Ishikawa - The fifth step ... the length of Japan. - CycleBlaze

September 3, 2018

Ishikawa

The park was busy soon after four o'clock this morning so we were packed up and sitting on the beach soon after six.  Then it was off to a Lawson's nearby which had an area with tables and chairs where we ate our breakfast and used their internet connection to see where we might end up today. There was a free campsite near Hirakawa but it was barely forty kilometers away.  Still, we decided to head for it.

Maps.me lead us out of the city via a quiet-ish route with us ending up on route 237.  This got quieter as we moved away from Aomori and soon we were directed off it onto a lovely winding country road.  This took us through treed valleys with rice paddies and small communities.  All of a sudden we found ourselves confronted by a muddy jeep track leading up a steep hill.  Discretion being the better part of valour, we turned back to the 237 and continued on the longer busier route to the campsite.

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The day was getting hotter, which we initially found really enjoyable after the bad weather on Hokkaido but we eventually took refuge in a 7-Eleven where we once again abused their internet to pick up emails and for me to post the journals of the previous two days.

A kilometer or so from the campsite we found ourselves at the bottom of a 15% climb taking us up over a hundred meters.  Soon after starting it, we realised that it wasn't going to work.  We needed to be able to get back down and up again to get food, visit an onsen and, hopefully, get some laundry done.  Leigh was really struggling with the heat so we headed for a michi-no-eki about ten kilometers away. 

Ice cream time at the mich-no-eki
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There was an onsen across the road from the michi-no-eki and, after an ice-cream and a look around for somewhere to camp for the night, we headed there for our daily scrub and soak and to while away the rest of the afternoon in relative comfort.

The onsen was large and local - definitely not aimed at tourists - with local produce for sale and a restaurant.  Leigh went so far as to say it was one of her favourites so far.  We ate a supper there before setting off for Daibutsu Park  nearby where we stealth camped again.  A thunderstorm had broken while we were in the onsen and Leigh's shoes, which she had left outside at the bicycles, were full of water.   The rain had stopped by the time we had left but the it was still very wet.  Thank good ness the park had a lovely, large covered area under which we spent the night.

Today's ride: 64 km (40 miles)
Total: 1,380 km (857 miles)

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