The weather has been perfect….

… for cycling in Japan and catching up with friends. We spent three days cycling the Tobishima Kaido and the Shimanami Kadio, which is in the inland Sea of Japan near Hiroshima with our friend Takero. The views like the picture above were stunning… and the roads were great (sorry England, but here they are maintained). We had a great time and value the time spent. Namma bieru mitsu onegaishimasu (hiragana does not work in the blog so you get bad Japanese)!

We were also fortunate to catch up with some of our Brompton friends at the hi-monthly Brompton in Palace meeting. It was great to see all the bikes, enjoy fast food udon, and visit a park which you can cycle around and see many things – including bonsai, traditional garden and open spaces. It was a great day and we value being able to attend! Thank you Mayumi! For more information search for Brompton in Palace on Facebook.

We also spent time with our non cycling friends Gaku, Ryoko and Shota seeing their Tokyo and getting to visit our favourite shops in new locations. Gaku planned a great day involving seeing an exhibition at Tenozu Island of Channel called Mademoiselle Privé – about fashion and her inspiration, and a great lunch – It’s always interesting seeing Tokyo from the perspective of people who live here.

Kym and I really appreciate the time spent with us – we look forward to seeing you all again soon.

Kyoto Best by Bike

Kyoto Best by Bike, originally uploaded by kdt.

There is absolutely no doubt, Kyoto is best seen by bike. Yesterday we met up with volunteers from the Kyoto University Good Samaritans Club. They showed us their Kyoto. We hired bikes ate lunch at the University and enjoyed giant servings of green tea sweets! For good measure we saw a shrine or two! But the best bit was cycling around parts of Kyoto that are well off the tourist path! For good measure we hired bikes again this morning and did some of the most rewarding cycling. Their tiny streets and interesting buildings make it a great joy. As soon as you arrive in Kyoto you should hire a bike from the Kyoto Cycling Tour Project. The things we happened upon were interesting real world shops, good coffee, a small shrine and kimono parade!

No #1 Best Attraction at Olympic Park

No #1 Best Attraction at Olympic Park, originally uploaded by kdt.

You’d think it might be the Birds Nest or perhaps the Water Cube.. but for some young, and not so young, Chinese it is the foreigner! There were many groups from regional China who asked us in English if they could have their photograph taken with us. One photo turned into many as each member of the group asked us for a photo on there camera. We could have set up a stand and charged one yuan, but that wouldn’t be consistent with the olympic spirit, would it?

If you are reading this blog and recognise yourself in this photo, or these other ones on Flickr, leave us a comment on this post.