Cycling through Japan – travel journal, part 2

Weโ€™re cycling through Japan โ€“ in 3 weeks from Kyoto to Tokyo. We did over 800 km detour trip as we wanted to ride longer and see less touristy trials. Our notes and pictures from this trip divide into 5 parts. Today part no2. of the journey which is about what has happened between camping Ayukawaenchi in Fukui Prefecture and Takayama in the Japanese Alps. Our track is marked in green on the map below.


cycling in japan map
Ayukawaenchi Campground in Fukui Prefecture to Takayama in the Japanese Alps



First part of our notes from the tour you can find in the previous post:

Cycling through Japan – travel journal, part 1


Day 5 & 6 (24-25/09/2015) Ayukawaenchi -> Komatsu -> Kanazawa

It has been raining since yesterday! Light shower rain at the beginning and then heavy rain. After 5 nights spent in the tent, we deserved for a night in the hotel… ”love hotel”! Have you ever heard about love hotels in Japan? There are hotels where couples can rent a room for a few hours or (like we did) stay there overnight. Comparing to standard hotels in Japan they are reasonably priced and quite luxurious. Most of them have a sofa, jacuzzi, huge TV set, microwave, fridge, kettle, free drinks (sometimes free dinner and breakfast!) and many other extras. Rooms are spacious and spotless clean. Prices start from 4k yens and up when ”normal” dormitories are 2500-4000 yens per person (!).

The choice was obvious for us! In Komatsu we found ”love hotel” and now we are writing from another in Kanazawa, 18miles further north from Komatsu. Yesterday we had luxurious 3 storey flat for ourself. ๐Ÿ™‚ We had the garage for our bikes on the ground floor, living room with sofa, fridge and tv on the 1st floor. Then on 2nd floor: toilet and sink, on 3rd floor: huge bathroom and bedroom. We had a little control panel for all lights in the house near the bed. All the bells and whistles. Today for a change we have victorian style room โ€“ huge wooden bed with two chairs.

Few more words about how to get inside the hotel. There is not a front reception like in regular hotels. Contact between hotel staff and guests is limited to the minimum or almost none. In reception, there is usually big TV screen with pictures and prices of all rooms available. To pick one room you have to press the button near picture and then go to that room. Next day to check out you have to pay to the machine in the room. There isn’t any information in English and without the app, which is able to translate from a picture we would be lost. We know few letters in Japanese like ๅฎฟๆณŠ what means: overnight stay and our favorite one ็„กๆ–™ โ€“ for free ๐Ÿ˜€

Whoever wants to go to Japan and needs cheap hotel remember about ”love hotels” In our very first hotel what we found by chance while hitchhiking to Kyoto, we captured short clip about it and one day in the future we will post it because it’s one of those things that can be found only here in Japan. ๐Ÿ™‚


Day 7 (26/09/2015) Kanazawa -> Tonami

What is the chance to bump into someone in Japan in not touristic place at all, someone you met in the middle of the jungle somewhere in Borneo? It happened to us. ๐Ÿ˜€ We met Johannes 3 months ago in Mulu in Borneo. None of us had Japan in plans at all. After visiting Kanazawa Castle and Kenroku-en Garden we were coming back to our bikes and there we saw Johannes walking towards us. We couldn’t believe… It is still hard to. We didn’t have Kanazawa on our list and Johannes was there only because all tickets to Osaka were sold and he went Kanazawa instead. ๐Ÿ˜€


Day 8 (27/09/2015)

Tonami ->ย  Shirakimizunashi Prefectural Natural Park

We supposed to take the main road to Tokayama but finally we chose less used roads… The road we took wasn’t used at all! The width of the road for one car or less was turning into dirt road sometimes, very difficult climbs and much more diversions. With unknown reasons, most of the roads were closed. GPS kept losing satellites. We were riding up the mountains through the forest on the winding road. We didn’t see any passing cars or people. At the end, we did nearly 40 miles and we planned only 20. We arrived at the campsite after dark. We found out there that the forest we were riding was full of bears…


Day (28/09/2015)

Shirakimizunashi Prefectural Natural Park ->Takayama

We woke up early morning and asked the only one person on the campsite, Mr. Yoichi about the nearest shop so we could buy something to eat for a breakfast. There was one… 20 miles away! We had a vending machine on the spot so we bought 4 drinks with the highest amount of calories, ate some sweets we had and we hit the road!ย  Mr. Yoichi gave us half of the baguette with jam that he had. ๐Ÿ˜€ Two hungry bikers managed to ride up to 1380m above sea level and then down the hill to Hida and to Takayama. ๐Ÿ™‚



Next part of our notes from the tour you can find here:

Cycling through Japan – travel journal, part 3