Thursday 6th April
Blimey, what a day to start biking to Tokyo! Next 5 days has rain forecast every day!
I started under overcast skies along the sea front squashed between huge warehousing operations and an elevated motorway! It soon opened out to retail parks. I’m following the so-called coastal route I downloaded of the internet. This soon had me zig-zagging through housing communities. Then the rain started 🙁 so I abandoned the scenic route and ploughed down the path alongside the main road eventually sheltering in the vast IKEA (totally identical to the one in Milton Keynes, even down to the veggie food balls!) The rain cleared so I set off again!
I noticed on my Pocket Earth app, which I use to follow the downloaded Tokyo route an interesting blue line that headed to the coast and seemed likely to eventually meet up with the route again in Kitakyushu.
So the weather looked grey but not raining so off I went! passing through the ancient Munakata Shrine complex and then on a custom bike path alongside the river eventually hitting the sea near a fantastic Michi-no-Eki rest area with a pastry shop like no other! although they insist on wrapping everything, even though you are going to eat the stuff in the upstairs restaurant! The Japanese seem very rule bound: -(
The cyclepath continued up the coast through woods and then alongside the coast, with the strong wind behind I was sailing along 🙂 After Ashiya the rain started in earnest 🙁 as I continued along the 495 coast road – a big mistake.
If you are reading this because you want to cycle this route then just before Ashiya return inland along the river to just before Nakama then follow the cycle route into Kitakyushu. You won’t then be subject to the rest of my misery
The rain and traffic worsened I misjudged one of the many bumps up and down to the path and SPLAT over I went 🙁 bashing my shoulder, scraping my knee and tearing skin from a finger 🙁 🙁 I righted my aching body and fortunately the bike and my belongings were intact 🙂
I eventually reached the river and to my dismay, the tunnel is closed for cyclists 🙁 I then rode to the bridge, the same story. The next crossing is 6 miles upstream along the busy road, in the rain with an aching body nightmare.
I eventually, in the dusk and still raining navigated around underneath the elevated roadway, rail tracks and industrial areas. Because of the wet I couldn’t use booking.com, the iPhone7 may be waterproof but the screen doesn’t work well under water 🙁
I eventually stumbled upon the Hotel Santoku, run by a very pleasant lady who was most concerned about my bloody right hand. I quickly switched the AC to heat mode and started to dry out 🙂
Later I had a run in with the assistant in the bakery store when I was trying to use the camera to Google Translate the various loaves of bread! Lawd, she went bonkers with I imagine the no camera rule that supermarkets, even in the UK, love to enforce, a real downside to the Google app. Needless to say, they lost the sale.