Across the waters to Shikoku


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 44


Tuesday 24.09.13     69,70 km


I poured dressing in my coffee!! It wasn't deliberately. There was a small plastic bottle with something white. It looked like milk, but it didn't blend with the coffee like milk would have done. Just disappeared down to the bottom...

I still have much to learn in this country...

"The Castle", as my friend from yesterday told me about, hasn't opened yet, when I stop there. But in 10 min....

                       The castle......                                                                          ...and its guard

After the humble Shrines, hidden away in the bushes, are these massive castles what I love most about Japan.

I'm the first visitor today. Two minutes to nine I'm let in. They have some wonderful armours and the story of an archery competition, that last from sunrise until sunset the following day. The record is from 1686 by Daihatiro Wasa, who hit 8.133 out of 13.053 targets. That should mean 9 shots pr min day and night. The record still stands...

The timing is perfect, The ferry leaves at 10.30am and 9.55am I am in the waiting room with my ticket. It's around 30 degr. and here's no aircon. Not much in english here. Actually nothing except "tickets". But it should be right, we'll arrive at Tokushima on the other side.

There are lines for the cars on this side of the traffic light, but you have to cross over to get to the ferry, so when some of the cars start going, I go too.

Now I'm waiting with 3 other cyclists and some motorbikes. An eagle? float over the ship and disappears. Later I see it again when it land at a telephone pole. And there's even one more...

                 Is this really an eagle?

The departure is for some reason delayed 10 min. That's very unlike the japanese! And now I see in the schedule, that we were SUPPOSED to leave 10.40am. It's just me....

In the ferry there are as usual these areas, where you can lie down - as long as you take off your shoes. Even the sea seems quite calm the ferry rolls a bit.

When we've landed I go north towards Naruto on Route 11. As usual the cars disappear up onto a bridge, while we bicyclists have to stay down and there is ends apparently... You can spend hours on this. First you have to set your eye on the stairs going up to the bridge - and then find out how to get across the river and to the stairs...

When I have dragged the bike up the stairs and rolled a bit further, there's an exit for Central Naruto. I haven't given up on finding a T.I. so I go there. Well, when I see the hill I have to climb I change my mind... Is it possible at all? But then I get stubborn and changes my mind again. Up I will go... And up I come. It's a little more than 10% I guess, but there's a plateau before the top, where I just about get my breath under control again. And then down the other side.

I should have turned right when I got to the big road, but it didn't say anything about Central Naruto anymore. Now I get on Route 42 to Takamatsu and when I pass a sign saying "Kita..." 3 km, I choose that. There should be some "whirl pools" when the tide comes in, it was those I wanted to hear about in the T.I. But in Kita... there are no whirl pools today, but it's a charming road tossing and turning along the rocks with houses on one side.

High up above is a bridge. That's "Naruto Skyline". When I've been out making a u-turn - the road continued up into the rocks - and come back, I decide to go up to this skyline. It was maybe 80 m up and on a 8 % incline, you only have to go one km, then you're there... So that's what I do, and the distance is almost right I think.

                               "The Skyline" seen from the ground.... ....and the view from up there

When I'm up there I still don't know if the road is leading anywhere, but luckily there's a sign saying Takamatsu 61 km! It's a wonderful road without traffic and down it goes again. Then we join Route 11 again and follow it, but it has lost most of its traffic. It's a nice afternoon here along the coast.

At a time there's a 6 km "Romantic Road". It's not very romantic with the afternoon sun in your eyes, but even the cycle track has been improved. It's the best I've seen until now in Japan. But it doesn't last of course...

I'm aware I won't make it to Takamatsu, so I'll have to find something in Hikata or Higashigakawa. It's going to be in Higashikagawa. I stop at a Lawson after having searched some of the small streets down to the right.

All employees and customers are discussing... There seems only to be one hotel and it's called something ... Royal. It doesn't sound good. They draw a map and I find it. Looks expensive. More than 8.000 Y and breakfast is more than 1.000 extra. I ask if there isn't anything in the neighborhood...? No, I'll have to go to Takamatsu, but THERE will be plenty... Thank you, I'm aware of

She's gone and comes back with a new price: 7.500 Y without breakfast, so I go and find a supermarket and sit now in front of a 40" Sony TV and MORE space than I'm used to. There's also a small armchair and a small round table and fridge and internet.

It's called Sanbonmatsu Royal Hotel and I am King of the Road...