Cycling the Length of Japan: Day 1, August 16, 2013

Wakkanai, Hokkaido, the northern most city in Japan, is a small windswept fishing port, just 25 miles across a choppy straight from Russia.   I spent two nights here so I could get rested and assemble my bike (one problem there, but that’s another story).

Lining up for the Cape Soya Photo Op

Lining up for the Cape Soya Photo Op

From Wakkanai I cycled 30 km further north to Cape Soya, the northernmost point in Japan where one can see Russia on a clear day – I guess that gives me enough foreign experience to run for President!

My turn

My turn

Cape Soya has a monument, which has two purposes as far as I can tell.  First, it marks the northernmost spot, and second, it gives all the tourists a backdrop for their 30-second photo op.  There’s a crowd all waiting to get their picture taken, and then it’s back in the car or on the motorcycle, or bicycle.  I was one of them, except I was the only gaijin.  So far, in three days, I have yet to see another Westerner.

It rained a bit on day 1

It rained a bit on day 1

Today’s ride was only 58 miles and practically dead flat.  During my time riding, I saw at least 30 other solo or paired cyclists doing long-distance touring.   I had a bit of rain, and a constantly howling wind all day.  This part of Hokkaido is known for its wind, and it lived up to the reputation today.

Could that road be any better for cycling?

Could that road be any better for cycling?

The food so far has been excellent.  In each meal, I’ve eaten fresh fish and myriad small plates of tasty items that had no description.  The majority of things eaten so far have been totally unknown to me as to its name, origin, or species. Hell, at times I’m not sure if it’s a plant or an animal.  I will not go hungry.

Minimalist monument

Minimalist monument

Huge piles of scallop shells

Huge piles of scallop shells

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~ by rjmang on August 16, 2013.

6 Responses to “Cycling the Length of Japan: Day 1, August 16, 2013”

  1. Enjoying your blog – and your house! Heard the coyotes howling last night; love that.

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  2. Wow, beautiful photos and insights. Hope you have as much fun on this trip as I do.

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  3. Tammy and I wishing you a great ride…be safe! We look forward to all your posts along the way!

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  4. Happy Birthday Robert! Wishing you tailwinds, awesome roads, and no flats on your journey from the tip to the toe of Japan.

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  5. Robert: Keep in mind that today, (in your case) – Being 60 is just 21 with 39 years experience…

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  6. I’m jealous of your adventures… but look forward to hearing even more details when we’re finally moved in in Santa Fe.. tailwinds friend!

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