All posts by phil

Tokyo (E)

The next day we had to leave Fuji-san behind and took the train back to Tokyo.
In July, when we were looking for bike cardboxes for the flight home, Nagatsuma-san from Ehicle agreed to put two boxes aside. Many thanks! We were suffering a little when she showed us around the shop, as we could only take two bikes home! So many nice Bike Fridays in one place! (Our visit on her blog)
Nothing seems impossible in Tokyo. But the Takkyubin maximum dimension (B+H+T < 158cm) made things a tiny bit less convenient for us as we had to move the boxes through the subway and trains. Daijoubu.

What an amazing time we had, ja-mata Japan!

Fujisan (E)

Since the hiking trails are officially closed we didn’t actually plan to climb Mt. Fuji.
As luck would have it we met Julian near Fujimi on his roadbike. He had climbed Fuji-san many times (along with countless other great mountains) and told us that it was the perfect time for climbing. Just the huts would be closed already, but climbing should be no problem at all, and the weather forecast was splendid. No wind!
He made me thinking – what a nice end of our tour! And so we changed our route.
From Kofu we took the train to Kawaguchiko, where we followed the Fuji Subaru Line by bike up to 2300m. Again we were lucky and one of the huts was open where we could enjoy a warm night and had enough water for the next day. Hence we were in good spirits when we got up at half past 3. Only during the first 40 minutes we were using our headlamps, and were soon greeted by the first rays of sunlight.
Even we haven’t seen it from the top, sunrise was terrific. The trail was fairly easy to climb too. But the air was getting thinner as we climbed higher and we were continously becoming slower until reaching the 3775m summit. The beautiful view and the great feeling was well worth the sore legs we got after a seemingless endless descent. (We never had sore muscles in the last 3 weeks, but nevertheless all it took was 8 hours of hiking…)

Thanks Julian for your convincing words!

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Hakuba – Kawaguchiko (E)

In Itoigawa we left the coastline behind and drove inland. After passing through numerous tunnels we arrived in Hakuba, a ski resort in Nagano prefecture which we had vistited already in 2015. Unfortunately weather hadn’t much improved, as it was again rainy with some strong wind at times. The following morning however, clouds were breaking up for a short moment and we could get a brief glimpse of Shirouma-Dake.
Starting from Fujimi (literally a place where one can see Mt. Fuji), we started to see it’s silhouette peaking through the mist. However that also meant we were getting closer to Tokyo. The cute Kei Cars (below 660cc) were suddenly gone, replaced by larger (often German) SUVs. And at the last campsite of our journey only two tent places were left! Normally were were either alone or had shared camp with few people, but that large campsite was packed with cars, tents, barbecues and people.

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Sakata – Itoigawa (E)

After a week of driving through the backcountry hills we decided to head to the west coast. Soon we reached Sakata, located in the Shonai plain where we enjoyed a visit of the Ken Domon Museum.
Despite the dangers (see gallery) we continued on the coastal roads heading to Niigata.
Like last time, Phil found interesting things along the road and couldn’t resist to pick up some of the stuff. That’s how suddenly his Bike Friday was loaded with two panniers and a TV.

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Yokote – Oyasukyo – Naruko (E)

The morning after camping at Tazawako it didn’t even take 5 minutes after we started to ride until it heavy rain forced us to to put our rain gear on. But with the same speed the rain hit us the clouds broke up again and weather became better every minute.
Continuing our ride south we first stayed at Yokote before heading in direction of Oyasukyo part of Kurikoma Quasi-National Park. Staying in the beautiful Tarobee Ryokan we enjoyed the 3 differen Onsen and the fabulous kaiseki dinner. With our bodies fully recovered, continuing on the forsaken backcountry roads in direction to Naruko Onsen was relaxed in every sense.

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