Stopped by the rain


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 9


Tuesday 20.08.13      52,03 km

It's 4.30am. The first cup of tea is just being made- I've for long waited that it should get bright enough to get up. A cat is walking in the street... No, it stops -it's a fox rather bright in colour. It's a little cold and indeed damp. I don't think it has been raining, but the moist in the air is high. A little sunshine now would do, but the sky is grey.

I take long to pack. By mistake I don't return to the main road but end in the cycle track, which I apparently could have followed longer. Fine but it end being blocked! Without any major problems I reach back on road 12 and follow it further on, but now there's no word about Asahikawa. After consulting my map, Nelles, which I trust the most, I mean to be on a northern round and I go by one of the road to the side in the direction in which the city must be. It's far. Finally I see a sign with the "zhong"
character (in chinese). Think it means center and it seems to fit. (since then I've realized it means something completely different, as it's also found out in the country). But this time it works. Soon after it says Asahikawa Sta. 1 km. That's what I'm aiming at as experience tells that there'll be a tourist info or a travel center. In this case both. They open in 45 min.

It's 2.15pm and I'm heading at desserted areas. The traffic is less and the road has only two lanes. Asahikawa was a HUGE city. I saw 3 westeners in all, the first since Tokyo. The station was the size of that in Chengdu but with just 1/100 the people - maybe less. And the tourist office had free wi-fi, so I didn't have to search for Starbucks. Had some useful information even the girl had to call for somebody else as she didn't speak english herself. Now I think I'll go around east Hokkaido and then take the train f.ex. from Abashiri to Sapporo. There is a direct train so I don't have to change. From Sapporo I'll go
on west/south-Hokkaido and in the end take a ferry over to Tohuko as the northern part of Honshu is called.

Again I was lucky with the rain. I was heading at a rain in the north, that dragged away and drove away from one to the south. Here the surface is still wet.

A new thunderstorm is coming on from behind. I thought I might reach Kamikawa, but suddenly appear a rescue. A big parking lot, a toilet building and a small house with 8 tables each able to house 6 people. A kitchen sink in one end and some shelves and lockable cupboards.

Now I've been here for long I think I know what it is. There's also a golf course. The small house where the girl sits is the reception, and then people can go into the other house whenever they feel the need for lunch. For the moment it's just me and my bike. When I hinted if I could, she nodded. Beside that we could only say "Konnichiwa" - hello - to each other.  It had just started raining.

                     It started raining... and it kept on

Now it's really pouring and I'm sitting here dry with my bike and all. How lucky can one be? It's gonna take  some time.
10 min's ago my telephone rang - again. An unknown - again. Hello, who's calling? It was the postmaster in the postoffice where I work. She must have been the only one there who didn't know I was in Japan. When I said I was the conversation had a quick end.

They're playing Chuck Berry over at the reception: Johnny B.Goode, that really something for an old rocker as I, now I haven't listened to music for a long time. Afterwards it's Led Zeppelin, something with: "lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely..... Anyone knows the title?


                 We were safe and dry - my bike and I

Now I've been here for one and a half hours, one rain and thunder came after the ot her. It's 5pm and it's getting darker and there's 22 km to a town, where there MIGHT be a hotel. It doesn't look good. Just as I'm thinking this the girl from the reception comes running with a note: "I close it at here six pm." I tell with gestures that I need somewhere to sleep for the night. She thinks for a moment. I have to follow her. To the last building, which is also a toilet building. There's a stair up, what's
up there I don't know, but she "asks" if I can sleep there? It's fine! Hai - yes! So I don't have to put up the tent, that would get wet. But I have to be off before 8 in the morning! Hai, hai - I will. That was touching. I'm saved - once more.