Nagasaki

Isahaya – Nagasaki 23 miles The ride into Nagasaki from Isahaya was short; climbing over the mountains to the east I would descend down into the heart of the city for breakfast. It’s a city that rarely needs an introduction, being only the second ever city in history to face nuclear demolition. At 11:02 local…

Back on the Ol’ Two-Wheeled Wagon

Kagoshima – Minamata 76 miles The alcohol shakes had just about subsided upon disembarkation at the Kagoshima ferry terminal. It was now time for a more straight edge approach as I headed north-westerly out of the city and along the lugubrious Route 3, towards Kumamoto Prefecture. The drivers of Kyūshū back to their old tricks…

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…

Yakushima: Land of the Giants

Yakushima 28 miles As my ferry from Kagoshima approached the Miyanoura harbour, I was greeted by some unusually clear skies, for in this part of the world – the locals will often joke – it rains 35 days of the month. The island’s topography consists of a wild and rugged interior, dominated by a number…

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 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 Bloody Hells of Beppu

 Shunan – Beppu 57 miles The early morning ferry across to Kyūshū was a bit of a bruiser: rustic, noisy and completely battered. Only myself and a small handful of other fellow humans would be risking passage to Oita Prefecture’s Kunisaki Peninsula – a remote area of farmland stemming down from the foothills of Mt….

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…

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…