Clammy in Kyoto

Kyoto I would awake with a hangover. Kyoto was only my second prolonged stop since Hokkaidō, some three months previously, and it acted as the perfect excuse for an absolute skinful. Arising out of bed, yawning like a barbarian and then groaning like a zombie, I stumbled from my hotel room and out onto a…

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…

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…

One Thousand Rice Paddies

Mitsukejima – Kanazawa 111 miles I’d managed to survive the night without being coerced into any deep crevices; in fact, as I left surrounded by a spooky sea mist, I could hear my camping neighbour snoring contentedly. If I wasn’t so eager to push on, then I may well have been jealous of his sleeping…

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…

The Japanese Alps – Part 3

Norikura Kougen – Takayama 37 miles Up and away by 06:30am the skies were dreary; contrary to the weather forecast. The climb was slow and steady and a number of race cycling enthusiasts passed me en route to the summit. Each wished me good luck as they went by, some would comment upon my heavy…

Dawn of the Alps – Part I

Joetsu – Yudanaka 50 miles Nine of the twelve highest mountains in Japan can be found in Nagano; a fact alone that was enough to make me break out in a cold sweat, and this was before a hearty old man with the essence of doom paid me a visit whilst I was packing up…

Record Breaker

  Mt. Osore – Aomori 78 miles I awoke early as usual, in sync with daybreak, slightly surprised to have fallen asleep to the sound of desperately hungry bugs. Yet, as I emerged from my tent, all was still; the heathen swarms having dissipated back into the depths from whence they had came. A thick…

The Remote Part

Hakodate – Mt. Osore 38 miles It was a short 90-minute ferry ride from Hakodate to Ōma, a small town upon the tip of the axe-shaped peninsula of Shimokita. Ōma is famed for having some of the most delectable and pricey tuna in Japan, an abundance which can commonly be found in Tokyo’s rampant Tsukiji Market….