Journey to Sata Act II

Kagoshima – Minamiosumi 35 miles I trailed southerly alongside the shores of Kagoshima Bay, its lilac blue waters as calm as a grave. Reaching the tourist resort of Ibusuki, I would round Mt. Uomidake, its cliffs rising abruptly from the road side. The sun shone so brightly that I could barely look up towards its…

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 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…

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…

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…

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 White Heron of Himeji

Kobe – Himeji 52 miles By the time I’d readied my bike for the day, I was already a sweaty wreck; the dial again well on its way to another 37°C scorcher. Racing out of central Kobe toward the suburbs, I found the coast of the Seto Inland Sea, a predominately caged in body of…

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…