The mystic Lake Mashu - and a descent in the rain



1. CPH 12.08.13

2. Narita - Tone 13.08.13

3. Tone 14.08.13

4. Tone 15.08.13

5. Tone - Oarai 16.08.13

6. Oarai - Tomakomai 17.08.13

7. Tomakomai - Iwamizawa 18.08.13

8. Iwamizawa - Azahikawa 19.08.13

9. Azahikawa - Kamikawa 20.08.13

10.Kamikawa - Nukabira Onsen 21.08.13

11.Nukabira Onsen - Tokachigawa 22.08.13

12.Tokachigawa - Kushiro 23.08.13

13.Kushiro - Shibesha 24.08.13

14.Shibesha - Lake Kussharo 25.08.13

15.Lake Kussharo - Lake Akan 26.08.13

16.Lake Akan - Abashiri 27.08.13

17.Abashiri 28.08.13

18.Abashiri - Sapporo (tog) 29.08.13

19.Sapporo - Otaru 30.08.13

20.Otaru - Kamoenai 31.08.13

21.Kamoenai - Makkari 01.09.13

22.Makkari - Yakumo 02.09.13

23.Yakumo - Hakodate 03.09.13

24.Hakodate - Aomori 04.09.13

25.Aomori - Lake Towada 05.09.13

26.Lake Towada - Lake Tazawa 06.09.13

27.Lake Tazawa - Hanamaki 07.09.13

28.Hanamaki - Tsukidate 08.09.13

29.Tsukidate - Sendai 09.09.13

30.Sendai - Tone 10.09.13

31.Tone 11.09.13

32.Tone 12.09.13

33.Tone - Kurihama 13.09.13

34.Kurihama - Hakone 14.09.13

35.Hakone - Gotemba 15.09.13

36.Gotemba 16.09.13

37.Gotemba - Fujinomiya 17.09.13

38.Fujinomiya - Shizuoka (Kyoto) 18.09.13

39.Kyoto 19.09.13

40.Kyoto 20.09.13

41.Kyoto 21.09.13

42.Kyoto - Nara 22.09.13

43.Nara - Wakayama 23.09.13

44.Wakayama - Higashikagawa 24.09.13

45.Higashikagawa - Takamatsu 25.09.13

46.Takamatsu - Iya Valley 26.09.13

47.Iya Valley 27.09.13

48.Iya Valley - Imabari 28.09.13

49.Imabari - Onomichi 29.09.13

50.Onomichi - Hiroshima 30.09.13

51.Hiroshima 01.10.13

52.Hiroshima - Takayama (tog) 02.10.13

53.Takayama 03.10.13

54.Takayama - Matsumoto 04.10.13

55.Matsumoto - Hakuba 05.10.13

56.Hakuba - Nagano 06.10.13

57.Nagano - Tone 07.10.13

58.Tone 08.10.13

59.Tone - Narita 09.10.13

60. Narita - CPH 10.10.13




Letter 14


Sunday 25.08.13    65.48 km


I'm here again with a bowl of green tea in the tent and the rain drums with no mercy. It's almost 6pm and it's been a day full of experiences.

From the beginning it was cloudy but nice. Not very hot, I did a couple of km before the fleece came off. Reached Teschikaga, where I headed for the center to shop. There was a party going on. The whole town it seemed.

                        There was a party going on

I did my shopping and drifted around and shot some photos and went on. Should have turned but went 700 m extra as a Road Station with a tourist info came up. There I had some fine brochures from where to decide a plan. There are 3 famous lakes in the area and I wanted to see them all.

            My feet in nice hot water at the Road Station

The plan was first to go for the mysterious Lake Mashu. It should be 10 km. The Road was straight and inclined more than it seemed. After the first 5 km it inclined further and next came the real steep part! I was in second lowest gear and the steepest parts I took 250 m a time to get the pulse down in between. I worried if it would all be covered by clouds when I would get there, but it wasn't.

I came around the last corner and could see the concrete monster with all the souvenir booths, the restaurants, toilets and what ever an average tourist needs. This caldera lake does seem a little mysterious as it lay there with the clouds drifting down the mountain side in front.

There was a lot of loud speaking and laughing. So much that I wondered. Until I heard chinese was spoken and understood that a big part of the people were chinese groups in busses. The difference in mentality was striking.

                              The "mysterious" lake

After a softice and having put on the fleece and the rainjacket I got ready to go on down. Unfortunately I had to go further up. All along the edge of the crater the road inclined. And then it started raining! First a light drizzle, but soon it was clear I had to put on the raincovers, so there I was in the pouring rain trying to get them on.

I did the last part upwards - never saw the second view point - and started the descent. With the brakes on the limit down I went through hairpin slopes through the hammering rain. On the way I had to stop to tighten the brakes. What a horrible descent! 10 km through the rain in soaking shorts.

Nevertheless I made it down safe and sound the the main road. Had to get the map for o which side? - right a couple of km, then I turned off for the other lake: Lake Kussharo. Now it was fairly flat and I went through a remarkable landscape with a quite different vegetation than the usual. It looked more like high mountains. Must have something to do with vulcanic activity?
In spite of the rain I nearly stopped to see if I could find a small path and move into it. It was quite stunning. But I didn't see any path.

The rain had weakened a bit when I reached this spot at the lake, where as expected was some tents at the lakeside and toilet buildings. Noone in the information as one in a shop called it. But it should be 400 Y.

To raise a tent under these circumstances isn't funny, but it's doable. I left the bike under a shelter while I raised it. Takes only 5 min. I didn't feel like unpacking anything but my matress. Had to have some sips of my emergency sake. And made a bowl of tea. I forgot my mug back at the golf course. First I found out about my garbage. Embarrassing! Later it showed that the mug was there too half up the stairs.

I have just been to the toilets to prepare for the night, wearing underwear and rainjacket - what a sight. Can't find one of my dry socks now I'm back. Have to do without socks. Off goes the fleece I use it for pillow - good night!


It's still raining 6 hours in a row....