Sorry for the lack of update in the past month! We have a few posts to catch up~
Riding in Shikoku was a passionless affair. It was crowded with truck traffic along with endless sidewalk riding. We spent 2 days riding the Northern section of Shikoku, trying to get to Imabari City as soon as possible so we can get on the Shimanami Kaido route– a 70km route that people hail as ‘one of the world’s most incredible bike routes’ . This route takes both car and pedestrian/bike traffic from Shikoku to Honshu through 6 bridges across 6 of the inland sea islands.
Here’s the other photo taken from inside of our tent– it’s a pretty sweet camping spot 50km East of Imabari City. Food was scrace in this area, but we managed. This campsite overlooks the inland sea– lots of baby crabs crawling around next to the water.
I was super stoked to find this cool bike-stand sculpture. I guess people take the high speed train to either the Northern or Southern terminus of this Shimanami Kaido ride and take the train/flight back home for a weekend ride.
Here’s a map of Shimanami Kaido ride:
And– that’s the first bridge- 4105m long Kurushima Kaikyo suspended bridge. It is also the world’s longest suspension bridge structure (it’s actually a series of 3 suspension bridges with 6 towers and 4 anchorages). The ride is generally easy and flat, except when we needed to get up onto the bridge with a max of 200′ elevation gain every time.
Our campsite on Hakatajima island-25% of the way North of Imabari. We got the whole site to ourselves (and a bunch of mosquitos). It was a quiet starry night, accompanied by the occasional horn from the boats.
The route was pretty well marked (though not as well as Korea’s bike paths). It was generally exclusive for bicyclists with some sections (30% or so) on shared road with car. The 70km could easily be done in a day. There were plenty of bike rental places, and for those of you not super inclined to ride bicycles, I think there’s a few places that rent electric bikes as well. Information on the bike ride is abound on the net, so search on.
From Onomichi, both Brady and I were so so sick of sidewalk riding on crowded streets. So we decided to take the train to Hiroshima– here’s our bikes, neatly wrapped in Rinko-Bukuro (bike bag) which is a requirement for any bikes to be able to take them onto trains. It also started raining a little bit.
Posing with the kiddies. The Memorial Museum was very well done- it documented the impact of the nuclear bomb and a lot of very personal stories of the people impacted. The displays are also very hopeful and attempt to enact peace in every nation/ people.
A short jaunt to Fukuoka (by train), boxed our bikes and off we went. We were done with Japan! We spent a total of 40 days there– a long time of going 80% or so the length of the country. I feel like we have visited most of the tourist attractions in Japan and eaten most of the variety of the food! It was a great experience! It was different than the metropolitan Japan that we knew before this trip. The riding was half frustrating and half absolutely fantastic. The weather (other than Hokkaido and occasional wind/rain) was great with amazing autumn foliage- the best I’ve seen in my life. It was expensive- even with camping 70% of the time and cooking 70% of the dinners.
We went to the busiest street market– it was very similar to Indonesia, except they have the Christmas theme going strong everywhere– this was the first week of November! The Jeepneys (that bus looking thing on the right side) were obnoxiously fun with loud blaring music and ridiculous decorations.
Up next– trip to Indonesia- we arrived just in time to celebrate my Mom’s birthday, then meet up with the Poepping parents who travelled with us ’round Indonesia on their first ever trip to Asia!!!