Wednesday 18.09.13 52,16 km
When I asked about the breakfast, I was told it was continental breakfast.
But totally without japanese style it isn't. There's rice. And as you don't eat
plain rice, there's also this brown sauce with a taste of carry - and a spoon.
There IS a bit of meat in it and some vegetables, but mostly just sauce. That
cures your hunger.
For the coffee these a vending machine. This time I pay attention to the red and blue colours, but unfortunately there's no text I can read this time. The lady comes at once to help me. Here's also the instant miso soup, he told me about in the reception, but I take a coffee americano.
It's only single men this morning and I only spot one, that doesn't take rice with brown sauce.
Now I see from my seat a coffee machine. Must ask the lady again. It was the big button I should push. It grinds the beans and all and has an italian flag on the side. That's a good coffee! There's margarine to the buns and the bread and a kind of butter knife, which isn't sharp. I do cut the bun in two in the end but I almost had to bring up my pocket knife.
I've booked 3 of the 4 nights I intend to stay in Kyoto - the last 3. I made it with help from the reception. But that means I don't have anything tonight. My plan is to go the last 40-50 km to Shizuoka and go with the Shinkansen from there this afternoon.
I go out at 8am. And am unevitable drawn to the Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha Shrine. Yes, that's what it's called according to my special Fuji map. It should be from here the pilgrims started, when they were going to climb the holy mountain. First they purified themselves in the pond, which is filled from a source that should have its outspring up on the mountain somewhere. The water should be 13 degr. all year round. I stick my hand into it. That can very well be true.
They're doing the morning cleaning when I arrive. The square is being sweeped, the drums are dusted. At 8.30am a drum calls for worship of some kind. B-o-o-m, b-o-o-m, bo, bo, bo, b-o-o-m are being repeated a number of times. One is in charge and the monks (I guess) mess a long rhytmical text. It taks 7-8 min's.
Not all were supposed to participate....
During this a "nun" comes next to me (only men are participating inside). She bends over twice, claps twice and bend over one last time. The employees? wearing work clothes are also participating.
Afterwards everybody continue their work...
I leave the hotel a little after 9am. I had thought I'd go to Route 396 and go by that, but in Fuji City I feel the need for a toilet and goes on to the station, where I see how I come to Route 1 in an easy way. I'll probably save half an hour waiting time at the traffic lights.
The cycle lane along Route 1 isn't quite easy, there's a lot of construction going on. You can't miss the right direction, the mountains are stretching for the coast so both Route 1, Route 396, the train and the expressroad has to fight for space - so it's cramped.
Squeezed in between Route 1 and the expessway
Now I'm in Shizuoka waiting for the Shinkansen 2.11pm will arrive. With JR I'd have to change trains 4 times. It only costs half, but takes 3 times as long. Here there are 2 extra rails in the middle for the passing through trains. It's impressing and also a bit frightening when a Shinkansen train of 200 m hammers through the station.
The Shinkansen is coming to the platform
And that's a little more than half of it
Now the "corpse" is securely tied at the door and I've found a seat. When you sit in the back of such a wagon and look forward it reminds a little of an airplane with 3 seats to the left and 2 seats to the right - it just stays on the ground.
I forgot to ask when we'd be in Kyoto, but I found a timetable at the platform and noted where we stopped and when. 3.49pm we should be in Kyoto.
That the japanese are ahead when it comes to technology cannot surprise, when you consider their industriousness and the fact, that the geography of the country requires tunnels to be drilled and bridges to be build, if this long country shall be kept together as a modern society.
High technology all over
The train goes the more than 100 km from Nagoya to Kyoto in 31 min's. Including acceleration and braking it gives more than 200 km/h...
We stop in Hamamatsu. Just after there's a big lake, that's apparently a part of the sea that's been cut off, and later on our way to Nagoya, the mountains withdraw and we go in a flat area scattered with flat towns, rice fields and high voltage cables. Then comes a larger city with scattered skyscrapers - I think it's the surburbs of Nagoya.
Every second minute we meet with a Shinkansen train going the opposite direction. There's a move in the train the moment we meet... but that happens also when you go to Ystad...
A young man is in front of me, when we're getting off and he takes my panniers, people are standing waiting for us to get off so they can get on.
Then I do as usual. Make the bike ready, load it and find the elevator. When I return after having been to the toilet, two supervisors are standing looking at my bike. They're babling a lot. As far as I can understand, if I'd come with the Shinkansen? Yes, from Shizuoka... One is grabbing the handlebar when I'm trying to move on, I'm about to loose my temper. Show them my ticket and say: 2.11pm Shizuoka - 3.49pm Kyoto... They're leading me towards the exit and there's some stairs to
go down. I would normally go looking for an elevator, but I'm too upset and they're NOT going to help me carry the bike down the stairs... So I lift it myself and carry it down with a single stop halfway - good it wasn't upstairs....
At the ticket control I now understand from the young man there, that I'm not
allowed to unpack the bike on the platform, but have to wait till AFTER the
ticket control. How foolish can it get? And how much can you hang on rules? I
get it the other way. They want to be sure that the bike do get into a bicycle
bag, but it has to have been, when I get off - or what?
I'm getting used to these giant stations, so I find tourist office and have now booked a bed in a hostel by the name "Sparkling Dolphins Inn". There wasn't any camp site near to Kyoto.