Finding Dreamland

Nara  As an ancient capital, the city of Nara is far from an intimidating place; with a population of little over 360,000, the city is relatively small by Japanese standards. It was designed in a similar fashion to many a Chinese city; in a grid layout making it easily navigable by foot or bicycle. Naturally,…

Up & Over – Osaka to Nara (The Hard Way)

Osaka – Nara 29 miles The day saw me needing to traverse just 30 miles east to Nara City; a piece of piss I’d initially imagined. I couldn’t have been more naïve. Now don’t get me wrong, I would have rathered the day’s physical self-destruction, as opposed to the likes of what happened on the…

Osaka: The Nation’s Kitchen

Kyoto – Osaka 38 miles I awoke with the map book on my face and half a can of muggy beer by my side. I sat up and cracked my head-on the ceiling, forgetting that I was in a capsule bunk. Capsule hotels are commonplace in Japan, especially in the bigger cities where during the…

Bridge to Heaven

Iwai – Miyazu 79 miles Passing through the mountains, I revisited both Hyogo and Kyoto Prefecture’s. The sun sat low in the sky first thing; advantageously out of my eyes and guarded by the towering mountain chain before me. I passed several tunnels, some nearly 4,000 metres in length and, like all things tunnel-orientated, some…

Welcome to Shimane, 47th Most famous Prefecture

Yunotsu – Yonago 82 miles The temperature was dropping now, little by little, on a nightly basis, yet at 12°C it was still more than comfortable. Rising at 05:30am, I was packed up and ready to go by 05:45am, I had this tour cycling lark down to a T now… The other cyclist was still…

Stinkymon Goes to Onsen Town

As nightfall approached, any preconceptions about being stuck in the mountains after dark, were countered by finding the remote, backwater onsen town of Yunotsu. Up until the 17th Century, Yunotsu was used as a port to transfer silver, harvested from one of the country’s biggest mines, the Iwami Ginzan. The tradies used the town as…

The Monkey Rock of Yamaguchi

Hagi – Yunotsu 92 miles I don’t know what to do about my stupidity sometimes; it is hard to shake off. Heading north out of Hagi along the cracked asphalt road – that was sufficiently spurned by vegetation – spiders floated weightlessly on the breeze, annoyingly entwining themselves across my face and handlebars. As I…