Here comes a new challenger…

17. Toyama  Takayama – Toyama 64 miles The ride north to Toyama City saw me leave the Japanese Alps behind; it had been an intense week and I had been feeling a longing for the coast again. Toyama means ‘many mountains’ and it would certainly live up to its name; a riotous cluster of alpine…

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…

Rice is Nice

Yunohama – Agano 85 miles Entering Niigata Prefecture meant that I was officially leaving Tōhoku, the north of Honshū behind, and saying a hearty ‘Hello’ to the Chūbu Region, Central Honshū. Niigata is a prefecture that prides itself on producing some of the best grades of rice in all of Japan, its output of rice…