Slow Tour Comes to Japan: Day 1


We arrived in Japan from London at Tokyo International Airport (HND) walked briskly through immigration and customs to the arrivals hall where we met our friend, Takero. We promptly pulled out our pre-prepared cycling luggage – two Brompton Bags and two small panniers and our bikes ready for our flight Hiroshima.

In Haneda we took advantage of the luggage delivery service – which meant our big bike bags and our other suitcases would magically arrive at our hotel 4 days later and appear in our room! Awesome!

Perhaps what is more amazing is that the Japan Airlines transported our bikes without any protective bags to Hiroshima without incident. They carefully placed our bikes in the boxes shown above and added some protective bubble wrap. Here are our bikes in Hiroshima. It is a caring service.

Hiroshima is:

  • the capital of Hiroshima Prefecture in Japan
  • is located on the broad, flat delta of the Ota River, which has 7 channel outlets dividing the city into six islands which project into Hiroshima Bay
  • an industrial city of wide boulevards and criss-crossing rivers along the coast of the Seto Inland Sea
  • a bright, modern city with a sad history: in 1945 it was the location of the world’s first nuclear bombing  

The Route

Hiroshima is a convenient location for getting to the Tobishima Kaido and Shimanami Kaido. These two blue-line cycling routes are the the objective of our journey.

After at an awesome Okonomiyaki lunch – Hiroshima style, I did however plot a loop ride that took us past many of the interesting spots in Hiroshima.


Hiroshima is a mostly flat city. So included what seems to be the only hill. Up there is where the art gallery is! Some photos from the ride are below.

Hiroshima Peace memorial

We came across some fellow travellers from Lithuania, they’ve been doing an epic ride over a couple of months in Japan that had bikes that matched ours.

Hiroshima Castle
Memorial Cathedral for World Peace

Preparation for the big day ahead

Getting ready for the big ride the next day meant plenty of carb loading! Remember no gyoza, no life!

Best mocha on holiday yet!

Best mocha on holiday yet!
Originally uploaded by Helen K

I didn’t think it was possible… but yes we found a mocha that was quite good in Japan.

While waiting for the ferry back to Hiroshima we had 25 minutes to use so we wandered over to a coffee and food place not far from the ferry terminal on Miyajima island.

It is very different from my top three favourite mocha locations in Adelaide. The coffee was strong enough, and had some chocolate in it – but it also contained a dlop of sweaten chocolate cream in the middle.

Ohtorii gate

Ohtorii gate
Originally uploaded by Helen K

Today we visited Miyajima island, home of the Itsukushima Shrine (another UNESCO World Heritage Site) and the large red Ohtorii gate.

The day started well with hot coffee from the vending machine, before we hopped aboard the local train and a custard filled fish before we caught the ferry over to the island.

Thankfully we didn’t have to take off our shoes 🙂 It was in a very beautiful location. Click on my photos to see some more images.

Afterwards we wandered up to the cable care/ropeway. Wandered probably not the best term as it was quite steep in places. Must admit that I am beginning to feel quite un-fit, despite all the walking we are doing.


We thought the deers in Nara were friendly. The

Originally uploaded by kdt

Miyajima deers are super friendly and certainly own the entire town.

By the way Miyajima is one of Japan’s top three scenic spots.