Over the Golden Week holiday here in Japan, I took 2 weeks off and did another cycling trip in Japan. This time I took the train to the southern portion of the Kii Peninsula to a city called Shingu, Wakayama Prefecture. Its a good place to start bacause its only one change of trains away from Tokyo. From there I went North through the mountains of Nara, Wakayama and Mie Prefectures though Osaka (by train Osaka to Tsurga, about 100km) and then along the sea of Japan coast as far as I could which wound up being Akita City in Akita Prefecture. The total was 1400km in 16 days which is not too bad.
The first part was a bit cold in the mountains, but once I got back onto low lying ground the temperature was just about perfect. However once I got past Niigata Prefecture, everyday there was a pretty strong cross-to-head wind which really made moving forward difficult, especially along the coast. So on the last day I made sure to wake up by 4AM to get going as early as possible (just before 5AM) to get the most distance in before the winds got too bad).
From a roads standpoint most of them were quite good (as I always make a point of taking side roads whenever possible) but sometimes the main road along the coast (Routes 7 and 8) were unavoidable and the traffic was generally heavy, but not overly bad.
In terms of sites and things to see there is not an abundance of things to see along the coast. By far the best part of the journey was from Shingu to Nara through the mountains. Include the spectacular rice terraces at maruyama-senmaida. The roads in the mountains generally do not have much traffic either.
Overall though, the trip was pertty good, but did get a little bit on the greuling side at the end.