Without a map…

Being in a city on holiday without needing a map gives you freedom.  You either have no idea where you are and happy to experience what ever comes you way – or you actually know where you are going.  I can confidently say there is a small part of Tokyo I can navigate (providing it’s light) without a map.  I can get my self to at least two coffee shops, a patisserie from our regular hotel in Tokyo – which is the basics in life!

Transit

Ah… Japan

Gotta love cute

Kyoto

“I can help with your shoes”

Kyoto

I can keep your tray up…

Train

…. and the city have Characters!

Kanazawa

Things you can buy….

Kanazawa

Personal fridge just for my lunch at work.  It would fit under my desk!  Don’t worry, I didn’t buy it…

Kanazawa

Then there are things you don’t understand why –

Kanazawa - Japan

Imagine if local government used these instead of orange cones!

Kanazawa - Japan

Love Japan

Kanazawa - Japan

For the cyclists…

On Sunday we cycled The Shimanami Kaido.  It is known as a “must do” route for cyclists.  We had heard about it from our Japanese Brompton friends who have done the route and provided us information.  While we aren’t in Japan for long we thought – yeah we can do 74km+ in a day on our Brompton’s!

Inland sea bike ride - Japan

I acknowledge to actually enjoy the area and ride and the number of side options it would be best to stay in the area a number of days. Saying that we planned just a day – and the weather was going to be a perfect 30 degrees.

Kyoto

As we were in Kyoto we caught the train (not the cheapest option I know!) to the beginning at Onomichi… and caught the ferry over to the beginning. We were surprised by the number of people who were hiring bikes – here is a photo of a couple!

https://flic.kr/p/XMsna

Here’s he route – we did the red line, which is considered ‘recommended’. There are other options if you have more time or need a challenge!

Inland sea bike ride - Japan

Along the road is a blue line you follow, so it’s hard to get lost.

Inland sea bike ride - Japan

As there area number of bridges, these twoo are well marked for cyclists & pedestrians.

Inland sea bike ride - Japan

Inland sea bike ride - Japan

Inland sea bike ride - Japan

The route takes you through working parts of the island, and areas which specialises in citrus fruit (oranges, lemons etc), so the view is mixed along with mountains and water.  

Inland sea bike ride - Japan

Inland sea bike ride - Japan

Along the route, there are a number of stops you can make, which have nice views of the area – and occasionally vending machines.

Inland sea bike ride - Japan

Inland sea bike ride - Japan

Along the route you are on the same road as cars – although there is opportunity to go on a path along side the road.  The condition of the road is better than many of the cycle lanes in Adelaide (unless of course they have just laid the road).  The drivers were very courteous and gave plenty of space – although there is always one which goes too close!

Inland sea bike ride - Japan

Along the route we stopped at a little cafe for lunch – hot dog and a hamburger (not as any Australian knows it). They were kind as they filled up our water bottles too.

Inland sea bike ride - Japan

Riding on the bridges was fabulous. Majority of the time there was a separate line from the cars – or underneath.

Inland sea bike ride - Japan

Inland sea bike ride - Japan

Inland sea bike ride - Japan

Inland sea bike ride - Japan

Inland sea bike ride - Japan

There was one stop in particular (halfway point) which has a lot of spaces for cyclists and sells the local produce along with sweats etc.  we enjoyed a fabulous ice cream which was orange flavoured.  Funnily enough Kym went off to buy it (had to use a vending machine to get a ticket).. and had some assistance from a Japanese person, and came back and said “I should of let you do that…” haha 🙂

Inland sea bike ride - Japan

The ride itself was perfect – we really enjoyed it.  Along the recommended route there are a few small challenges to get up hills to the bridge height, but nothing we couldn’t handle on the Brompton – yeah for low gears!
Inland sea bike ride - Japan

Inland sea bike ride - Japan

We made it to the last train connection back to Kyoto… weph! Given the temperature was suppose to be 30 that day we were pretty tired… and pleased to see the train station (oh those last 4kms!), and buy ekiben! It was certainly great day on the bike!

Inland sea bike ride - Japan

Inland sea bike ride - Japan

Inland sea bike ride - Japan

Jet lag…

It’s 2:30 here in Tokyo, and I’m wide awake.  I put off looking at any device for over an hour…. tried putting the tv on sleep (worked the first time!), but no luck. 

Yesterday (after sleeping in until 9:30), we cycled to one of our favourite coffee shops in Tokyo – Glitch.  Had a cappuccino and a cake each. It was delightful.  Kym still had his frequent coffee card from last visit – we should be able to get a free one before we return home. 

