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…

The Kingdom of the Peach Boy

Okayama – Naoshima 47 miles  The morning started slow; my solitary rear mud guard and brakes annoyingly chaffed my rear tyre as I headed west, out of Okayama. Love diminished fast for mud guards on this trip, yes they repelled a certain amount of water and random street guff, but at the same time when…

The Black Crow of Okayama

23.Okayama 岡山県  Himeji – Okayama 56 miles The sky today was overcast, blocking out the sun’s keen intensity. There was still an element of stickiness to the day but, with the sun in hiding, it made my surge fourth into Okayama Prefecture all the more durable. Rural life was becoming a common sight again, after…

The Keihanshin Jungle

Kyoto – Kobe 47 miles Plying the concrete jungles of the Keihanshin, the metropolitan region where Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe all meet, saw me exposed to a brutal 37°C heat. The sun beat down fiercely upon the road as its rays refracted upwards, giving a constant mirage effect. I found myself going through some 2…

The Angry Warden and the Japanese Garden

Kanazawa – Fukui 60 miles After coffee and a high five, I left Jimmy and Lei to their Japanese studying; something that I was struggling to find the time to do. I had been averaging anywhere between 60-100 miles a day in the saddle, so the very thought of sitting down to study Japanese at…

The Bastard of Noto

Toyama – Mitsukejima 98 miles The day would start like many a day on the road, by seeking out the nearest 7-Eleven. There, I would have a breakfast of noodles and gyōza, accompanied by two coffees whilst abusing the free Wi-Fi on offer and seeing how many Facebook friends had called me a ‘cock’ in…

Here comes a new challenger…

17. Toyama  Takayama – Toyama 64 miles The ride north to Toyama City saw me leave the Japanese Alps behind; it had been an intense week and I had been feeling a longing for the coast again. Toyama means ‘many mountains’ and it would certainly live up to its name; a riotous cluster of alpine…