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 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 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 Japanese Alps – Part 1

Ueda – Norikura Kougen 65 miles Judgement day pulled closer; apprehension and dread becoming a commonly frequent fixation of my latest dreams. All because of the Norikura Skyline, a road that scaled the roof of the Japanese Alps at some 2,715 metres, officially making it the highest road in Japan. But not the highest public…

Last Day in Exile

Sado Island – Joetsu 39 miles The rain would return as I cycled the southern half of Sado. Yet perhaps on this day it was a good thing as I’d long since forgotten the last time I’d actually taken a shower – or a bath. I’m not normally a stinky person, but when you can…

Robot Touching in Exile

Sado Island 77 miles An evening boat would take me to Sado, some 30 miles west off the coast of Niigata. I’d arrived in darkness and quickly found myself an unkempt stretch of coastal parkland to set up camp. Sado is a place with a morose history, and that’s even before you consider the slave…