To the Japan Sea by CAAD10 – The 2nd Day

It was on October 30, 2011 for the second day of the bike trip. (Yes, I am so lazy and it took over a month to blog about this trip.)

Around 6 in the morning I left a guest house and started going down the slope.

Going over Shinano railways to Unnojuku (jp).

Chikuma River is a part of Shinano River, which is the longest and largest river in Japan. The river is called Chikuma River only in Nagano Prefecture.

The main street in Unnojuku.

Chikuma River cycling road was not maintained well in contrast to Tone and Arakawa River. Grasses grows in the gaps of the road surface.

Vivid green grasses looked beautiful.

According to the weather forecast, it would rain in the evening, but it actually rained in the morning. If it were a fine day, the mountains would have looked lovely.

To ride a bicycle in the rain wasn’t so fun. I wish I could get train to go back home, but I needed to reach the Japan sea in anyways.

My feet was quite cold in the shoes. I got a few of plastic bags at a convenience store to wrap my feet.

After taking a break at the convenience store, I biked north up a storm since I was running late due to the rain.

This is a bridge on Chikuma River in Iiyama city.

I left the bypass here to bike up hill. This was the last pass in the two days’ trip. It stopped raining without even noticing.

The slope was killingly steep, but not so long as Usui pass I ran on the previous day.

Once finished climbing the hill and ran down it, I didn’t want to stop any more. Then, I biked 40 km with no break.

Naoetsu port is the sea entrance for Sado Island. The Japan Sea is almost there.

Finally, I reached my destination with two days cycling for 360km, average speed 24.0km/h. I wish the beach be beautiful as in California, but this is Japan where I live.

It took two days by bicycle, but only took two hours by express train for return to Tokyo. I want to do it again by another course maybe in next summer.


To the Japan Sea by CAAD10 – The 1st Day

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.

Tour de Matsu – Bike trip to Shonan Enoshima

It was a fine day again. We headed to Enoshima, which is an iconic island in Shonan, Kanagawa. I rode 153km as total on the day.

Departed with my baseball team mate Matsu in Koenji.

My new rode bike looks sexy, doesn’t she?

We biked south on Kan-nana and then west on the route 246. After two hours, we reached the start of Sakaigawa river cycling road.

On the way to Enoshima, we suddenly had a shower and had to stop for a while, but arrived at the destination safely.

The summer ended on the calendar, but we felt like mid summer. We walked around on the bank and then had coke!

Look at this beautiful blue sky.

We left Enoshima and had curry rice for lunch at popular restaurant Sangosho [jp] near there.

Our little journey was going on. We arrived at Cannondale store in Yokohama and met our friend there to bike together.

The goal of this tour was Ramen noodle restaurant again. Ramen was awesome, beer as well!