Japan day 19

Japan day 19
Toyama-Joetsu 128 km
Over a leisurely breakfast with Taka, I learn more about his family (daughter married in the US, and a son in Toyama), how he learned his English (music, radio and travel), more about his collection of guitars

image

and the beautiful Japanese cedar wood house he had built for himself

image

in a traditional old Japanese design. Most original houses like this were destroyed during the war and, of course, new houses these days have a more contemporary design.
Taka wanted to accompany me out of the city

image

and put me on the coast road, which would be my best route for the day. And I was not disappointed. It took me along a stretch of road that had some considerable history in the development of communications between east and west Honshu.

My light relief from a full-on in-my- face wind came after 40km, when  the snow-covered Alps started descending directly onto the road. This meant that, to build the road, they had to carve huge swathes out of the rocks, and put in these overhang tunnels for miles and miles….

image

.hence providing me with shelter from the wind. I couldn’t believe my luck. What had started as a very challenging day, suddenly changed complexion…..and since cyclists were banned from one the tunnels, following the original road along the cliffs, I came across a monument

image

commemorating the centuries of dangerous passage along this coastline, where countless lives were lost….until, of course, this road was built.

image

The views were spectacular….something that had also been appreciated by the British missionary, Rev Walter Weston

image

who, during his three periods of missionary service in the late 19th century, virtually pioneered alpine climbing and trekking in Japan. It would seem he’s venerated as the father of mountaineering here in Japan.
The pace towards Joetsu got faster then, suddenly, I caught sight of Yamaguchi

image

across a very busy highway. I ‘risked life and limb’ to join him for a chat, and despite our mutual lack of language, I learned he was a sushi restaurant owner, but he was now on a mission to cycle the entire coastline of the four major islands of Japan. Frankly, my jaw dropped…..he showed me his entire route, and I reckon it will surpass 20,000 kms.

image

Just before we mounted our respective bikes to go in opposite directions, he ran across the road to give me 2 little ‘chocos’ (chocolates), giving me a thumbs-up and saying “Segoi!” (fantastic!)
I have to say, Yamaguchi made my day.
But not just him…..when I arrived at Joetsu, and eventually found the agreed meeting point at Takada Station, I was to meet Canadian, Matt, who helped to make an improving day even better…..but more of that in another post.

Advertisements

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 9, 2015, in End-to-End of Japan 3000kms. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. everyday you tease us with “but more of that in another post” love it!

  2. Glad to know you biked safely to Joetsu.

  3. I like that the inscription was ‘curved’

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Looking For 42

Traveling the world looking for the meaning for life (and whatever else I might find along the way)

Off The Beaten Path

Inside news from Bicycle Quarterly and Compass Bicycles

Bike 5

Five miles or less? Bikes are best!

Kite*Surf*Bike*Rambling

KITESURFING, CYCLING, SUP: ramblings, idiocy and not much more

Cycling Dutch Girl

the only certainty is change

4000milestothesea

On a bicycle from coast to coast across the USA

CyclingEurope.org

Europe... on a bicycle

Self Propelled

Self propelled adventures through life; blogging on cycling, touring, micro-adventures, general shenanigans, and environmental news

chrisp666

Cycling across Europe, Cornwall to Munich

fossilcycle

FOSSIL - A Fine Old Senior Soul In Lycra

The Vicious Cycle

A man searches for meaning...in between leg shavings

2 l o v e c y c l i n g

It's about cycling ... and other travels

There And Back Again

Life at 15 miles per hour

As Easy As Riding A Bike

Well it should be, shouldn't it?

Bike Around Britain

Blog on cycling around the coast of Britain

David Noble's Blog

Life, Loves and Living

weston.front

The Weston Front - the destination of a road less travelled...

The Innocent Bikestander

It can be better

Bike, Banjo & Baby

They go together so well

Something for Kiki and the Pok

the adventures of Christopher Yardin - by plane, bike, through a lens, or the eyes of a child

Bricycling...

Cycling Blog

Richard Tulloch's LIFE ON THE ROAD

Travel adventures on wheels and legs

THE SPORTSWOOL DIARIES

................."Cherry picking the nicest places in the world to cycle"

Gippsland Granny

Musings from Metung

Serendipities of life

Taking the road less travelled

I Do Not Despair

When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

Tom’s Bike Trip

Adventures and experiments in two-wheeled travel

All Seasons Cyclist

Real World Product Reviews For Avid Cyclists

machacas on wheels

Taking the road less travelled

%d bloggers like this: