Dawn of the Alps – Part II

Yudanaka – Kusatsu 31 miles Breakfast started with a brutal 10% incline which set the pace for the bulk of the day’s journeying, as I traversed Japan’s highest public road – amongst its abandoned summertime ski slopes. I wondered if I was insane to be lugging some 30kg of property up into the skies with…

Summer Time in Snow Country

Agano – Sado Island 41 miles The skies were clear first thing and the day was already well on its way to becoming hot. Instead of heading directly to Niigata, I took a bit of a detour further into the depths of the prefecture’s lush agricultural heartland. For a prefecture that prides itself on having…

The Nipples of Hirosaki

Aomori – Hirosaki 30 miles I’d riled up a nest of ants during the darkness of night, whilst slyly parking my tent in the grounds of the Aomori Prefecture Sports Park. Passing unnoticed through the compound’s gates, I’d found solace behind a small congregation of bushes in a blind spot from passing vehicles. Here I…

Tokyo to Tokyo: A Cycling Adventure Around Japan… OUT NOW!!!

Dear Reader, It’s been a bit of a slog over the past couple of years whereby it seemed that around every corner some sort of perverse trial or dicey tribulation lurked. Yet, being the kind of sick individual that I am of whom craves a challenge, with a mind slightly scuttled and a soul in…

Hokkaido Summer: Cosplay by the Lake

Lake Shikotsu – Oshamanbe 82 miles  A multitude of mountains paved the way for the 60-mile stretch between Lake Shikotsu and Lake Toya. With the comfort of clear skies, I made exceptional progress, my only concerns being the weekend drivers who drove by as if they had just been given a day pass to behave…

Hokkaido Summer: World Cup Karaoke Mountain Man

Sapporo – Lake Shikotsu 53 miles Between an 8-hour karaoke binge and England’s next World Cup match, I’d had very little time to rest. Normally, a 4am kick off would have been deemed an unheard of feat, yet I was still running on an excess of alcohol fumes and raring for England’s next humiliation to…

Hokkaido Summer: The Takikawa Midnight Sun

Takikawa – Furano 41 miles I awoke to the sound of a natural cuckoo clock, the skylark’s reeling also soon following suit from where he had left off the previous night. I was surprised by how well I’d slept on my first night back under the stars. Being broad daylight already the night had quite…

The Naritan Waiting Game – Part II

The rain came earlier than expected, and it really wanted me. I’d read it was due to kick off at around 8am, it was now 2am and I found myself getting wet. I’d not used my tent tonight as it wasn’t an option, I was encamped upon my sleeping map on the concrete base of…

Up the Boso

The park I had found to make my nest in for the night was ideal, but again the climes were not. By 4am I couldn’t bare the cold anymore and was up and about looking for a fast food outlet to bide some more time until sunrise. Again like in Chichibu I found a 24…

The Chichibu Test – III

It was inevitably one of the coldest nights of my life. At around 11pm I found myself a little spot on a baseball pitch. I camped up and it seemed mild enough before snuggling into my sleeping bag. The fact of the matter is I usually work up such a profound sweat setting up camp…