai via Rishiri
From the beach, we pick up our bags and catch the bus back to Kafuka ferry Port. The fare is 960 yen. After grabbing some lunch, we board the Heart Land ferry.
The wind has picked up and it has become very cold. Sitting outside on deck is not very comfortable and we endure only as far as Rishiri before heading inside. The views of Rishiri are superb. A jagged Fuji soaring out of the ocean, its peak wreathed in it’s self-created cloud.
Once back in Wakkanai, we consider driving out to another michi no eki. In the end it seems a little late in the day and we opt to stay in Wakkanai.
It will be a long, cold, windswept trek to the toilet in the early hours.
The author is a long term resident of Japan who has and continues to travel the country extensively. Avoiding highways where possible, the author has driven from Kagoshima in Kyushu to Wakanai in Hokkaido covering 20,000 plus kilometres and counting.