Japan

Cycling the Highest Road in Japan: Norikura Pass

Planning a cycling trip is hard: you already know that almost nothing will go according to plan, and there are many uncertainties (earthquakes, typhoons, closed roads, technical failure…we’ve had all of it). But already before we started there was one big fat question mark hanging over the trip: will we be able to cycle Norikura Pass? Norikura Skyline Norikura Pass is Japan’s highest (paved) road with the saddle at 2716m, much higher than either of…

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Japan

Day 46-51: Through the Alps

Day 46: Sad Spaghetti We finally manage to leave Nikko. Although it was nice to have a day there, it just feels like we haven’t really been moving much the last few days. Not to worry though, we’re about to enter the Northern Alps and there will be plenty of challenging climbs, starting today! Out of Nikko we head straight towards a series of switchbacks going up to Lake Chuzenji, from where we will summit…

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Japan

Day 45: Unexpected extra rest day in Nikko

We have a small to-do list for today: find a post office to send home a package with souvenirs, find breakfast, look at some temples and, most important, find a bike shop because the emergency repair on my tire is not going to get us far. It is literally held together with duct tape. Breakfast and post office are no problem, post offices and konbinis are in nearly every town. A bike shop is also…

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Japan

Day 43-44: Onsen heaven + bike issues

We try to stretch our budget as much as we can, but some things just have to be experienced (and thus paid for) when touristing in another country. For Japan that would be enjoying a Ryokan, a traditional accomodation with meals and usually hot springs included. If we’re gonna splurge we want to do it right, so we found one of the most remote ryokan in Japan that we happened to be someehat nearby. To…

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Japan

Day 32-35: Typhoon hideout / City life

After the rain dumped on us at Lake Towada we have exactly one day of good weather to enjoy before another typhoon will hit Japan. We could have known (we did) because it is typhoon season after all, but it sure seems like there are more typhoons than usual this year. In any case, we keep an eye on the weather forecast and typhoon predictions, which range from ‘just bad weather’ to ‘a fucking shitshow’…

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Japan

Lake Towada

From Yokohama we continue South on the coastal road towards Towada. We didn’t initially plan to take this road, instead we would cross the peninsula and ride the Pacific coast, but the weather forecast wasn’t looking great, we both wanted a rest day, and there wasn’t anything in particular we would miss out on if we didn’t cross, so we took the most direct route to Lake Towada. The road sucks: busy as expected of…

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Japan

Hokkaido in pics

Supershort update: we are now in Akita on the West coast of Honshu, hiding in yet another internetcafe from yet another typhoon that is passing through. This one, Trami, isn’t as bad as the previous one and the worst has passed already, but still strong winds are predicted for tomorrow so we are using that as an excuse to book a night in a hotel and stay here for another day.  Now that we finally…

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Japan

Rythm

It is incredible how much we sleep this trip: most nights we are in our sleeping bags by 20:00 and then sleep until somewhere between 05:00 and 06:00 in the morning, no alarm clock required. What a luxury! Of course we are a bit more active than usual so it is normal that our bodies require more sleep, but it is also the confirmation of my suspicion that the usual 7-8 hours I give myself…

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