Thursday, July 19, 2007

On the Road: Tokyo to Osaka

Total distance travelled so far = 603km

Woke up tuesday the 10th, officially homeless, and set out towards Osaka. The plan was to ride down to Mt. Fuji, camp, and ride to Osaka the next day.

It was a little wet. This was to be the theme for the next few days. Replace "a little" with different adjectives. Maybe torrentially, or painfully, or typhoonilly would be good words to use. But for now lets just stick with a little wet.

The mountain roads from Saitama to Mt. Fuji are great. Very fast and fun on the bike. I was hoping to catch some great views of Mt. Fuji. Here's the best one I could capture with the camera.

So you can see the weather prevented a lot. This brings up something. I chose to do my motorcycle tour of Japan during rainy season. Why did I make this odd decision? During the fall, the county is ablaze with oarnge, red, and yellow leaves. During spring, flowers and mild weather are everywhere. During winter it's cold, but the skies are clear and blue. But it just worked out that my 3 week vacation is right now. But it has its ups as well, this time of year. It is very warm. This feels wonderful on the bike, and makes camping and nightime very pleasant.

Back to my trip.


Whats this lovely little bench? Thats where I "camped". I chose not to camp near Fuji because the weather north looked worse, and I thought I saw clear-ish skies to the south. So I rode to the coast and followed the roads. Once the sun set, the rain got really bad. I mean awful. I was on this little coastal road, and anytime a truck would come the other way, I got sheeted by water. Like hit with a water hose. I should have camped before the sun went down. The little road along the coast would have been nice in the day I think. There were greenhouses all along the way, and the air smelled like melons. When I reached the end of this road, there was supposed to be a campground somewhere near the ferry terminal. I was gonna take a short ferry the next day. Anyways, I couldn't find the campground (this is to become a theme on my trip), so I found a nice bench next to the water.

In Japan, you can do shit like this no problem. Police don't patrol, so no one is going to come up and ask you to leave. Criminals don't exist, so you don't have to worry about being murdered. And people in general won't bother you, so you can sleep in if you want.

Caught the 8:10 ferry the next morning.

Once back on land, I needed to get to Osaka, which was about 200km away still. It was raining pretty bad now, and the roads were slippery. I managed to take the cozy mountain roads.

I could have made a day of riding and gone through Nara or even up through Kyoto, but it wasn't gonna happen. It actually cleared up for a bit and I was able to find my lovely hotel. A quaint little dwelling called the Hotel Raizan. Rooms with nothing but a bed and a TV. Also, down near the front desk are a few hundred porn movies to borrow. Good times.

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