With a tour boat on Akan Lake and a long day to Abashiri


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 16


Tuesday 27.08.13     ca. 90 km


The morning starts at 5.39am The toilet calls and when I put out my head there is already one sitting there across the path greeting me. I've put up the tent at a table/bench arrangement, so for once I can sit at a real table - in nature. The breakfast consists of a yougurt, 2 slices of bread with cheese and half a plate of chocolate.

20-30 others have choosen the departure at 8.05. Mainly families. There was a fast motorboat at 6am but that didn't fit my morning programme. This ship can take 2-300 passengers. I miss all the valuable informations the lady in the loudspeaker diverts us with. Entirely japanese. We're supposed to board the Churui Island, where there should be an exibition, where the famous algea can be seen in an aquarium. I have my knowledge from a video film they're showing. We pass through a quite narrow straite between the island and thw coast behind, but this is another island, Churui is in the other end of the lake.
Rhododrendrons are fighting for their lives among other species along the coast, and all those trees I never saw before!
Marimo has got his own song I hear in the loudspeaker, where a melancoly voice of a woman with a lot of ecco sings it.

The algea balls are really amazing. Under the rtght circumstances they can grow into green, totty balls with a diameter of 20 cm.

    The time where you could see the balls "alive" is over

Then we're heading for the town. I doze off at this churning female voice in the loudspeaker. It do remind me of my and Burghards trip on the Yangtze.

It's cloudy, and the clouds are hanging so low, that there'll be water in the air if I have to cross any pass, which I believe. Now I have to go back to pack.

Spend 1 hours at the tourist info where there's wi-fi and an AC outlet. Shop food and take off. I hope it's not a pass like that at Lake Mashu, but I haven't a clue.

The first 5 km is one long uphill where I just about keeps stay on the middle cogwheel. Then we meet another road, declines a bit before a new uphill. That was nothing - if that was all. After 10 km it says: "Tempuku Pass" - and I didn't even use the
small chainring.

Having adjusted the rear brake properly and prepare for going down. My feeling of Akan being rather high shows to be true. After 11 km of descent with only a few strokes in the pedals it goes on down for 6 km more. The valley wides and turns into agriculture. The wheather has changed to what could be a danish summers day with moving clouds and sunshine. I'm really moving.

When I get close to the goal Bihiro, I make a new plan. It'll be just after 3pm when I get there. There will only be 36 km left to Abashiri and almost 3 hours until the information closes at the station (probably?). I could do with an extra day in Abashiri. Have to try out the bicycle bag, buy a ticket and take a look around,

So I work hard. In the northern outskirts of Bihiro it suddenly doesn't look like road 39. Did I miss something? I ask a worker. No, I just have to "go straight", he says. Fine english according to standards. I get back to the 39, whereever it had been.

The road is completely straight and the wind blows in my head. There are a couple of change of level, but mainly flat. I can't seem to find the Snickers I bought for hard times. Have to stop at a Seicomart to get another. At the end the road gets sheltered by a forrest and I go along a lake to the other side. A very beautiful part. There is an expensive hotel.

                         From the part along the lake

Finally - there's the station! Info is closed, I just manage to get my foot in the door at Travel Service, which is closing as well.
They try to help me. Calls 6 hotels nearby. All are sold out. I thank them, get the map with the
numbers and leave.They can't stand there all evening,

Down some alleys, should be two hotels, cannot find them, then I see a counter. When I enter I realize it must be some kind of clinic. Try to ask a doctor. Show him the mao with the numbers. It doesn't ring any bell. But I have confirmed exactly where we are in the map. Then it must be... And I find one of them.

A man is sitting asleep with a siamese cat. Compared to the humble outlook his english is not that bad. Japanese style, no dinner, no breakfast, 3.500 Y. I take it.

Now at 7pm I've found the lost Snickers, eat a slice of bread with cheese, had 4 cups of green tea. Now I just need a shower and I'm gone for dinner. I don't find any towel, so I go down to ask - he's sleeping again: Do I have to bring my own towel?
At the word towel he jumps up goes to a cupboard and bring two towels, a big and a small.

When I'm about to leave the room I cannot lock the door. Yes, from the inside, he showed me how. This time you have to press while you turn the key. How hard can it be? I end up letting the door unlocked and go for my meal.

Now it's dark I see that the hotel is in the end of a long street, which is fully enlightened. I walk a long way before I find something that might be a restaurant. Step inside. There are posters with dishes, it's here. There's a young man. With his finger he asks if its for one? Yes. Then I'm led to a very small room, where I'm stopped before I enter. Oh, I'm sorry. When I've taken off my shoes, he leaves with them. Oh, that's how they prevent people from running from the bill? My shoes aren't worth anything.

He brings a menu with pictures. Now I've choosen a dish and a beer. The beer is brought quickly with a small bowl of vegetables which I've now eaten. I also got a small ring with the number 3. That's probably my shoe number? There's a TV on the wall and a remote. I'm hungry, why don't they bring my dish?

A girl brings it. The pan isn't as big as I expected, I may need a desert. There's a small bowl with a spoon, what am I going to use that for? But I find out. The rice at the bottom are burnt a bit and it's perfect for loosening them.

                 There's no more - and I'm stuffed

When I've finished I sit there. What now? Besides the soya, the chopsticks and the spices, there's something black with a heart that can be turned - and - what's more: a red button! I press it. Ding dong it sounds somewhere and immidiately a third person shows up and I point out a desert, which comes fast. The icecream with cherries I can recognize, but what's those squares. Is it frozen yougurt? Maybe. It tastes wonderful. Now I'm really stuffed. I'm tired. The last couple of days I'd long been sleeping at this time. I wonder if my bed is done, when I get back?