Rishiri & Rebun

Enjoy cycling and trekking on two remote islands in japan‘s far north

Rishiri and Rebun, two small islands off Hokkaido’s northernmost point, offer a unique and breathtaking experience for nature lovers. These islands, often described as something out of a fantasy novel, boast sweeping coastal views, diverse landscapes, wildflowers, quaint fishing villages, and minimal signs of civilization. With hiking trails of varying difficulty levels and cycling routes that allow you to take in the beauty of these islands, Rishiri and Rebun provide the perfect opportunity for adventure and exploration. Additionally, the abundance of fresh seafood adds to the charm of these islands, making it an unforgettable island experience.

Don’t Miss

One of the highlights of visiting Rishiri Island is the view from the summit of Mt. Rishiri. This mountain, often referred to as Rishiri-Fuji due to its resemblance to Mt. Fuji, offers a 360-degree panoramic view of the island’s wetlands, forests, and even neighboring Rebun Island and Russia’s Sakhalin Island. The best time to climb Mt. Rishiri is from late June to early October, with a festival marking the start of the climbing season in July.

On Rebun Island, make sure to visit the Momoiwa Observation Deck, which provides stunning views of the island’s surroundings. The deck overlooks the picturesque landscapes and is the perfect spot to appreciate the beauty of the islands. Another must-try experience is sampling the fresh sea urchin and seaweed taken right from the local waters. These delicacies are a true treat for seafood enthusiasts.

How to Get There

To reach Rishiri and Rebun islands, you can take a direct flight from Tokyo’s Haneda Airport or Sapporo’s New Chitose Airport to Wakkanai Airport, which serves as the main access point for both islands. From Wakkanai, a ferry ride of less than two hours will take you to either Rishiri or Rebun Island. Alternatively, you can take a direct flight from Sapporo’s Okadama Airport to Rishiri Island in just one hour. For those who want to explore both islands in a day, there are ferries that connect the two islands in a 45-minute journey each way.

Quick Facts

There are two to three ferries per day, depending on the season. If you plan to bring a car, motorbike, or bike, it is recommended to reserve a car berth at least a day in advance. Reservations can be made up to two months before departure.

Another peak in Mt. Fuji’s image

Mt. Rishiri, also known as Rishiri-Fuji, is a majestic mountain that offers a unique hiking experience. Its resemblance to Mt. Fuji has earned it the nickname “Another peak in Mt. Fuji’s image.” From the summit of Mt. Rishiri, hikers can enjoy a 360-degree panoramic view of the island’s wetlands, forests, and even neighboring Rebun Island and Russia’s Sakhalin Island. The best time to climb Mt. Rishiri is from late June to early October, and there are several climbing routes available for adventurers. It is important to note that climbing Mt. Rishiri requires a good level of fitness and preparation.

Enjoy seasonal floral magic

Rishiri Island is a year-round beauty, with each season showcasing its unique charm. The island is home to several alpine plants that can only be found on Mt. Rishiri. In spring, the blossoming skunk cabbage flowers signal the arrival of the season. Colorful flowers bloom in the summer, creating a vibrant and picturesque landscape. In autumn, the leaves change color, covering the island in a blanket of red, orange, and yellow hues. Winter transforms Rishiri into a snowy wonderland, adding a touch of magic to the island’s already enchanting scenery.

Cycling around the island

One of the best ways to explore Rishiri Island is by renting a bicycle and following the dedicated 25-kilometer cycling road. This road takes you through the island’s forests, allowing you to immerse yourself in nature’s beauty. Along the way, you can make stops to explore the forested areas or even set up camp for a unique outdoor experience. Cycling around the island provides a sense of freedom and allows you to appreciate the island’s tranquility and untouched landscapes.

The charms of the other isle

Rebun Island, although smaller in size, offers its own set of charms and natural wonders. The island is home to approximately 300 varieties of alpine plants, which grow wild even at sea level. This abundance of flora has earned Rebun the nickname “Floating Island of Flowers.” The peak flowering season is from May to August, during which the island is transformed into a colorful paradise. Taking a stroll through the blooming flowers is a calming and exhilarating experience. Cape Sukoton, located at the northernmost point of the island, showcases a different side of Rebun with its rough and eroded coastline. The crags of Cape Gorota also offer a unique and picturesque view of the island.

Here’s where to look

For the best sightseeing experience on Rebun Island, a visit to the Momoiwa Observation Deck is a must. From this deck, you can enjoy panoramic views of the island’s landscapes, surrounded by beautiful flowers. One of the highlights of the observation deck is the view of Mt. Rishiri, which adds to the already breathtaking scenery. Another recommended spot is Cape Kanedano, where you can spot seals basking in the sun during the summer and early winter months. Rebun Island’s natural beauty is best appreciated by exploring its numerous trekking courses and sightseeing points, which are almost perfectly surrounded by flowers.

A note about the weather

When planning your visit to Rishiri and Rebun islands, it is essential to consider the weather conditions. Charming flowers can be enjoyed from late April to mid-September, with the peak tourist season being July to August. However, it is important to note that from November to February, the islands experience strong seasonal winds and freezing temperatures, with average temperatures dropping to around -7 degrees Celsius. During this period, ferry services may be suspended, and outdoor activities may be limited.

How long should I stay?

To fully experience the beauty and charm of both Rishiri and Rebun islands, it is recommended to stay for at least three days. This will allow you to explore the islands at a leisurely pace, indulge in hiking and cycling adventures, and truly immerse yourself in the natural wonders of these remote destinations. However, if you are short on time, it is still possible to see a lot of both islands in just a day by taking advantage of the sightseeing buses that follow the ferry schedule, making it convenient to explore the islands within a limited timeframe.

In conclusion, Rishiri and Rebun islands offer a unique and unforgettable experience for nature enthusiasts. From the panoramic views of Mt. Rishiri to the abundance of seasonal flowers, these islands are a paradise for those seeking adventure, tranquility, and natural beauty. Whether you choose to trek up the mountains, cycle around the islands, or simply take in the breathtaking landscapes, a visit to Rishiri and Rebun islands will leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.

Address And Maps Location:

Rishiri-gun, Hokkaido

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