Introducing Japan

Polite. Efficient. Clean. More than helpful. Simply fascinating.

Our introduction to the efficiency, helpfulness and trustworthiness of folk here started when bringing bikes in from the airport. It was no problem to put them on the coach (national express take note!) and we were able to leave them on the street with one of the coach staff keeping an eye while we delivered our other luggage to the hotel 10 minutes away. Perfect.

Having eaten the most wonderful sushi at the fish market in Tokyo amongst a few other things two days later we loaded our bikes onto a coach about to head to the mount Fuji area. Easy. That is until we needed to dispose of the cardboard boxes they were packed in. Fellow waste geeks take note…. We were in a scenic area…. It took a lot of negotion and kindness from the local tourist office thelp us on our way. They do not like waste at all here.

With a short ride to our first campsite at lake motosuko we pitched up tents. Our first nights Accomodation….. It was about to get interesting…

Leaving early the next day we had a hilly ride. We seem to have no way of finding campsites here and as the day moved on Accomodation was becoming an issue….. We moved on from a 10,000 yen hotel (about €100) towards a youth hostel option in miho. Unfortunately it had closed and the hotel in the same place was full. Doh. It was 615pm, going dark and we were homeless.

You can read in the guide about the helpfulness of folk but the next thing that happened was beyond our expectation….. Soon, we left this hotel armed with a free bag of rock, us, our kit and bikes loaded into the hotel coach to the motel 17km down the road. Amazing.

On arrival however we were baffled. We had been told we could not make a reservation but were surprised to find no reception and an electronic entry system….. All in Japanese. We had arrived at a love motel. Here you could book rooms from 3 to 8 hours…. I think an 8 hour guest looking to rest was rare though! As a bonus paying for a room like this was slightly cheaper, came with its own jacuzzi bath and a vending machine loaded with all sorts of goodies! It made us laugh. We were not allowed to leave the room and our only way out was to pay…. Another electronic system in Japanese…. After a slight freak out that we may be trapped, the machine took our money and we continued our journey.

We cycled along the pacific coast (again) and on looking for our next pit stop we found ourselves booked into a traditional Japanese ryokan. Sleeping on roll out mats, using shared bathing facilities and wearing numerous different pairs of slippers. The place was spotless though did cost us 16,000¥! Our stay here also included food and while John was not so keen I thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful tradtional dinner set  before us…. Breakfast the next morning was just as yummy…. I am really enjoying the food here after perhaps too many fries in the USA.

Last night we ended up booked into a business hotel… And got wifi! So, that’s Japan so far…. The cycling is tough in heat and humidity and for the first time this trip it’s starting to hurt! speaks peaking ofwhich… It’s probably time to collect the captain ( aka my bike) and hit the road.

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About bikemind

I have spent the past 16 years working hard and building my way up a career ladder: completing my MBA then getting my first CEO role. After 5 years of that I am now embarking on a dream and a new adventure. I have to date cycled in France, Canada, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. Lands End to John O'Groats is my longest trip to date. Now 5 months in I have cycled west coast America, Japan, Nepal and India.

6 thoughts on “Introducing Japan

  1. Awesome journey! How far are you traveling a day on average? Also, how are you liking your rolhoff hub system? I think John went with the chain version while you went for the belt system, eh? Well, keep having fun.
    Steve g

    • it varies steve… today about 10km… some days 80…. finding rohloff and belt great though when i got services in san fran apparently there was not much oil in the hub! john reports he is happy with rohloff but would change to belt drive now if had the chance…i would have fitted the dynamo with usb hub charger if i got chance again!! thanks for messaging…. certainly hope we continue to have fun!

  2. Hi Naomi,All sounds very interesting,especially the love hotel !!!Your mom is keeping well,we all went for a meal last weekend for Janet and Chris’ ruby wedding.Take care of yourself,keep on enjoying the countries,the culture and the food.God Bless.Paula

    • thanks paula – hear you have been giving my mom a lesson in skype – thank you! the trip is amazing so far.. in a few days we leave for hong kong and then nepal. nao

  3. Fantastic story so far Nomesie..I am reading all about your exploits. You paint a very attractive picture of Japan. Keep well and keep safe. And look after that sore bum of yours. Dazzle

  4. Hey Nay, sounds like you’re having an adventure & a half in Japan. Let me know when you’re likely to get Internet next & will book a skype date. Jo xxx

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