Total distance traveled so far: 1561km
Germany has what is known as the Romantische Strafe. Japan for some reason has one too.
I rode the entire thing over the course of 2 days. Was it really romantic? Read on.
The first couple hours were on a congested street in Ueda. There were a couple spots that had some random shit, like a castle, but all in all this section was about as romantic as getting your balls slammed in a dresser drawer. But then again, some people pay good money for that sort of thing.
I took a wrong turn somewhere...
At one point the route said sayonara to the crowded city and got a little more scenic. I'm starting to swoon a little...
Karuizawa is a really rich uppity type resort area. All the houses had names like "Le Chateau des Japonais Elegance", or "Stately Takahashi Manor". I saw a lot of elderley Japanese people dressed like cowboys. I dunno. Maybe rich Japanese people think John Wayne is sexy. Which I could totally see. I got lost trying to get out of there. As you can see, visibility wasn't too good. Romance level? She's playin me like a captain, gettin all my yen...
Just past Karuizawa was this waterfall. It was gorgeous. The romance level just jumped, even though I had to pay to ride on this road. Just call me captain save-a-hoe...
Erm.... I guess I'll go this way...
Some random onsen resort. Sitting naked in hot mineral water with your girl is hot. It started getting a little rainy. Romance level? Good from afar, but far from good...
Kusatsu onsen. This onsen city has the highest output of hot water in Japan. Did it stink?
You bet! The romance level was high at this point. Is there a mirror in your pocket, cause I can see myself in your pants...
Had a walk around. Ahhh, stinky onsens. Some onsen are much more famous than others. Yet, what is in a name? A pool of bubbling hot sulphuric mineral water by any other name would smell as sweet.
Suddenly, I heard chanting children.
OMG, super cute! At many festivals, people carry around these giant floats. But here there were mini sized ones and little kids pulling them. They were all chanting and heading to the main square. I headed the fuck out cause it was starting to get late.
Halfway! I swear I've been to like 8 Takayamas in Japan.
Fukiware falls. I road by this place, but was glad I came back. It had a really unique U-shape. Romance level? I've got a thirst, baby, and you smell like Gatorade.
I raced a Honda NSX just after this shot. He won. No love for the CB400, though I smoked him off the line.
My "camp" site. I couldn't find the campground on my map, so I snuck into a memorial garden on the edge of Lake Chuzenji. I checked, it wasn't a memorial for anyone who died, but for some rich foreigner's house that burned down in the 50s. So I felt fine free camping there. No loss of karma. It rained at night, but I was under this gazebo. A romantic gazebo! It was great. And I woke up the next morning to this.
Romance was peaking here. Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?...
Sweet romantic bliss. Except it was kinda cold and raining. And there was no food open in Nikko. The ride from Nikko to Utsunomiya was pretty damn romantic. It was one of those long tree lined roads. But like I said, I was really hungry! Hunger pangs getting worse, the trees gave way to the golden arches. Praise cupid! If only they could cut my McGriddle into a heart shape.
This was the end of the romantic road. Like all romances, it started breathing exhaust from semi trucks in traffic, and ended with me alone, eating syrup flavored sandwiches. But if all life's adventures ended with eating syrup flavored sandwiches, I think this world would be a much better place, don't you agree?
I really like your blog. It gave me a sense of what to feel like and look for when I decide to go through the romantic road. ^.^
I am, as it happens in the middle of 'planning' a riding trip in Japan in late May on a rented CB400. I came across your blog while looking for information about the romantic road. Glad, I stumbled upon it. I agree with Anoymous in that your blog gave me a good sense of what to expect should I decide to ride the Romantic Road - one thing, I perhaps rather naively haven't been factoring into my plans is the very high probability of rain. Crap weather aside, the Romantic Road, is it worth doing?
Yeah, these are all great roads. Highly recommended!
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