Journey to Sata – Act I

Miyakonojo – Kagoshima 52 miles It was a steady rise up into the Kirishima mountain range, away from Miyakonojo, where I would shortly cross into Kagoshima Prefecture. Gliding down toward Kagoshima Bay, which nuzzles itself in between the prefecture’s two peninsulas of Satsuma and Ōsumi – I saw the symbol of Kagoshima filling a triumphant…

The Puncture King of Miyazaki

Miyazaki – Miyakonojo 53 miles Regardless of the Japanese public’s diminishing attraction to Miyazaki, it’s most famed prize of past and present, is Aoshima to the city’s south. A small island measuring no more than 11 acres, it is surrounded in a delicate white sandy beach and interior jungle, which attracts a bulk of the…

The Legend of Pokémon Yellow

Kamae Oaza Kusumotoura – Miyazaki 91 miles A couple of trucks arrived late and left their noisy engines running, whilst a parade of drunk girls stumbled about in the car park, screaming and shouting, seemingly in search of some trucker cock. At around 4am, a man was outside my tent, chucking his guts up, it…

The Mountains, Yakisoba and the Hangover

Beppu – Kamae Oaza Kusumotoura 81 miles It had rained during the night, the ground still wet, stripping the atmosphere of its humidity. A temporary affair however, as by lunchtime the climes had scaled back up into the 30’s and I was beginning to feel quite sick. The previous night’s alcohol consumption clearly had not…

Meeting the Locals of Miyajima

Hiroshima – Shunan 74 miles Typhoon Halong, which I had been bracing myself for, never made it to Hiroshima, a front of heavy rain passed, but a brunt of the storm passing up through Kyūshū and Shikoku, wound up heading east – colliding heavily with the Kii Peninsula where it would cause widespread damage to…

The Shimanami Kaidō

Matsuyama – Onomichi 72 Miles Matsuyama was a breath of fresh air, when compared to the other three capital cities of Shikoku. The largest of the island’s cities with over 500,000 inhabitants, it’s a city beautified with an abundance of green space, pilgrimage temples, a steep hilltop castle and the rather special Dōgo Onsen. The…

Typhoon Cycling and Other Jilted Memoirs…Part 2

The path wound on and on for what felt like hours and I was certain now that I’d completely lost Route 18 altogether. My imagination began to wander. Perhaps I’d stumbled into a time vortex along an old and mysterious samurai trading route of the Edo Period. Would I lose my head to the blade…

The Warm Shower of Kochi

Tokushima – Ikumi 65 miles I slept well in Miguel’s air-conditioned apartment; recuperating handsomely from the previous night’s lost sleep. Having a late’ish lie in, I left Tokushima at around 8am. By 8:10am, the furnace of the sun had reduced me to nothing more than a fleshy puddle of sweat. An hour or so later,…

Debating a Pilgrimage…

 Tokushima With the ocean over my left shoulder and the bulk of Tokushima’s 80% mountainous land mass to my right, I was all set for some steady progress. Shots of caffeine at regular intervals played a crucial part in allowing me to attain full consciousness at the helms. Without this most perfect drug I would…

The End of a Nonartistic Far East Meltdown

Takamatsu – Tokushima 50 miles ‘WWWWWEEEEEEEEEEIIIIIIIAAAAAA!!!!’ another mosquito whizzed past my ear. ‘Right that’s it!’ I proclaimed. I’d had enough, I looked at my watch, 3:30am. But it didn’t matter, I was packing up camp, regardless; exhausted, angry and disgustingly sweaty. I cycled a short way in the darkness, before deciding that it might be…