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

October 10, 2018


The tent drying in the morning sun.
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There was quite a bit of dew this morning so we took our time to pack up.  When we did get going, we headed southwards down the coast along the top of a tsunami protection wall.  It was lovely and quiet with beautiful views of the sea and the interesting rock formations.  Unfortunately, after three and half kilometers we came upon a work party repairing a hole in the wall and we had to turn back to Aoshima.  This meant that our route now took us over Horikiri Pass.  A gentle climb took us to a viewpoint from where we could see where we had previously tried to round the headland.

The view from the top of the Horikiri Pass.
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We cycled gently on towards the famous Uda Shrine where it is believed people have been worshiping for more than one thousand three hundred years.  The shrine itself is in a cave but there are a number of other buildings and shrines surrounding it.  The vermilion toro gates and woodwork on the buildings contrast wonderfully with the rocky sea below.

The entrance to the Udo Shrine.
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The path to Udo Shrine.
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Toro gates leading to an Inari shrine.
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Udo Shrine itself.
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We carried on cycling slowly through the hot and humid day until we got to the outskirts of Nichinan.  The weather was starting to look ominous and we weren't sure if the facilities at the free campsite to which we were heading would provide us with much shelter for the night.  Passing a hotel on the side of the road I popped in on a whim and asked if they had accommodation available, but they only had room for one person.  The staff were all decked out in Hawaiian themed clothing so we suspected that they might have some function on which could have been the reason they were full.  While we having a quick look on the map for any other accommodation options nearby, one of the staff came out and, with limited English, managed to explain to us that he could get us a room at a local guesthouse and asked if we would like him to phone ahead for us.  Having done that, he then hopped on his bicycle and lead us the few kilometers to our digs for the night.  Genuine kindness just cannot be faked.

The helpful young man from the hotel.
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Today's ride: 46 km (29 miles)
Total: 3,055 km (1,897 miles)

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