Hi JJ, I was stationed in Wakkanai from 67 to 69. Wakkanai has changed since 1972, no more America base. Now there are quite a few Russians in Wakkanai, makes it more intersting. You have the best reason to bike tour in Hokkaido. Yes you have put your bike in a bag to take it on the trains, no baggage cars. You have to take the wheels off or have a folding bike. The island of Hokkaido is probably the best place to tour in Japan, more open roads and less traffic. The cheapest places to stay are Rider Houses. These are for motorcyclists, but don't mind bicyclists. I rode by myself. I don't speak Japanese very well, but was able to get by. Actually lots of fun, kind of like "Lost in Translation". I flew from Seattle to Osaka and then flew to Sapporo, with no problems with my bike in a box. "Ganbatte"(do your best in Japanese, which you hear a lot as you meet people). "Ja mata"(bye for now).
This message was edited by keith on 1-29-04 @ 5:26 PM