Wednesday 11.09.13 71,62 km
I had just taken a shower, and now I'm dripping from sweat. But I'm in the
train. The elevator just went to the 1. floor, so I missed one floor. But now I
know, I can also go on escalators. You just need your right hand behind the
saddle and the left on the front brake and stand a little behind.
Unfortunately there was NO way I could go up further with the bike as it was. It had to be packed at the ticket counter!
So I had to walk twice. And it also showed that the NOT-reserved wagons was in the other end of the train - and that was far.
I had looked at the 11.09 that was on the ticket several times and interpreted it differently according to what I was looking for. That the date was 09.11 was obvious, but when I look for the time I wondered, why the departure should be 09.11 and not 09.14 as it said in the time table. It was not until he hinted I could take the 08.21 from track 11, I realized, that it was an open
ticket for the 09.11.13 as I had no reservation.
So there was little time, And the NOT-reserved cars in the other end... I had just finished tieing the bike sucurely, as we departed. Same procedure as last time... but here was a shelf for luggage next to the door.
And then the train hurried away - not extremely fast, but probably a bit over 200 km/h. In and out of tunnels with glimpses of rice fields in between. I mark the stops in the time table, we've just stopped in Fukushima, which is in the middle of the country, while the reactors are at the seaside, at the railway I could take. You've surely heard the big news before me? It wasn't until yesterday I realized, that Tokyo is going to be hosting the OL in 2020. I thought it was just the choice of candidates it was all
about, But a photo in the newpaper, told the story very well, and I had it confirmed.
When I get off in Omiya, something is clear. People almost stand in line to help me. First 2 ladies, who takes some of my luggage, when I'm stepping out with my 8 parts. And I've hardly sat foot on the platform, as a young man asks, if he can help? No, but thank you anyway, I'll manage from here, but where is the elevator? People here seems to be less reserved than up north. Maybe their english is also better (couldn't be worse). That's promising for the next part of the trip.
Omiya Sta. is also big, but I slip out of the east gate, that ought to be the right one. They don't always put north upwards on the maps, so I stand for a long time studying a plan outside. Then comes a lady to help me and within short she's started drawing a map. She's into details. I have to go left at the Junior High School, where there'll be a kimono shop at the other side
and a.... there I stop her, it's sufficient, thanks. And then I have to go on until I get to Route 16 to Iwatsuki. A man want to know where I'm from and I use the opportunity to ask if this is Junior High? Yes, that's right. And hardly have I turned comes an old man on a moped and wants to know where I'm heading? And he tells I have to turn left at Route 16. It was to the right in the ladys map....
And from now on I'm allowed to go on my own. I've decided to stay on Route 16. It's (maybe even a big) detour, but better know where one is going than getting lost in these endless surburban areas. I don't have a detailed map.
The scarecrows parade
Route 16 is a ringroad around Tokyo all the way to Chiba, but I just have to follow it until Kashiwa, where I'll have to look for Abiko and in Abiko I have to find Route 356, which will take me the rest of the way to Tone, if I'm able to find the bridge, I think I'll recognize it.
In the map it looks like a road to the left will lead over the bridge, but real life is different. Suddenly there's a bridge over me and I have to turn right and go for quite a bit before I find the road and see it's leading over a bridge to Tone. So now is the time to go along the river for a while, before I have to turn right at another river. I was driven around by car all the time when I was here, so I've been a bit worried if I could find it at all.
It says Tone Town in the small sign - in case you can't see it
The father is home, Nori won't be home until 7pm. I've made me a cup of green tea, taken a shower and now I'm "a person who looks after the house", as stood on the translator, which father showed me. He's gone shopping - kaimono - there I learned a new word.