Rest day in Mito (Honshu)

Some days I just need to rest. As in pretty much not get out of bed. I think it’s an important part of my travels to have these days out. And in Japan the rest days are even nicer with lots of cheap business hotels where one can have the privacy of your own room…

Nishikata to Mito (Honshu)

After a rainy night I wake to find that there are again plenty of fellow travelers at the michi-no-eki. I am pitched quietly away from the main crowd on a patch of fresh grass under a tree. I’ve run out of cocoa and tea bags so am grateful that the vending machine has hot milk…

Marunumakogen to Nishikata (Honshu)

I wake up early and set off into the spring snow. I can see why some years this pass is closed until the beginning of June; there is still plenty of snow on the ground even now in mid-spring. I’ve heard that this spring has been unseasonably warm in Japan so the passes have opened…

Takayama to Marunumakogen (Honshu)

As I pack to leave the michi-no-eki, more local Japanese campers start to talk with me. I love the fact that most speak little or no eigo (English) because it is refreshing to be in a place that hasn’t been totally colonised by the English-speaking world. Using sign language, a few known phrases, some guesswork,…

Saku to Tomioka (Honshu)

I make a grave mistake waking up and thinking “oh I just have 50km to ride today so it will be easy”. This is never a good way to start the day because it focuses my mind on the finish line, rather than on enjoying where I am. And focusing on the finish line inevitably…

Takanekita to Saku (Honshu)

I wake to discover that I am no longer alone sheltered on the stage. A motorcyclist has joined me during the night and pitched his tent. His motorbike is just parked right next to the stage on the grassy play area and he’s put his pannier bags next to his tent. We are not alone…