Wakkanai Sight-Seeing Association etc. launch "bicycle trip" service
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, cycling tourism has been growing in popularity as a leisure activity that does not incorporate “crowded, closed spaces”. And in the Northern Hokkaido city of Wakkanai as well, tourism organizations and community associations are expanding into tourism services that utilize bicycles. Travel packages that combine cycling at the “northernmost tip of Japan” and the grand, scenic panoramas of Mt. Rishiri with promotions for using the Soya railway line are being offered in an attempt to expand usage.
On June 15, the Wakkanai Sight-Seeing Association began issuing the “Certificate of Completing the Northernmost Tip” to people who cycle the 32 kilometer stretch between Wakkanai Station and Cape Soya using rental bicycles supplied by the Association.
The certificate is 15 cm long and 10 cm wide, and includes a Wakkanai landscape map and the Wakkanai mascot “Dashinosuke”. The date of course completion is stamped on it when issued. The Association reported that it has issued a total of 71 certificates as of August 23, mainly to individual tourists from places outside of Hokkaido such as Tokyo, Saitama, and Hyogo.
The Association is excited about, “using the strength of a certificate that can only be attained at the ‘northernmost tip’ of Wakkanai to increase the amount of tourists.” Bicycle rental is available from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The fee is 3,000 yen per day for an electric assist bicycle and 2,000 yen per day for a cross bike. Hourly rental fees are also available.
In another approach, in May the Bakkai Community Association started a paid rental bicycle service for cycling amidst a bountiful natural backdrop while enjoying the view of Mt. Rishiri. They are renting the bicycles to train passengers to promote usage for the JR Soya Line. The dedicated reservation website offers five plans, including plans for departing from and arriving at JR Bakkai Station.
The Bakkai Community Association is promoting the project, “We want people to enjoy cycling while experiencing the bountiful nature of Soya and the gentle breeze of Bakkai.” The dedicated reservation website address is https://reserva.be/bakkaistation (in Japanese only).
JR Bakkai Station
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