Sunday, October 25, 2009

Izu, a Rider's Playground

The Izu peninsula, about 100km from Tokyo, a hot destination for motorcycle riders. Most tourists just take the train to Atami. But the rest of this massive piece of land is not to be missed. There's palm trees, waterfalls, meadow-ed highlands, and coastal radness.


If nature isn't your thing, you can almost always see hella Ferraris. Or, like today, a Fairlady Z club.



If cars ain't your bag, Izu has the food thing going on. Lots of fresh fish, local wasabi, and some odder things. Here's my lunch of shish kebabed wild boar.


So gimme some pictures already!

The problem with me and Izu is that when I ride with my camera, the weather turns to shit. You can't see Fuji from the Izu skyline when you can't see the side of the road 2m away.

And when the weather is good, I'm riding with my track racer friends, and we never stop long enough to take out big bulky SLR cameras.


Anyways, stay tuned for Izu part 2, sometime in the next year hopefully.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Kawaiso Stories

かわいそう = kawaiso = pitiful

After the summer break, I gave my high school girls an assignment. Write out something fucked up that happened during your vacation! We then voted on the stories. The kid with the most crazy fucked up story won a prize! Here's some of the gems.


I once ate 17 bananas at Boy Scout camp. True story.


She was the winner in one class. Seriously, she lost here saved game on a Nintendo game and every 17 year old girl was crying with sympathy. Or was it empathy.


Barfing was a common theme. Did you barf that much when you were 17? Ummm... let me rephrase... did you bar from eating too much? Once when we were 17, I drank a bottle of Mad Dog 20/20 and "threw up all I had eaten".


Me too.


It was a diamond studded Lil John crunk cup.


A couple girls got shit on. I was happy that I got to teach her the word poop.




She was absent for the homework and came up with this on the spot. A for effort.


I almost started crying, but everyone else in class was saying shogunai... that's life. The girl whose save game got deleted got more reaction. Welcome to Japan.


1st time it has ever happened in Japan.


Could be worse...


She wrote in the 3rd person to keep her anonymity. Didn't work too well when she had to read her story to everyone in class.


I guess there are giant scarab beetles running around her place.


Insects were another popular theme.


I'm not sure how to melt a cake either. It was at a Cake Viking, which is all you can eat desserts, so don't feel too bad for her.


Not really the assignment, but I'm very happy for her.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Hokkaido Trip Summary

On a Saturday night, at 9pm I left Monbetsu. Just after this bomb ass dinner made by the farmer's daughter!



This meat dish, made from lamb, is crazy popular in Hokkaido. The name is hilarious... ジンギスカン... Jingisu kan... Genghis Khan. Stir fried lamb and vegetables is named after the 11th century warlord... awesome.


At 11pm the next day, 26 hours and 1400km later, I arrived at my doorstep in Tokyo. I have nothing interesting to report about that stretch, except that I will never ride that far again. I saved a few yen, with the discounted weekend tolls, but I could have taken a ferry all the way to Tokyo, and in the end it would have cost maybe $60 more, factoring in gas prices and what not. Around hour 20 my brain was all mushy, and lane splitting at 80kmh was probably not something I should have been doing. I took a couple random photos:


Local juice.


An $80 steak. At a highway rest stop.


A $5 bowl of fried noodles made with the $80 steak meat.











Kilometers travelled: 5705
Nights stayed: 30
Yen Spent: 119,525 (roughly a thousand bucks)
Ice cream cones consumed: 9
Ramen bowl slurped: 8
Free onsens entered: 18
Cow nipples yanked: 160
Insects splattered on my helmet: 655,321

Did I mention that Hokkaido is god damned wonderful? Well it is, and I'll be going back there every summer that I remain in Japan. Done deal! As far as motorcycle touring goes, camping was great, but next time I think I'll stay at a rider's house every night. I'll also consult the ramen rankings before I go!

I was able to go to one of these shops, but would have for sure hit up Muroran if I had known it was the hot new ramen town.


People always say that everyone is so nice in Hokkaido. I guess so. Are people jerks in Tokyo? I haven't really noticed too much assholery in this city.


A lot of people were surprised that I really didn't check out Hakkodate or Sapporo much. But every time people talk about Sapporo, it's like, "Sapporo is awesome! It's like a small Tokyo!"


Thanks for reading along, I hope my trip inspires you somehow. I'm back in Tokyo, and back to the usual. A month in Hokkaido was actually my big dream of the past couple years, ever since getting a motorcycle in Japan. So now it's on to something new. Any suggestions?