Cycling through Japan – travel journal, part 3

3rd part of our memories from cycling through Japan. We were on bikes for three weeks and did over 800km from Kyoto to Tokyo. Today part of the journey between Takayama and Kamikochi right in the middle of Japanese Alps (marked in green on the map). Finally, we have some diversity from cycling replaced with trekking!

 

cycling through japan
Takayama – Kamikochi

 

Previous notes and pictures from our cycling diary can be found here:

Cycling through Japan – travel journal, part 1

Cycling through Japan – travel journal, part 2

 

 

Day 10 (29/09/2015), Takayama

Rest day! We are chilling out and sightseeing Takayama on bikes without any luggage. Takayama retains a traditional touch like few other Japanese cities, especially in its beautifully preserved old town. Some shops or sake breweries have been in business for centuries!

 

Day 11 (30/09/2015), Takayama -> Hirayu

Killer-road, never-ending hill. After 5h climbing, we reached Hirayu Tunnel at 1670 m above sea level! We spent the night at a campground in Hirayu village. It was freezing cold during the night and we were sleeping in the tent. Other people were warming up in mountain huts but we had nice tiny onsen instead.

 

Day 12 (01/10/2015), Hirayu->Kamikochi

Killer road no.2. Again up the hill but this time with rain.
Kamikochi is a small settlement in the Japanese Alps, a great spot for those who wants to climb mountains nearby. We knew it was going to rain all night so we set the tent at the highest place on the campsite, checked all pegs at least twice. Around 1 o’clock in the night, a storm started to play with our little tent (£30 from Tesco, found on a shelf somewhere between soap and butter, so you can imagine the quality of it :D). It was blowing and raining. The worst night in our life! We were holding a frame of the tent in case it would be blown away. Most of the tents on the campsite fell apart or stood in the water but our cheap tent survived and after 5hrs fight we could finally fall asleep.

 

Day 13 (02/10/2015), Kamikochi

We were drying out whatever had got wet in a heavy rain… About 1pm we went climbing Mt.Yaka (it’s the volcano 2445 meters above sea level). Because we started to climb a little bit late we had to be in a rush as we wanted to come back before the dark. Part of the trek we did on bicycles and then we ran to the top. 4,5 hrs from campsite to the top of Mt.Yaka and back to the camp. 😀 Views on the top, priceless! 😀
Unfortunately, sleepless night was waiting for us again. It was supposed to be 7C overnight but was -1C… Our socks and towels which we left outside to let it dry were frozen! Same as bread and butter! Same us! 🙁

 

Day 14 (03/10/2015), Kamikochi

There was nothing that could stop us to climb 3k! We woke up very early and went climbing Mt. Mae-Hotakadake (3090 meters above sea level). Whoever knew about our plan – doing it in one day – was or laughing or thinking we were mental. Most of the climbers split it for 2-3 days and camp at 2100 meters to climb higher the next day. We were not scared of mountain’s height and we are quite fit so our plan was to do it in one day. We managed to get there and back in 8hrs. The best climb we have ever had in our life, stunning views! As a cherry on top we had a perfect weather so we could see Mt. Fuji (our next target) which was 120 miles away.

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

Cycling through Japan – travel journal, part 4