Heading to the coast…Ebisu Bay - Six Wheels Through Japan Part 2 - CycleBlaze

November 8, 2023

Heading to the coast…Ebisu Bay

Despite a rocky start with the parking attendant at Toyoko Hotel Tokushima, we both agree that this chain of hotels is very good and offers good value.  The hotel is immaculate, clean and the room is comfortable, plus a free breakfast buffet is included.  With  14 floors of rooms fully occupied, we couldn’t imagine how  breakfast would be managed. The spacious lobby is filled with small tables for breakfast and it seemed that the buffet area was small. Somehow, in a relatively small area, the crew kept the buffet filled with fresh, tasty food and it was quickly replenished as needed. What a crew!

Much happier after a good night’s sleep and a good breakfast.
Heart 2 Comment 0
Mornings can be so good on tour -ready for another adventure to places unknown. It also helps to wake up to a bright sunny day.
Heart 2 Comment 0
We are seeing these floral displays in front of businesses the past few days. Not sure what it signifies, but they are quite pretty.
Heart 1 Comment 0
We were tempted to visit this Temple (one of the 88 on the Pilgrimage), but we know we have a long ride ahead of us and we know there are many more to come.
Heart 3 Comment 0
Our friend Leslie, who lived in Japan for several years, told us about the quirky Japanese custom of ordering a bucket of KFC for Christmas dinner. Perhaps we’ll try this as well.
Heart 0 Comment 0
Colonel Sanders is alive and well…ready to share the Christmas spirit.
Heart 1 Comment 0
So many heron and egrets feeding and living by the river.
Heart 3 Comment 0
The biggest worm we have ever seen. Note to self….keep the door of the tent closed!
Heart 1 Comment 1

Today will be a challenging day of riding as urban sprawl from Tokushima seems to stretch forever. We initially tried riding on Route 55 as it was more direct, but we were defeated by the sheer volume of traffic, large freight trucks and a first for us in Japan..drivers who were not following the rules of the road and were cutting us off at intersections where we had right of way. There were a few near misses. We had to reset our brains to “Canada” mode and ride more defensively. We hope that this problem is localized. We finally gave up on Route 55 as the condition of the sidewalks were overgrown and at times unridable.

We decided to try this place for lunch. We had no idea what it was, but the large number of workers going in for lunch, convinced us that we should try it.
Heart 0 Comment 0
When we sat down, we thought…there is kimchi on the table, so this must be a Korean restaurant. However, this Japanese restaurant called Dandan Noodles has a specialty dish which is a spicy ramen type meal. It was created by the father of the original Iron Chef from the Japanese TV series. Unwittingly, we chose well.
Heart 3 Comment 0
We were seated in this area which is usually for families. The restaurant was so full that we, a family and some workers were seated here. The red seats are comfortable, but quite squishy. Barry saved himself from the embarrassment of doing a back flip when he was caught unaware when he sat down.
Heart 1 Comment 0
Barry has yet to meet a ramen that he doesn’t enjoy. This one was different but very good.
Heart 3 Comment 0
Mary Ellen tried this set meal with a chicken dish, burdock root salad, miso and rice. Both of our meals were about $7 Cdn. Excellent value.
Heart 2 Comment 0
We both love visiting tropical places with its climate, fresh fruit and the foliage. This cactus caught our eye. It is not our usual experience to ride alongside a cactus like this. And yes, we did fit between the barriers…or as Barry often calls out to me…watch out for the furniture.
Heart 1 Comment 0
Heart 2 Comment 0
As you may have guessed, we are on the Ride with GPS route and this lane took us along this canal where turtles were sunbathing on the rocks. I am trying to find him after we startled him. Thanks to Steve for catching my mistake jumbling two different things…Bike my Ride and Ride with GPS. I have corrected this caption to Ride with GPS.
Heart 1 Comment 0

We returned to our happy place as cyclists, when we switched to a GPS My Ride route. No more Google Map Pedestrian Routes! Granted GPS My Ride tends to meander…never a straight line, but the rewards are worth the extra 20 Km we rode today.  We rode on back roads in the countryside, as well as the twists and turns of narrow lanes in traditional neighbourhoods. Beautiful traditional homes nestled together with so many changes in direction that if we lost sight of one another, we could get lost.  Memories are made of this. Full disclosure, I wanted the more direct route as my foot continues to be painful, however, I had to concede that direct is not always better.

We often see rest stops for the pilgrims along the road. This one was well outfitted and alongside a busy road.
Heart 3 Comment 0
Items to give comfort to the Pilgrims are provided at rest stops that are created to give them refuge. Locals have great respect for their endeavour and often gift them with food to help them on their way.
Heart 2 Comment 0
A place for a Pilgrim, also known as a Henro, to sign the book and share their experience.
Heart 1 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0
Hilly terrain leads to tunnels being created. They are a bit of a mixed blessing as they reduce the climbing, but they are so loud and there is never enough space for us and the cars. We have no choice but to ride through as fast as we can.
Heart 1 Comment 0
Homages like this Henro figure along the road acknowledge their presence and their journey.
Heart 2 Comment 0
Crabs cross this road…beware. This photo was taken on the outskirts of a town called Kiki. It is a fishing port specializing in lobsters and crabs.
Heart 3 Comment 0
We are so often surprised by the generosity of strangers while travelling here. We were seated on our trikes outside a Convenience Store, tired and hot when this woman came up to us and gave us these mandarins. Japan is an amazing place to travel on your own as encounters with locals are amazing.
Heart 4 Comment 0
The joy of riding in the middle of nowhere surrounded by such beauty.
Heart 4 Comment 0

The following few pictures depict the images of Buddhism  we enjoyed seeing riding in the countryside.

Heart 1 Comment 0
Heart 1 Comment 0
The fabric of Buddhism is ever present in Japan…in the countryside, at Temples and Shrines, wherever you are.
Heart 1 Comment 0
A Shinto Shrine alongside the road.
Heart 2 Comment 0
Heart 1 Comment 0
We are seeing beautiful fields of cosmos in bloom.
Heart 7 Comment 1
Charmaine RuppoltThat's beautiful! :)
Reply to this comment
3 weeks ago
We saw several of these river boats yesterday.
Heart 2 Comment 0

The final portion of the day was the most challenging, yet worthwhile. On the map you see nothing but continuous turns and switchbacks. Yes, we were climbing, but if the ascents had been higher, then Tour de France here we come! We were rewarded with ocean vistas, aquamarine water and charming coastal villages. We arrived hot and tired at Ebisu Campground at dusk. A simple campground with bathrooms, yet no electrical outlets. I finished setting up camp and Barry rode on to the next village 5 Km away to get dinner for us.

We went to bed lulled to sleep by the sound of the sea. Tired but happy.

Today's ride: 65 km (40 miles)
Total: 512 km (318 miles)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 8
Comment on this entry Comment 2
Steve Miller/GrampiesJust back from Spain, I have a chance to check in on what you are up too. All very interesting. But I got confused by the reference to GPS My Ride, 'cause we have used Ride With GPS, and know of Map My Ride. Do I guess right that you meant Ride With GPS, or am I missing something?
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Barry BartlettOh yes, so right Steve, it is Ride with GPS. I drive Barry crazy as I often make this mistakeā€¦.
Good to hear you are safely home after another great trip.
Reply to this comment
1 month ago