Punctures, Pornhubs and Tentacles

Hirosaki – Futatsui

63 miles


Along with boasting about having the most beautiful women in Japan, Akita also brags about consuming the highest quantity of sake in the country; I wondered if the two stats correlated? Unfortunately, as much as the sake fan that I am, I just didn’t quite have the time to carry out the research myself; for I had my first puncture to attend to. No sooner had I crossed the border into Akita Prefecture, along the mangy Route 7 – complete with its contingent of nails, scrap metal and jagged rubble – had I heard a sudden ‘pop’. Descending a hill, I looked down at my rear tyre as panicked air gushed forth. I stopped to inspect the situation. The tyre’s tread by this stage had become somewhat mortified and would need replacing soon, yet the main harbinger of doom was a big fat rusty nail embedded deep into the rubber. I plucked it out and the tyre let out an exhaustive hiss before becoming completely flat. Surprisingly however I wasn’t angry, I had just traversed some 2,559 miles and had only just received my first puncture, I couldn’t argue with those stats. After patching up the inner tube, I raised a greasy hand of fizzy carrot juice to 2,559 more uninterrupted miles.

I continued along the depressing Route 7, through a daunting section of tunnels and steadfast hills, over which the Akitan drivers seemed to pride themselves on getting as close to me as physically possible. An elderly gentleman at one point pulled straight out on me at an intersection, missing me by the narrowest of margins. I gave him a mouthful of my finest English, which no doubt fell upon deaf ears; yet my hand gestures I’m certain were more than efficient in conveying my emotions. It was only when I saw where the gentlemen had just come from that I realised why the dirty old bastard was in such an eager hurry to get away. Settled amongst the rolling hills, the vivid waterways and alpine forests, was an ominous corrugated shack, a half-draped curtain for a doorway and a small sign advertising DVD’s.


‘Oh, the perfect spot to pick up a copy of Miyazaki’s Spirited Away,’ I thought to myself.

Actually no… I didn’t think that at all. I knew damn well what to expect as I parked up my bike, becoming suddenly overwhelmed by a kind of sleazy curiosity. Like the rest of the perverts I would look over my shoulder for prying eyes before entering the shack. Inside it was dark and musky, the only seedy light available coming from the four caged vending machines that all sat adjacent one another. The machines were plied with more sexual content than you could shake your Aunties big black dildo at. There were an array of DVD’s with various depictions of young girls losing their clothing, along with blow-up dolls, lubricant, portable vaginas and other miscellaneous sex toys. Littering the floor afoot the vending machines were a number discarded boxes and ominous plastic bags, I decided not to pry any further. The vicinity stunk of sexual deprivation and I was suddenly quite eager to return to the far less promiscuous Route 7 to catch up with some more classic near death experiences.

At around 6 in the evening I’d made it to Futatsui, a quiet little town perched alongside the gentle flowing waters of the Yoneshiro River. I knew that I’d be spending the night here, so I found a spot just off a walking path which ran parallel to the river. There I pitched my tent, before feasting on some lukewarm soba noodles and battered octopus tentacles. I fell asleep a short while later to a strangely soothing orgy of frog song.

‘Tokyo to Tokyo – A Cycling Adventure around Japan.’

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Enjoy the ride.



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