Japan

Day 4: This is it! Mikasa to Kamifurano

We wake up early at the michi-no-eki, and it is dry. It’s actually pretty scenic, tucked away in the corner of our parking lot. On the side of the onsen is a huge water wheel/mill (waterrad, in Dutch, and our crappy connection won’t let me look up the correct translation right now). It feels like we’re taking forever packing the tent and all our things. I guess we still have to settle into the routine of what-goes-where and who-does-what.

Yesterday evening we decided to change our route. Although very rideable, we want to get off this mainroad as soon as possible and head into the hills (being from Holland, can I call them mountains? I decide yes), even though that means we’ll have a 2750m tunnel later today.

Tunnels are hell: dark, cold, windy tubes with too many fumes, noise like a Boeing is taking off right next to you and usually no shoulder to ride on, so you’re sharing the dark road with impatient traffic. I quietly wonder how many cyclists get killed in tunnels each year, their bodies turned to mush by waves of ongoing traffic, never to be found again in the dark, and conclude that the odds are probably in our favour. Off we go!

I’m so glad that there is a restaurant in Mikasa town with the sign “Mikasa es su casa”. Good people. There’s also a stall that sells ice cream with olive oil and dried Japanese basil. So, so weird, but so, so delicious. Actually the only reason why I cycle, so I can eat an unlimited amount of ice cream. No matter what happens with this stupid tunnel today, this day is already perfect. Did I mention that the sun is out?

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