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…

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…

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 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…

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 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…