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Month: September 2015

Gaijin on a Push Bike – Day 1

Gaijin on a Push Bike – Day 1

In case you didn’t happen to read the prologue, our intrepid hero – a ten-years-younger, marginally fitter and not yet completely bald Muzuhashi – has finished preparations for his summer holiday cycle tour of Japan… Wednesday 20th July 2005 – Mito to Toridé (水戸 – 取手) There was a sign near my apartment that read ‘Tokyo 110km’, and I had given myself the best part of two days to cover that distance and catch the ferry. Having turned off the…

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Gaijin on a Push Bike – Day 4

Gaijin on a Push Bike – Day 4

Saturday 23rd July 2005 – Kita-Kyushu to Kazoku-Ryokomura-Ajimu (北九州 – 家族旅行村安心院)I had prepared myself for an early start, but it still came as a shock to be awoken at four thirty a.m. by the announcement that we were soon to disembark, and could we please remember to take all of our belongings with us. Back on dry land and back on the Mariposa, the weather was so cool that I vowed to get up this early from now on, the…

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Gaijin on a Push Bike – Day 16

Gaijin on a Push Bike – Day 16

Thursday 4th August 2005 – Iwakuni to Higashi-Hiroshima (岩国 – 東広島) At one point on the road towards the city centre, the traffic had been halted to make way for a procession of around a hundred people. Many of them wore Buddhist robes, and together they were pulling a long metal frame with a wooden trailer at one end. According to the leaflets they were handing out this was Stonewalk Japan, and the trailer contained a seven-hundred-kilogramme memorial stone that was…

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Wrong Way Round – Day 28

Wrong Way Round – Day 28

Kuromatsunai – Setana (黒松内 – せたな) Because a strong wind had whipped up overnight, packing the bike turned into a silent film-style comedy routine, in that every time I leaned over to pick something up it blew away and had me chasing around the campsite after it. The wind was so strong, in fact, that on the descent from a mountain pass above Kuromatsunai I reached my top speed of the summer, a quite literally eye-watering 63kph. For some reason,…

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Wrong Way Round – Day 31

Wrong Way Round – Day 31

Fukushima – Hakodaté (福島 – 函館) – 78km Mrs Wisteria Mountain treated me to a truly epic breakfast of rice, fried eggs, pickles, spinach, miso soup, prawn and asparagus stir-fry, milk, yoghurt, Yakult, potato salad, tomatoes, raw squid and grilled salmon. As well as asking if I wanted seconds (although it was rude of me, I had to turn her down on this one), she discounted my bill, re-filled my water bottle and sent me on my way with a…

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