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

October 26, 2018

Izumisano

Today we reached the end of the line, a hotel room in Izumisano from where we will organize to get the bicycles boxed and ready to fly back to South Africa.

The trip through Japan has been great.  Most of our expectations were met.  We had many pleasant (and a few less pleasant) surprises along the way.  A few downs but many, many more ups (metaphorically speaking of course).

The Japanese people with whom interacted were absolutely amazing.  Often reserved but always polite and considerate but also incredibly kind and generous.  Our experience was that the further south we traveled, they became more outgoing and more inclined to approach us. 

The roads were mostly excellent and safe for cycling.  We should have made more effort to find quieter back-roads because these always produced the best days in the saddle.  If there was one thing that got me down (apart from the weather) it was the volume of traffic but in retrospect the solution to this was usually in our own hands.  Even the bigger cities such as Osaka and Kyoto have enormous numbers of cyclists on the road and Japanese drivers are, on the whole, very cyclist aware.  Any moments when we might have felt unsafe (if there ever were any) have already slipped from my memory.

Japan's low levels of crime are well known and our bicycles were usually left unattended and seldom locked when we went into shops etc.  Even the nights in Osaka were spent with the bicycles parked on the street outside our digs.

We still need to make a better job of Hokkaido, particularly its eastern side, and to travel to the eastern and western most points of the country so it is quite likely that we will be back someday.

Today's ride: 38 km (24 miles)
Total: 3,492 km (2,169 miles)

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