A long trip by train


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 52


Wednesday 02.10.13    2,97 km + 1 km carrying the bike


I'm in the train more sweaty than ever. It was nasty. One hour before at the station should be fine. Now, it was maybe only 50 min, but still...

I didn't check how to get to the platform in advance. I know what it will be like in Nagoya Sta., where I have to get from platform 14 to platform 11, but that didn't help.

So I went to the station and followed the shinkansen signs until I came to the ticket control. Packed the bicycle in its bag and explained , that I'd return for the rest of my luggage. And then I started walking....

Had to get up and across the station to the other side - it was far. There they had another ticket control, he stamped my ticket as well, and then up to the platform. Do I have to say more...? The non reserved cars were about 200 m down the platform. I was sweating already and something on the bike that I carry with a belt over my shoulder, pinched my leg, so I stumble on...

Then I had to find my way back. It was easy to get to the last ticket control, but from there...?

It was now 9.03am, so I had 10 min's left. Well, I did it - 9.10am I stood sweating like hell and waited and stepped into the train as the last - I have to get out again to get the rest.

Holy shit... I took a shower last night before I went to bed, and now I feel I stink from sweat. Next time I'll plan every single step on forehand...

Here in Shin-Osaka (Osaka's shinkansen station) I move from aisle to window seat. It's been pretty crowded in this early train. "This is the super express..", she says in the loudspeaker. We only stop 6 times before Tokyo, but I'm only going to Nagoya - with a stress on the first syllable. This train must be one of them going more than 300 km/h?

A train stawardess just came and looked worried at my bike, which is tied as usual in the opposite side of where people get off and on... Except in Nagoya, where you get on/off in the other side, as far as I understand. Then it's lucky I step off there.

But it's typical for the japanese. Nothing must bother anybody - be in the way - there must be no doubt. There's only one thing where this doesn't count. Not because there aren't any rules, but because they overlooked: In the sidewalk.
People walk and cycle among each other - in both directions, go - usually - left around other cyclists, but not always. And why is that? How can all this disorder be accepted in a regulated country like Japan?
I think it must be because the pedestrians and the cyclists have to wait for forever to cross the streets. As a compensation this disorder in the sidewalks is overlooked. And they also accept bicycles in the streets - also places where there are other possibilities. The other possibility is often also SO bad...

The wheather look somehow dark and cloudy in Osaka and Kyoto, but now it's fine again. I've also moved 528,2 km. In this new line I've changed to, I only have to go 166,7 km. (It's in a paper I got when I bought the ticket).

There was a train for Takayama 11.43am, but I couldn't make it. There were only 12 min. If I'd taken the train an hour later from Hiroshima, there'd been 17 min and I COULD have made it - maybe. But I'm truely happy having had plenty of time also for lunch.

Maybe I moan about everything being so expensive, but you can buy a waffle with icecream for 126 Y = 1. That's not bad.

We reach Gifu in 18 min. It looks like it's 1/3 of the distance and now we've got 2 hours for the rest. But we have to enter the mountains, and we'll probably have many stops - I don't know - only that we should arrive at 15.05pm.

We been among mountains for long and it has turned into a rather narrow valley, where we from time to time go right trough the mountain in stead of going all the way around the bend. Twice we stopped to let an on coming train pass. And since then we've had two stops, the last in Gero, where the valley has turned wide.

We arrive 10 min late in Takayama. What kind of disorder is that...? And when I later talk to a german, I knew I'd meet again, it was the same story for him.

Tomorrow I'll go around the town and down to the river and up to the 48 waterfalls, which are 5-6 km away. And then I've tried to find out IF it's possible to go to Matsumoto in one day? My conclusion until now is that it'll be 85 km. It doesn't sound so much, but I'll go from 600 m up to 1690 m, down again to 1250 m and then up to 1870 m before ending in Matsumoto in 600 m. (All based on Google Earth) That's about 1600 m's up...! I'm not sure what to think....