Cyclists “impressed” with views of Kamishihoro bridge arches from frozen Lake Nukabira
A monitor cycling tour on the frozen surface of Lake Nukabira was held for the first time in the town of Kamishihoro in the Tokachi region of eastern Hokkaido. Lake Nukabira is a special area of the Daisetsuzan National Park, where, in principle, vehicles are not allowed. However, the tour was held with permission from the Ministry of the Environment, which was received in February in anticipation of the demand for outdoor activities. The tour, which will be introduced in earnest next season, allows visitors to ride on the clear ice and view scenic spots, including the group of arches of a former National Railways bridge, during the severe winter season.
The monitor tour was co-organized by the NPO Higashi Taisetsu Nature Guide Centre and the town’s Tourism Association. The 4 km-long course crosses the lake to the famous ‘Taushubetsu River Bridge’ and back. Tours were held on February 24, March 3 and 10, with a total of 20 people taking part. The ‘fat bikes,’ equipped with wide tires, were prepared by the Centre.
The tour began on the remains of the former Shihoro Line before proceeding onto the lake, as the participants enjoyed the dynamic ride.
Kawada Mitsuru, the centre’s representative, guided the tour and explained about the ‘mushroom ice,’ a tree stump covered with ice. Upon arrival at the bridge, participants enthusiastically took pictures. Finally, the tour ended at the ‘Ice Bubble Café,’ a tent-type café by the lake, where participants warmed up with a cup of coffee while looking at bubbles of air trapped in the ice on the lake surface. A woman from Sapporo who participated in the event smiled as she said, “I was impressed by the magnificent nature. I want to come back again.”
Next season, tours will begin right after the lake has frozen over, when participants will be able to enjoy the thrill of riding on the clear ice. “We also hope to attract inbound visitors post COVID,” said Kawada.
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