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…

The White Heron of Himeji

Kobe – Himeji 52 miles By the time I’d readied my bike for the day, I was already a sweaty wreck; the dial again well on its way to another 37°C scorcher. Racing out of central Kobe toward the suburbs, I found the coast of the Seto Inland Sea, a predominately caged in body of…

The Rave by the Lake : Aftermath

Nagahama – Kyoto 58 miles Boom, chicka-boom, chicka-boom… Come 7am and I was still wide awake. The same song continuously blasted away without remorse. I’d just experienced my first Japanese all-night rave and the Japanese themselves at their most unruly. On a plus note, I did manage to survive the night without getting my head…

The Rave by the Lake

Fukui – Nagahama 83 miles I awoke early to a selection of lurching footsteps, creeping around outside my tent. Fearing that I was about to get molested by the walking dead, I grabbed a pile of wits and chanced a sly glance through my tent’s involuntary secret peep hole. I was relieved to find that…

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…

The Japanese Alps – Part 2

I wouldn’t be the first Englishman to tackle Mt. Norikura, and certainly wouldn’t be the last. In 1878, a: professor, mining engineer, mountaineer, foreign advisor, writer, archaeologist, better man and fellow Englishman, William Gowland, became the first to summit Mt. Norikura. He noted then how the beautiful, multi-pinnacle terrain was reminiscent of the French Alps,…