The Split Rim of Hiroshima

Onomichi – Hiroshima 65 miles The day was uncomfortably muggy as I took the coastal road west to Hiroshima. The roads heavily congested bore me a number of issues. Punctures today came like buses, I received two simultaneously. I would also notice that the rear tyre had some wobble to it. Finding an inch of…

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…

Typhoon Cycling and Other Jilted Memoirs…Part 1

Kochi – Matsuyama 89 miles No longer considered a typhoon, but still an unprecedented threat, ‘Severe Tropical Storm Nakri’ – as it would become known – was bang on course for Shikoku. According to the Japanese Meteorological Agency, it could well be with me by lunchtime. This would lead to a change of plan, as…

The Typhoon and the Manga Café

Ikumi – Kochi 84 miles Over breakfast, Satoshi informed me that I should be on my guard as there might be a typhoon making landfall over the next couple of days. Kochi is completely exposed to the Pacific Ocean and is often prone to the full brunt of typhoons. And on this morning – with…

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…

The Beginning of a Nonartistic Far East Meltdown

Naoshima  At Miyanoura Port I was greeted by a massive artificial red pumpkin. The 12ft-tall larger than life incarnation of the popular cultivar, was modelled by Yayoi Kusama. This was to be the first of a plethora of public art installations that I’d see. Various artists from across the globe found themselves indulging in the…

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…