Tokyo

Over coffee we decided to go to the National Museum of Modern Art.  It was in the local area, and we’ve always had it on our list  but never been. After finding a convenient bike park…

Tokyo

…we went in.  The current exhibition was on the Japanese house – architecture and life after 1945  and covered to the current time. It was a look at the different styles of houses and how & why they were built in Japan – a really fascinating exhibition, including short videos, drawings, models. 

 https://flic.kr/p/Y6z9ov

Tokyo

Tokyo

Tokyo

Tokyo

Tokyo

Tokyo

After looking around the rest of the exhibition we enjoyed lunch from a food truck (with beer) which was quite cheap – $15.  The ticket was joint with their craft gallery.  It was their 40th anniversary, and as part of the exhibition there were stamps to collect as you went round… and you got a free gift at the end – which is useful – A5 paper holder.

Tokyo

Tokyo

Well… I should try to sleep- hopefully this worked!

Yes, we went to the Socceroos match…

Socceroos vs Japan

I will acknowledge we were tired.  Managed to get some sleep on the plane between Frankfurt and Tokyo (food was pretty good).

Transit

Above photo is somewhere over Japan… we did manage to see Mt Fuji in the distance above the clouds before the plane descended, and landed in rain.

The match was not the best… especially according to a few people around us.  I think I could tell by the swearing, throwing bits of cardboard.  I recognise we weren’t doing well (always a sign) but with the behaviour it certainly does not make Australia look good.  At least there were a number of people who just wanted to sit and watch the match – we were one of those! Japan certainly had the better of the Australian team. It was great going to the match and being part of it – especially when the Japanese scored. Wow – an amazing sound.

Socceroos vs Japan

On the train back we started to fall asleep (yeah jet lag). We managed to get back to the hotel around 11:30.

Europe- done and dusted

Well folks, our Europe leg is over, and we’re about to board a flight to Japan.

We fared pretty well, and cycling lived up to our expectations.  Including the four flat tyres we’ve had (Berlin, Paris, London, and Warsaw). Kym’s done a sterling job on changing the back tyre! Yes, we didn’t realise the irony of the sign until we’d started.

London

The meal and breakfast at Faviken lived up to everything we expected – and then some! The experience was fabulous, and really enjoyable.  Now keen to try more Nordic food. We even met a couple of Australian’s – hello!

Faviken

Faviken

Faviken

Faviken

Walkinh on the roof on buildings in Stockholm was something else.

Stockholm

You’ll hear from us the other side of the pond.

Bridlington

Ah… Paris

There are many things to love (just a few)

Paris

Paris

Paris

… and things to hate, like broken glass in bike lanes, and litter.

Cycling is a little crazy in Paris – rules?! Not sure what they are and who is following them – probably no one!

Paris

Paris

Paris

One ‘Hull’ of a time

While on holiday it’s great to catch up with family & friends.  This trip is no exception.  We went to Hull to visit my uncle. While we’re we’re there we also cycled over the Humber Bridge – once the longest single span bridge in the world.  This was surpassed many years ago… but it was a great ride.

We had a chat to the artist painting a tribute to Amy Johnson (first female to fly solo from Britain to Australia)- who was born in Hull. We shared some photos of graffiti we’d seen in Gdansk  – which he enjoyed.  Hopefully, I’ll see the finished version on the internet.

Hull - ride to Barton & North Ferriby via Heasle

After that we set off for the bridge. We saw some art along Hessle Road

Hull - ride to Barton & North Ferriby via Heasle

Hull - ride to Barton & North Ferriby via Heasle

Hull - ride to Barton & North Ferriby via Heasle

Traverses some interesting roads/footpaths/ cycle paths

Hull - ride to Barton & North Ferriby via Heasle

Hull

Stopped briefly in Hessle to visit the library. 

Hull - ride to Barton & North Ferriby via Heasle

Hull - ride to Barton & North Ferriby via Heasle

Bridlington

Hull - ride to Barton & North Ferriby via Heasle

… and we went on our way again (no public toilets, newspapers or magazines), and over the bridge.

Hull - ride to Barton & North Ferriby via Heasle

Hull - ride to Barton & North Ferriby via Heasle

Hull - ride to Barton & North Ferriby via Heasle

Hull - ride to Barton & North Ferriby via Heasle

Hull - ride to Barton & North Ferriby via Heasle

Hull - ride to Barton & North Ferriby via Heasle

We stopped by the Sloop Inn for lunch 

Hull - ride to Barton & North Ferriby via Heasle

…. and back then North Ferriby.

Hull - ride to Barton & North Ferriby via Heasle

Hull - ride to Barton & North Ferriby via Heasle

Hull - ride to Barton & North Ferriby via Heasle

Hull - ride to Barton & North Ferriby via Heasle

Hull - ride to Barton & North Ferriby via Heasle

Where we had another drink (needed energy to get back to my uncles)… and cycled down Boothferry road – which was a fabulous downhill.  It was certainly a grand ride!