Into the Neon

Tosu – Fukuoka 30 miles With a population of close to 1.5 million people, Fukuoka City is some 5 times larger than Saga City, making it not only the biggest city in Kyūshū but the 6th largest in the country. From Tosu it would take me just over an hour to reach downtown Fukuoka. The…

Sleepy Saga

Nagasaki – Tosu 96 miles Leaving Nagasaki, I cycled back on myself for a short time, as I headed north-easterly – returning to Isahaya momentarily before branching away toward the coast of the Ariake Sea. There, I meandered around the hazy foothills of Mt. Tara, passing through a number of laid back rural villages before…

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…

The Golfer Extraordinaire of Isahaya

The ferry across the Ariake Sea to Shimbara took about an hour, by design I was the last man on and the last man off the vessel. Mt. Unzen leered dauntingly over the city upon my arrival, as I prepped my bike for the road. I headed through the busy town’s high street and out…

Leaving Kumamon Country

Aso – Isahaya 68 miles The descent from Aso was dangerously dicey, and because I’m a ridiculous person, exciting. I blazed along the heaving Route 57, mere inches from self-destruction; the accelerating speed only adding to the intensity as I shot past trucks and slower road vehicles like a man possessed. Coming down from the…

Big Aso

Kumamoto – Aso 28 miles I didn’t quite get as much sleep as I’d intended. My heart palpitations were bothering me,  so I ended up surfing the Internet deep into the night. After which, I headed off into the mountains of the Aso Kujū National Park. I’d start out in the dark just before dawn,…

Origin of the Bear

Minamata – Kumamoto 63 miles It was a crimson dawn, just as beautiful as the previous night’s sunset. Layers of heat were already beginning to ripple off the surrounding mountains, as I ventured over to a 7-Eleven to carry out my morning ritual of causing absolute anarchy in the toilets. Without my iPhone now, I…

Back on the Ol’ Two-Wheeled Wagon

Kagoshima – Minamata 76 miles The alcohol shakes had just about subsided upon disembarkation at the Kagoshima ferry terminal. It was now time for a more straight edge approach as I headed north-westerly out of the city and along the lugubrious Route 3, towards Kumamoto Prefecture. The drivers of Kyūshū back to their old tricks…

Okinawa : History & Beer

Naha 66 Miles  My hostel in Naha was run down and grubby, carrying with it the feel of a random backpacker’s hostel plucked straight out of the back streets of somewhere in South East Asia. In fact, the city itself had a very different vibe to the Japanese mainland. Being one of the country’s poorest…

Okinawa : The Possibility of an Island

Okinawa Okinawa entailed the longest ferry ride of them all. Situated some 475 miles south-west of Kagoshima, I would have to endure a 25 hour journey to Naha, the prefecture’s capital. After buying my ticket at the Kagoshima ferry terminal, I stood and lingered next to my bicycle by the loading bay, watching the giant…