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

September 17, 2018

Moriyama

The ferry's PA system started making announcements at 4:35 this morning.  We weren't in any rush to get off but when I heard one of the few Japanese words I know (jitensha = bicycle) I knew we had to get ourselves organized.  Sure enough it was bicycles first (just us and a young Japanese guy) and we were off the boat soon after five thirty.

First job was to find a konbini so I could have a cup of coffee - I ended up having two - and some breakfast before starting climb up the hill that separated us from Lake Biwa.   Route 8 was reasonably quiet and the gradient mild so it was a pleasant ride.  It was pretty humid but the temperature never rose above 27 (if the roadside display boards are to be believed).

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Many of the cycle paths and sidwalks on the rural roads have been heavily overgrown and we have often chosen to cycle in the road rather that fight our way through the shrubbery.

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At the top of the climb was this building (I think it was a restaurant) with a lovely rice straw roof covered in moss.  The Samurai houses in Kakunodate were very similar.

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Once we reached the lake we had to decide which way to go.  There is a formal cycle route known as the Biwaichi which is mostly public road but also a bit of cycle path.  Apparently the best way is anti-clockwise because then you stay on the lakeside of the public road so that's what we did.

The effects of the recent typhoon are still very visible with many trees down and even some buildings completely flattened.

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One of the pretty things to see along the way were these lovely lilies.

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At Kita-Komatsu we had a long stop for lunch under the gaze of an enormous statue of Gulliver.  

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Then we pushed on to where we hoped to camp for the night.  Unfortunately, the campsite was closed, so we carried on hoping to find a place to wild camp.  It was getting very built up and there was little open space so after about ninety kilometers we called it a day and resorted to Booking.com.  The closest and cheapest place we could find was about ten kays away - an adults-only hotel!  Been there, done that and besides, it one of the cheapest options available.  So we are spending the night at the Christmas Chapel Hotel.  It makes Las Vegas look classy but with dinner and breakfast plus free drinks thrown in for less than five thousand Yen we are not complaining.

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The view from room 501.
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The inevitable disco ball (with Christmas decorations) ...
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... and gambling machine.
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Today's ride: 105 km (65 miles)
Total: 2,111 km (1,311 miles)

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