“Rider Houses”

There is one other major type of budget (or rather ultra-budget) accommodation that can be recommended for people traveling to Hokkaido: the "Rider House." This is virtually an only-in-Hokkaido institution and consists of no-frills, ultra-cheap accommodations (often just simple sheds) that function as bare-bones crash pads for roving motorcyclists during Hokkaido's brief summer. You get a board to sleep on and maybe a blanket, and that's about it; usually no meals are available, and the houses are often WAY out in the boonies (that’s the point). Luckily, prices are unbelievably cheap - one female rider I met in Hokkaido said that a rider house had charged her 600 yen, not for one night but for any amount of nights - the entire duration of her stay. Many appear to be operated by motorcyclists or ex-riders who want to help others have as much fun as they do or did. Bicyclists seem to be quite welcome at these places, so keep them in mind as an option. Rider Houses spring up like wildflowers during the warm months and then vanish as soon as the weather gets cold. The "Mapple Touring" guides for motorcycle riders list at least some of the "Rider Houses" right on the touring maps (so get a current one). On the net, check out the RideIn.com site:


Click on the second item in the top group of menu items in the menu on the left-hand side of the screen. This will bring up another window; click the third item in the center of the window. This will bring up a map showing general areas ("Arias") of Hokkaido; clicking on an area brings up not a more detailed map (alas) but a table in Japanese showing addresses, telephone numbers, fees and even check-in times and the dates that the house is open.

Otherwise, ask around and/or look for signs that say:

For other reference materials that you may find useful in route planning, see RESOURCES.