Nagasaki

Isahaya – Nagasaki 23 miles The ride into Nagasaki from Isahaya was short; climbing over the mountains to the east I would descend down into the heart of the city for breakfast. It’s a city that rarely needs an introduction, being only the second ever city in history to face nuclear demolition. At 11:02 local…

The Golfer Extraordinaire of Isahaya

The ferry across the Ariake Sea to Shimbara took about an hour, by design I was the last man on and the last man off the vessel. Mt. Unzen leered dauntingly over the city upon my arrival, as I prepped my bike for the road. I headed through the busy town’s high street and out…

Big Aso

Kumamoto – Aso 28 miles I didn’t quite get as much sleep as I’d intended. My heart palpitations were bothering me,  so I ended up surfing the Internet deep into the night. After which, I headed off into the mountains of the Aso Kujū National Park. I’d start out in the dark just before dawn,…

Back on the Ol’ Two-Wheeled Wagon

Kagoshima – Minamata 76 miles The alcohol shakes had just about subsided upon disembarkation at the Kagoshima ferry terminal. It was now time for a more straight edge approach as I headed north-westerly out of the city and along the lugubrious Route 3, towards Kumamoto Prefecture. The drivers of Kyūshū back to their old tricks…

Okinawa : History & Beer

Naha 66 Miles  My hostel in Naha was run down and grubby, carrying with it the feel of a random backpacker’s hostel plucked straight out of the back streets of somewhere in South East Asia. In fact, the city itself had a very different vibe to the Japanese mainland. Being one of the country’s poorest…

Okinawa : The Possibility of an Island

Okinawa Okinawa entailed the longest ferry ride of them all. Situated some 475 miles south-west of Kagoshima, I would have to endure a 25 hour journey to Naha, the prefecture’s capital. After buying my ticket at the Kagoshima ferry terminal, I stood and lingered next to my bicycle by the loading bay, watching the giant…

Yakushima: Land of the Giants

Yakushima 28 miles As my ferry from Kagoshima approached the Miyanoura harbour, I was greeted by some unusually clear skies, for in this part of the world – the locals will often joke – it rains 35 days of the month. The island’s topography consists of a wild and rugged interior, dominated by a number…