Up & Over – Osaka to Nara (The Hard Way)

Osaka – Nara 29 miles The day saw me needing to traverse just 30 miles east to Nara City; a piece of piss I’d initially imagined. I couldn’t have been more naïve. Now don’t get me wrong, I would have rathered the day’s physical self-destruction, as opposed to the likes of what happened on the…

Osaka: The Nation’s Kitchen

Kyoto – Osaka 38 miles I awoke with the map book on my face and half a can of muggy beer by my side. I sat up and cracked my head-on the ceiling, forgetting that I was in a capsule bunk. Capsule hotels are commonplace in Japan, especially in the bigger cities where during the…

Kyoto: The Return

Miyazu – Kyoto 80 miles I‘d spend the night in an official and free camping ground alongside Miyazu Bay. I slept well, which was important as I knew from looking at the map that the journey south towards Osaka was going to be a mountainous trudge. In fact, my day began vertically, as no sooner…

The Dunes of Tottori

Yonago – Iwai 81 miles A cackle of crows woke me from my slumber. It was barely light outside as I exited my tent to see an old man doing some stretches,  just five metres away from me. We acknowledged one another with a mutual nod. Once I’d packed up, he came over to me…

Welcome to Shimane, 47th Most famous Prefecture

Yunotsu – Yonago 82 miles The temperature was dropping now, little by little, on a nightly basis, yet at 12°C it was still more than comfortable. Rising at 05:30am, I was packed up and ready to go by 05:45am, I had this tour cycling lark down to a T now… The other cyclist was still…

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…

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…