Northern Hokkaido: Rebun Island – Cape Sukai, Kafuka Restaurant [Trip Day 4.0] 礼文島・澄海岬・海鮮処かふか

  Trip itinerary and map

Yesterday we didn’t complete the “Roam the capes” trail, so we planned to finish the business in the morning to visit Cape Sukai (澄海岬).

Some shells we picked up on the beach yesterday evening – the area is known for having these shells with hole (穴開き貝). The hole is the work of other predatory shellfish, which bore through the shell of their prey using a combination of acid and teeth.

Breakfast at Hotel Rebunso (ホテル礼文荘).

Japanese-style tatami room.

Lobby / sitting room.

Today we’d also be changing accommodation to Pension Uni (ペンションう~に~) at Kafuka Port. Last night we discussed our plans with both the staff at both places. They arranged to sent our bags over, while we complete the hike to Cape Sukai; and then in the afternoon, someone would give us a ride to the trail head of the next hike we had planned to do, on the south of the island. That’s a great help for travellers like us without a car.

So we left our bags and headed out…

Although the staff at Rebunso had told us we could see seals (アザラシ) at the beach, we didn’t spot any yesterday. But during dinner last night, some other guests gave us the evidence – photos of seals in the sea, taken with their big camera with telescopic lens. So actually the seals were there, somewhere out in the sea, instead of lying about on the beach as I thought they would as typically seen in an aquarium.

So first of all, we went to the beach again in hope of seeing some in the sea.

We definitely heard some seal-like barking sound; but with our weak cameras and lacking a pair of binoculars, we still couldn’t see much apart from some dark dots far out in the sea, which we presumed could be seals.

After giving up seal-spotting, we walked back the same way to where we finished our hike yesterday.

Weather forecast wasn’t promising today, with dark clouds looming. Hopefully we could finish the walk while we still had some blue sky.

Cape Sukai (澄海岬)

Approaching Cape Sukai. It’s one of the main sight-seeing spots of Rebun Island, often featured in promotional posters. As such a popular spot, it’s accessible by a new and wide road.

“Sukai” literally means “clear sea”.  Not hard to see why!

Further up for the observation platform.

Clear blue sea. It definitely helped to have some sunshine too.

At least two tour buses full of people came and go while we were here. But while they could only stay for a few minutes, we could wait until every one was gone.

That’s all for Cape Sukai. We walked all the way back to Funadomari – now for the 4th times on this stretch of road!

Kushuko Lake (久種湖)

Kushuko Lake is right opposite Hotel Rebunso, but we hadn’t had a chance to visit there so far. It’s another “northernmost” – the northernmost lake in Japan.

There’s still some time before the bus to Kafuka Port arrives, so we took a quick look.

A large camping group next to Kushuko Lake. There’s also a hiking trail that runs around the lake.

Bus to Kafuka. It’s a 40 minute ride.

Kafuka Seafood Restaurant (海鮮処かふか)

Entrance to restaurant Kafuka (same name as the town). For lunch, we wanted try out the famous dish “Hokke Jan Jan Yaki” (ほっけじゃんじゃん焼き) – a kind of local fish similar to mackerel, grilled with miso sauce. Allegedly this restaurant is the first place to come up with this dish.

Grilling with miso sauce and lots of spring onion.

As the fish was getting cooked, the staff scraped out the cooked flesh and served to us directly. It’s great to eat like this as it never got cold, and the miso sauce was delicious with rice!

And finally with the fish skin grilled to a crisp, the staff cut it up and we ate them like potato crisps!

Of course sea urchin also couldn’t be missed while in Rebun… we ordered one to have half of it raw and half of it grilled. The staff was cracking open a live sea urchin right there…

Its spines were still moving while on the grill!

And the raw half – spines also moving!

A tank in the restaurant full of sea urchins.