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

October 21, 2018


We started our slow journey to Osaka today.  Over the next few days we need to get to Shibushi to catch the ferry to Osaka where we hope to spend some time at Universal Studios before starting the process of packing up and flying back to South Africa from Kansai.  I was feeling very slow this morning.  A long lunch, which included a bottle of wine, at a nearby Italian restaurant yesterday had me feeling slightly fragile.  Leigh downed a bottle of energy drink that we had been given by one of the many friendly folk who have thrust food and drinks into our hands along the way.  Within minutes she was ready to climb Everest while I could hardly drag myself to the closest 7-Eleven for a breakfast of onogiri.

After the 7-Eleven we headed down to the ferry port to catch the boat across the bay to Sakurajima, what used to be an island but which is now connected to the mainland after a big eruption from its twin volcanoes about a hundred years ago.

Views of the volcanoes from the ferry.
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One of the many shelters in case of a volcanic eruption.
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The twin craters of the Sakurajima volcanoes.
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The Sakurajima lava field.
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After crossing the island on the southern side we decided to head north and soon came upon a magnificent mich-no-eki where we stopped for lunch.  It turned out that the michi-no-eki, in addition to the usual stuff, also had an onsen and there was a rest area with power and wifi.  So after a mere twenty three kilometers we have called it a day  (by this stage Leigh's energy drink's effects had worn off).  There is a grassy patch where we can pitch our tent once the hordes of Sunday visitors have left.  While looking for the best place to camp, I was approached by Norizam Yunos, a Malaysian cyclist who lives in Kagoshima, and we had a long chat.  He is originally from Jahor Baru where we spent our first night in Malaysia last year.  He was cycling around the island, quite a popular route with cyclists in this area.

With Norizam.
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The volcano venting.
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The Japanese love motor cycles.  On the weekends the roads are full of them, from Hondas to Harleys.

Harley-Davidsons lined up at the michi-no-eki.
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Today's ride: 23 km (14 miles)
Total: 3,360 km (2,087 miles)

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