238ml. Done over 7 days. Took my time here as the I couldn’t get a cheap ferry crossing until the 4/9/19.
Day 1. To Iwakuni, 27ml. After a good night’s sleep in the hotel it’s pissing down again. All day so I decide to stay at the beautiful park behind the 5 arch kintaikyo bridge at Iwakuni on the Nishiki river. I sleep under a shelter in the park as it’s warm and not worth getting the tent wet and trying to dry out in the morning.
Beautiful kintaikyo bridge
Beautiful park behind the bridge.
28.8.19. Due to the relentless rain I take a day off here and the river gets high and catches a few locals out.
29.8.19. to Tsuwano, 59ml. Arrive at Tsuwano just before going dark and rain starts to fall and it’s in for the night according to the forecast. So I find a shelter to sleep under and explore the beautiful town with old samurai mansions lining the streets.
Tonomachi street Tsuwano
Beautiful Tsuwano street.
Koi carp fill the irrigation canals and was a source of food in case of seige a long time ago.
30.8.19. To Mito rest area. 50ml. Another day on beautiful quiet roads following the river. R13 into the R11 to Hagi then the R191, onto the R490 and then the R32 to Mito rest station. Great weather and scenery all the way. I buy some suchi at the supermarket on the rest station and set the tent up. Then the station manager comes over and I ask if it’s ok to camp and he takes me to his house to shower and offers me food which I have to decline as I’m full from the suchi. Really nice couple and so kind. His wife made me some Onigiri, ( rice balls ) for my journey tomorrow. Lawson’s convenience store opposite the rest station so I get milk and cornflakes for my breakfast before going to sleep.
The lovely couple, rest station manager and his wife, who are so kind to me.
The beautiful river at Mito rest station
Koi carp swimming freely in the river below my tent.
Tent pitch at Mito rest station
31.8.19 To Yoshida kasen park, 23ml. A very short day today, just chilling and taking my time now to Fukuok.
Beautiful shrine at Hagi
1.9.19. To Wakamatsu, 29ml. Another short day. Mainly due to the rain again lol. I camp next to a big river and it’s raining again in the morning ha. Like being back home in blighty. I try to dry the tent under a bridge and the fire brigade turned up to do some kind of exercise. Just my luck so they wait patiently while I pack up and make my way to the Kanmon pedestrian walkway under the sea 60m and joins Honshu with Kyushu. ¥20 for the bike (15p) great experience, take the elevator down to the tunnel under the sea and halfway across is the only prefectural border under water in Japan. Then when I get to Wakamatsu you have to take a small ferry across the river, ¥150 with the bike, as bikes aren’t allowed over the bridge here. I then find a park at the side of the R495 on the way out of town.
Leaving moji after the Kanmon tunnel
The border under the sea of the Kanmon straits
Day 6. To Tsuyazaki, 30ml. After a restless night, forecast said no rain and at 1am I had to abandon the tent with all my stuff due to the ground flooding, I manage to get the tent mostly dry under a shelter. Bad night with the heavy rain storm but hey, that’s just weather. A little frustrating that the forecast says no rain but today we keep going. The rain stops after dinner and it gets hot with nice sunshine yippee. I follow a deserted bicycle path from Ashiya down the coast to a new rest station where the path ends.
R300 the deserted coastal cycle path.
I take off the bags here and try to straighten the rear derailleur hanger, as I know it’s out of line, and then spend half an hour setting up the gears again which aren’t changing that sweet as before.
Sundown over the Japan sea at Tsuyazaki
3.9.19. To Fukuoka, 20ml. Up early and dry out all my gear completely in the hot sun. I only have 20ml to go so try looking for bike shops on route to purchase new jockey wheels as the center bush on the bottom pulley wheel is really worn and wobbly. I arrive at cycle base Asahi, a big chain store and ask the young lad inside if he has pulley wheels for my deraileur. He has a look and finds 2 what fit and also has the alignment tool for the deraileur so I get that straightened properly and new jockey wheels and wash the bike while I’m there. I book a hotel, my first in 4 months, as the clouds are turning black and I don’t fancy wet gear again on my last night in Japan. I’m glad I did as at 9pm it started raining ha. Well tomorrow it’s goodbye Japan as I’m getting the ferry to south Korea in the morning. What a fabulous country with a kind and friendly people and fantastic culture. I will be sad to leave.
My young bike mechanic friend at cycle base Asahi who helped me out with new jockey wheels on the way to fukuoka.
Goodbye beautiful Japan, on the ferry to Busan