Day 2 : Kotohira to Tokushima

Original Date : 4/29

I didn’t get a very good nights sleep because it was really cold. As I got up in the moring I was really, really cold. I had a lot of trouble putting the tent together because my hands were shaking. After leaving there was a sign on the road indicating that the current temperature was 2C and all I had were a few shirts and a pair of shorts. I got under way as soon as possible. Just down the road there was one of the longest tunnels that I have ever ridden through at over 3000m. There were no other cars in it as I passed through.

The first stop of the day was Udatsuno old town where lots of old buildings still remained from the Meiji era. I always love just walking through these old towns. Additionally there was a special low height bridge.

Continue reading Day 2 : Kotohira to Tokushima

Day 1 : From Takamatsu to Mt. Konpira

After arriving at Takamatsu station, I started by putting my bicycle together which took somewhat more time than expected. From there, I wanted to see the city a little bit and I wound up going to the garden of the remains of Takamatsu castle which is right across the street from the station. I was really amazed at how neat the garden was. Usually these castle remains are quite plain, but this was a properly maintained Japanese garden which also included a few remaining buildings from the Takamatsu castle complex.

From there I rode through the city and arcades to get a good look at the city. The next stop would be Kokubun-ji temple which is #80 on the 88-temple tour. The nice feature of this temple was that it featured a mini-tour of the 88 temples by having a small stone marking each one of the temples. Additionally the grounds were filled with trees which provided a nice escape from the midday sun.

The main destination for the day was Mt. Konpira and the climb up to the shrine at the top. In order to get the highest of the shrines one must climb 1367 stairs. The picture included is the 100-stair marker. The view from the top was quite impressive as I could see across the plane that I ridden across in order to get to the bottom of the stairs.

After descending from the mountain, I headed towards Tokushima which would involve going over a small mountain range. I wound up camping as it started getting dark in a little park by the side of the road.

Day 0 : The train to Takamatsu

Leaving work around 20h, I went directly to Tokyo station in order to catch my 22h train. I had a little time to kill so I ride around the station area as I don’t often get the chance to make it out to the Tokyo Station area.

I took the bike apart and put it in the bike bag and made my way to the train. This would be the start of my 30-day trip around Kyushu and Shikoku.

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t at least a bit nervous. I have never really done this sort of trip before and was not really sure what I would be heading into. I was always secure in the knowledge that if anything happened, I could always go home if necessary, but I know that it would never come to that.

Running…

With the rainy season approaching, I figured that it will become more difficult to ride the bike to work, so I thought I might try running. In order to try and kill 2 birds with one stone, I ran part of the way home. The total was about 10km but since I am always so slow running it took 2 hours.

I found a really good path through the city so it was really fun.

The day after, I had really stiff muscles in the legs so I look all the escaltors on the commute to work and I was so slow moving around the office.

As I woke up today, I still have some of the muscle pain.

Maybe I went out too hard…

“Lost in Translation”

I finally saw “Lost in Translation” after much acclaim from my friends and co-workers. However I didn’t think that it was so great. Maybe its because I could understand all the written and spoken Japanese. I could relate to many of the situations that the main character was placed in. These include, being the tallest by a clear 10cm on an elevator full of Japanese, middle-aged men or trying to close a door of a taxi (which automatically close in Japan). Seeing those reminded me how I felt when I used to go through those exact same situations when I first came to Japan (and every once in a while since). However, that being said, the love-story plot was weak at best some of the characters were difficult to believe.

Overall, I would say is worth a see (rental) but only barely. For someone living in Japan, the only reason to see it is to stop people around oneself gasping when one says that they have not seen “Lost in Translation”