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Tokyo to Nagoya by Bike 2001

Two years ago before I had the Bastishnet (which incidently started just over a year ago on April 21), Tomoe and I took a bike ride from Tokyo to Nagoya, following the Tokaido Gojyusantsugi, the same walking path that people used to take from Tokyo to Kansai in the old days of Japan. , It was only four days of riding, and one of those days was pouring rain through the factory fields neaby Fuji, but it was still a lot of fun. Finally the photos make it onto the Bastishnet!

Day 1:

Actually we cheated a bit and took the train out of Tokyo, since there is no need to waste half a day in the city. We started from someplace in Isehara-shi and headed to Hakone, famous for it's onsens (hot baths). A pretty lazy start, but it's ok because the next day we had to ride over Hakone Mountain. The great part was looking at all the people staying in their expensive hotels, when we actually had the best view from our little tent in the riverbed. English info about Hakone here.

Day 2:

Riding over Hakone Mountain. We were out of shape so it was a challenge, and except for a few smaller trails, we had to spend a lot of time on the busy expressway, but we knew once we made it over we had a great downhill ride to look forward to on the other side.

It was a great one hour of downhill cruising on a busy expressway where we actually were faster than the cars, and the little bit of rain and slick roads didn't scare us in the least.

The rain got worse, and the other side of the mountain put us in Fuji factory land (we didn't see Mt Fuji once on the whole trip), where there is really one one road for all trafic with the ocean on the left, and mountains on the right. It added to our sence of adventure to ride against driving rain, especially when it got dark and we found ourselves trapped on a high-way with big (for Japan) trucks and literally NO shoulder on the road. Withuot the rain, that section of road would have been totally boring.

We finally found a way off and found ourselves in a the small villiage of Kanbara about 1 km wide, between the ocean and the mountains. Had we been an hour earlier, we could have taken a rice-bath (where you lie in a big pile of warm rice skins) at the only public bath in town, but as it was, they were nice enough to just let us use their shower... only after I strategically asked "Is there anyplace dry we can set up our tent and stash our bikes which we rode all the way from Tokyo?"

We wound up staying under and overpass, which was perfect!

Day 3:

Woke up under the overpass with soaking wet clothes from yesterday's rain, but today was much nicer, and the boring section of raod was past. I'm a little foggy on the specifics, but I know we stopped in the fishing town of Shimizu for some fish at the huge fish co-op, and sat by the port watching the fishing boats go in and out, listening to one of the captains tell us about hos they catch giant tuna.

Most of the ride that day was through semi-urban areas, but it was possible to find smaller roads to take us away from the trafic, so it was nice. Finally, we found a really nice grave yard to stay in for the night on top of a little hill over looking the small town of .... you know what? I can't even remember, but it was in the tea fields of Shizuoka.

I later sent my parents there when they visited, to take a tram ride up into the tea fields in the mountains.

Day 5:

Probably the best day, as we had some nice hills and minor mountians to roll over. In an attempt to find a less-worn road, we got lost and wandered deeper into the tea fields, where we met an old tea farmer and listened to his stories. After a while his wive drove up in a pick-up truck and offered us some tea. Amazingly, they always have a hot pot of tea with them, no matter where they go!

The camera battries were running low, and we wanted to make it to Nagoya by nightfall, so the photos stopped here. Sorry about that.

We wound up taking a train into Nagoya from somewhere around Araichyo, near lake Hamana. because my knee was making almost impossible for me to walk, let alone ride, and we didn't see any reason to waste hours riding through the urban sprall of Nagoya.


I like your Tokaido Highway site. It's very nice! Great photos too. Posted under Day 2 are two photos of Tomoe with her bike in an area that is very wooded. What stations are those spots between? Also, between what stations do you think are the best for bike riding? (mountain bike) I am looking for the book published by Professor Patrick Carey, called "Rediscovering the Old Tokaido: In the Footsteps of Hiroshige" I think I can order via internet...have you seen this book? Is it any good?
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