Japan Bike Trip #3 – Cycling Across Honshu (2017)

The plan for this trip was to travel
the length of Japan by bicycle. So far I’d cycled around Hokkaido and reached Cape Soya, the northernmost point of Japan. I then made my south, took a ferry to Honshu, and traveled through Tohoku,
arriving in Sendai in late October. From here I would cycle all the way down
to the South point of Japan but as I left Sendai there was a small problem. Okay so stayed in Sendai last night
with a guy from Warmshowers and unfortunately another typhoon’s coming, I’m going to have to find somewhere
to hide tonight but I don’t even know I spent one night in an internet cafe. This
might sound like a strange place to stay but in Japan it’s pretty normal. For a little over 2,000 yen I got a small booth for 12 hours. It’s not a bad option to stay dry,
catch up on sleep or football highlights. And there’s even a free drinks bar
included with soup and coffee. Okay, it’s pretty bad weather.
I’ve just checked out of the internet cafe. And I’ve about 35 kilometers to go. Yeah, I think it’s gonna rain all day
so I just have to go in the rain. I’m staying with a guy from Warmshowers. So I can get dried when I’m there and
tomorrow the weather should be good to go further. Just got to do it today. I’ve just been down to this foot onsen to relax a bit. Yeah, my host John is gonna finish work soon and he said he could show me around in his car. So, it a bit of a break from the bike. After taking photos we stopped for some leek soba and I was a little worried by
the snow on the way home. This was the second typhoon to slow me down so I planned a few long days to Tokyo. I figured I could do it in three days stopping halfway at Utsunomiya and visiting Nikko on day two. It’s coming up to 11pm and I’m cycling out to the campsite. it’s been probably the longest
day so far. I’ve cycled 150km or so. I know it’s gonna be a bit of a climb.
Hopefully should get there within about half an hour. It’ll be good to light down tonight. Okay that was the longest day I’ve ever had.
I cycled maybe more than 150km. I waited around in the city.
And then I’ve just arrived and got my tent set up. It must be between 11 and 11:30 at night. but it’s a perfect night for camping. Okay, gotta sleep. Okay and it’s morning and it’s pretty nice campsite. And I’m gonna head up to Nikko which is about 20km/25km. So I can just leave all my stuff here I think. It should be fine. And I’ll come back and
stay here again, so I’m taking it easy today. Pretty tired after yesterday though. It wasn’t the easy day I was expecting cycling a 70 kilometer round trip up into the mountains. It was weird because after seeing almost
no foreign tourists on this whole trip I arrived to this small mountain village
and it was packed. I didn’t really like the crowds or the tourist buses so I left and enjoyed the peaceful
downhill cycle back to the campsite It’s 5am and I’ve been sleeping for about
10 or 11 hours so might as well get up. So let’s get up and eat breakfast, pack down the tent in the dark, get away early and try and get to Tokyo. It’s about 6 a.m. and the mist is just
rising off the fields at sunrise unbelievable. I knew that Tokyo was a little more than
the halfway point of my trip, but it was November 7th when I was leaving. Since I didn’t have as much time as I would have liked I decided to follow Route 1 to Nagoya, which was too much of this and not enough of this. Okay here’s last night’s campsite. Just watching sunrise now. And just over there is Mt Fuji. It’s 60km to kyoto so even though it’s
9.00 at night I’m gonna just keep going for a bit. Until I find somewhere to camp. I thought this would be a quiet park but everyone’s out taking pictures of the castle. It was a pity that of the 60km I cycled along Lake Biwa 30km was in the dark, and 30km was in the rain the following morning. I’ve just got enough shelter from the rain. and it’s still raining pretty
heavily but I’m getting close to Kyoto. Okay, I just left Kyoto this morning And I’m headed back home. And I’m just seeing the
signs now. Tottori, route nine all the way! 159 km so I’ll probably get there tomorrow. Okay it’s a little before 6am, and I’m
just cooking breakfast on my stove here. I just camped here tonight and
yeah I’m looking forward to getting to Tottori. 140km or so. Okay that was a long climb up and I’m now up at a tunnel which is more than a kilometer long I wasn’t aware at the time but I was
being spied on okay it’s been 110 kilometers today and
I’m finally in Tottori! And I have another 25 to go to the city. I’ve got the sun setting just over there and I’m just getting into Tottori now. Although I’d left four months ago
Tottori still felt like home. and it was good to see my friends again. The plan was to stay here for a week
then continue to Kyushu. But as I’ll explain next time, leaving wasn’t easy