Japan day 18

Japan day 18
Kaga-Toyama 126 km
To bow or not to bow….that is a very good question. I would say, if in doubt, always bow. Japanese people seem to bow at every given opportunity. When I got on my first internal flight with Japan Airlines, the stewards bowed reverentially to the whole cabin several times, then to each passenger as they served food and drink. A lot of bobbing up and down went on throughout the journey.
TV presenters and weather forecasters bow deeply to the camera both before and after their presentations. Go up to someone in the street to ask directions, and you’re likely to get a preliminary bow. After a while, it becomes instinctive. Even traffic controllers at road works have bowed to me when they have waved me through, and my helmeted head nods back in acknowledgement.
I like it. In fact, I like it so much that the next time I cycle past you in the street, I shall expect a deep reverential bow…..

Today’s journey will go down in the annals of my own personal history as eminently forgettable. Why? Too busy a highway, a headwind that was unforgivably strong, and it was freezing cold! The weather front is coming from Siberia, and will continue as such for several more days. I almost feel like turning back and heading south again….but then that’s what a wimp would do. This man is made of sterner stuff….

The great plus about today was being welcomed into the home of Taka…


A member of Warmshowers, he has cycled in many parts of the world, including across America, and around most of the Baltic countries. His next trip will take in Korea and parts of China, and next year he will return to Europe, including the UK and Ireland.
After we had finished our meal and ‘chewed the fat’ extensively over matters cycling, he talked about his collection of guitars, banjos and mandolins, and then gave me an impromptu little performance.

Tomorrow, he will cycle with me out of Toyama to put me on the coastal road (the best route) to my next destination. What better service could one cyclist give to another…..?


About Frank Burns

Looking for the extraordinary in the commonplace………taking the road less travelled……..striving for the ‘faculty of making happy chance discoveries’ in unremarkable circumstances. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on April 7, 2015, in End-to-End of Japan 3000kms and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I knew you were no wimp. 🙂
    Great to see fellow cyclists taking care of each other.

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