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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Japan

Day 26: Overnight in an Internet café

Beers & chicken skin To celebrate our last evening on Hokkaido we met up with Tai, a cyclist/mountaineer from Kobe who uses his bike to get from mountain to mountain and then hikes up them really fast. We first met him in a rider’s house somewhere in East Hokkaido, and now we were meeting again for beers, Japan style: ice cold in huge quantities and with a choosing of fried things-on-sticks on the side, such…

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Japan

Day 19-25: Last week in Hokkaido

Feminine disorders Two days ago I used up all my McGuyver credits for this trip by repairing the pump of our stove with a chopstick and some metal packaging material. The pump wouldn’t build up pressure anymore because the little suction cup at the end kept falling off (needs to be replaced, but we don’t have a spare one), so there I was, sitting by the roadside repairing this thing, while Antonio was washing/drying/airing out…

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Japan

Day 15-18: Back to civilization, or the luxuries of cycle touring around Hokkaido

We’re already more than two weeks in Japan (where does the time go?!) and I am barely getting used to these creepy heated toilet seats. The toilet situation in Japan is all over the place. Literally, because there are public restrooms everywhere, which means that we haven’t camped a single night without a toilet. Quite the luxury, considering that we spend most of our nights outside official campgrounds. Rumour has it that other cyclists have…

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Japan

Day 11-14: Wild Hokkaido

What even is this world? It is so beautiful here, and perfect for cycling! The next morning in Utoro all was quiet, weatherwise, so we set out for a hike in the national park; Shiretoko. We took the bus there (because restday) and had to attend a lecture and video presentation about bear safety before we were allowed on the trails. Shiretoko is famous for its population of Arctic brown bears (better known as grizzlies)…

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Japan

Day 8-10: Earthquake

After typhoon Jebi ran its course (it wasn’t bad where we were, just stormy) we headed out of Sounkyo towards Onneyu. Whatever leftover wind from Jebi there was, or maybe it was just a normal strong wind, who knows, worked in our favour as we zoomed downhill with a tailwind, and we arrived in Onneyu in no time. There, we did some sight-seeing, set up camp in a free (!) camping, had a good long…

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