Do you know how far you can move by bike? Do you know how broad the main island of Japan is?
The answers for the questions are here in my blog post.
I got my lovely road bike CAAD10 manufactured by cannondale in the end of August. Since then, I ride her almost every weekend and eventually came up with the idea that I bike to the other side of Japan, the Japan sea. To go across the main island from Tokyo to Niigata which faces to the Japan sea sounds very far, but actually it just took 360 km or 230 miles. Japan is long shape along North East to South West, but not that long North-South orientation.
It was on October 29, 2011 for the first day of the trip. I left my home around 5 in the morning and arrived at the cycling road alongside the Arakawa river before 6.
It was a beautiful day and really comfortable biking. The cycling road runs through cherry blossom tree-lined road. It must be awesome in Spring.
Look at the blue sky. Breathtaking.
I biked North toward Kumagaya, Saitama. Maybe a couple of hours’ biking took me the place where I should leave the Arakawa cycling road to switch to the Tone River cycling road.
Since there were not many cyclists and nothing to do other than pedaling, I sometimes felt like taking my pics by myself.
The bridge on the Tone River, which is another long river.
I took a break near Kumagaya to get some nutritional foods and quick lunch in Takasaki. The cycling route was getting away from the Tone River.
I took route 18 West, gradually climbing to the higher land.
I got to Usui Pass, which seems the hardest part of the day, around 2pm. The slope was very steep, so I slowly climbed with breaks a few times.
I saw this bridge called Glasses Bridge (jp) on the way up to the highest place of Usui Pass. They are trying to be registered as World Heritage site of UNESCO.
It is difficult telling its steep angle by pictures, but it was absolutely tough slope.
I passed the Usui Pass around 4:30pm and hurried up going downhill in order to get ice cream before sunset in Karuizawa.
I like the mountain with colored leaves behind the ice cream and people on the road.
I stayed the guest house, which was cheap, but the people were kind. Kotatsu is the Japanese style warming device. It’s covered by a Futon and you can lie down under it.
I biked about 190km to the booked inn on the first day. The weather was fine. Everything was on track.