What a difference a day makes 🎶 - Six Wheels Through Japan Part 2 - CycleBlaze

November 7, 2023

What a difference a day makes 🎶

When we woke this morning and peered out the window, the sky was overcast with dark clouds and a cold wind was blowing. We immediately thought that today was going to be a continuation of yesterday’s miserable weather.
The Family Lodge is a motel chain that we have stayed in once before on Kyushu. This location appeared to be an exact clone of the previous one. And I am sure that every other one in Japan is exactly the same. They provide what they call a light breakfast. Plain buns, orange juice and coffee. A little jam would have been nice. However, it’s better than no breakfast at all. The rooms at the Family Lodge are massive compared to most Japanese hotel rooms…and the extra large beds are rock hard. As we were loading up the trikes, the weather started to improve. The dark clouds began to disappear and the sun began to shine. As we we started to ride, that cold wind turned into the most wonderful tail wind that brings tears to eyes of bicycle enthusiasts. It was the start of an an amazing day of riding.

The cuddly, sleepy yellow teddy bear is the mascot of the Family Lodge chain. It seems that Christmas is definitely a thing here as we are seeing Christmas trees and decorations in most shops.
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If you see another Family Lodge in Japan, we guarantee you that it will be identical in every way. They are usually independently owned and run by a couple. Their standards of cleanliness and organization are very high.
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Following the Yoshino River today made for a great day of riding. We are impressed that dykes along the river have paved routes that are incorporated in to the road network. They even connect with the bridges and other roads. They are well used and offer a superb view of the surrounding area,
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We think that we are finally maturing. As a rule, we usually stop at most Michi-no-Eki’s, and as much as we like them, we lose a lot of cycling time, we eat too much etc. Today, we rode on by.
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We love these beautiful vibrant red plants.
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Barry was pretty excited. The men’s bathroom at Lawson’s Convenience Store was nicely decorated with cats. Usually, that kind of detail is only for women’s bathrooms.
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Steve Miller/GrampiesI thought the instructions on how to use the toilet were interesting. Crouching on top of the seat or sitting backwards are modes I would not have thought of. In some European spots, and in Mexico, you may be requested not to flush toilet paper, but here they (properly, I think) do not want the paper in the garbage.
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1 month ago
Since we arrived in October, we have seen brochures and info about ordering for Christmas, like this cake.
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Convenience Stores are constantly trying to offer new food offerings to keep their clients happy. We like the upgrade on sandwiches as shown here. More filling, more flavour and they left the crusts on the bread!
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Riding the dyke- we like seeing the farms and homes along the way. At times, we were propelled by the wind without pedalling.
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Drying persimmons is a common sight at most homes. Everybody seems to have trees in their yard of mandarins, persimmons and today we saw massive pomelos growing on trees as well.
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In the world of Convenience Stores, Mini Stops are known for their ice cream…and it is good.
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In this area cabbages are the number one crop.
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We watched this older couple harvesting their cabbage crop.
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This style of farming has probably not changed in decades.
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We followed the Yoshino River all day. This area of the river was a Mecca for bird life
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We saw this cute logo on a bridge that we rode over today. Obviously it is a tribute to the cabbage industry.
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We had an outstanding ride today. Unfortunately, it came crumbling down when we arrived at our hotel in Tokusima. It is the first time that we have booked a room at the Toyoko Hotel. It is a reasonably priced business hotel found in most Japanese cities. Upon arrival Mary Ellen went into checking and I stayed outside with the trikes. The woman who runs the elevator parking garage came out and started yelling at me that I couldn’t leave our bikes where they were. I tried to explain that it was just until we had finished checking in. She continued screaming. I gave and up and went to the reception counter. I told  Mary Ellen about the crazy encounter I had just had . The checkin clerk was telling Mary Ellen that he couldn’t honour our booking for a nonsmoking room as they were sold out. He was very  professional about it all. Mary Ellen went to our room to see if we could handle a smoking room. We asked him about bicycle  parking. He said that it wasn’t a problem and to meet him in the parking garage. We could park our trikes in the garage. I went to the garage and the woman started started screaming at me again. Then when Mary Ellen joined me it all started again. The fellow from the front desk came and quickly saw that a different plan was required. He took us to a secure area where staff park their bikes. Problem solved . This is so unlike  anything that we have experienced in Japan. We are very happy with our room and the hotel in general…..just stay clear of the parking garage.

Today's ride: 71 km (44 miles)
Total: 447 km (278 miles)

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