This blog is about travelling through Japan on a foldable bicycle (Brompton) but also by train, ferry, plane, bus or any other transport, if sea, weather, mountains or the like come between me and my desire to ride.
I have tried to summarise information that could be potentially helpful also for other bicycle travellers through Japan, such as list of bicycle roads, helpful web pages etc. Once I start my ride, I will upload the actual routes taken, together with some pictures and description.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Part 3 (Day 12 - 15) - Aomori Shimokita peninsula 青森 下北半島  - Summary

Bicycle touring Japan - Aomori - Part 3

In this post I review bicycle touring experience in Aomori, in the very North of Honshu, Japan, where I spent the last 3 days, including an excellent stay at a temple on Mount Osore. 

Bicycle: 172 km
Other transport: 488 km
Region: Aomori, and a little bit Hokkaido and Iwate
Total riding time: 11:00 h
Total ascent: 991 m

After the agriculture and culture in Iwate, in these 4 days, I went up again North, to the Shimokita peninsula. This had been my original start into the Honshu ride, however due to the bad weather that was forecasted for that region for end September, I had stared in Iwate.

Here an overview map of the approximate routes taken:

The actual routes I took are in the Strava or Garmin feed of each day:

And here an overview of the costs.

Compared to my original plan, I did not ride up to Osorezan by bike, but rather by a very comfortable taxi, and I did not finish in Hachinohe but in Shichinohe, ...  just one number less. (For explanation, see here), because I did not find an accommodation in Rokkasho.

The best of this ride without any doubt was the onsen right outside of the main temple on Osorezan. It is unfortunate that the water is so acidic, so it is recommended to remain only quite short in the water. But I could have soaked for hours there.

Also the entire surroundings of the temple, with the sulfur and hot steam rising between green woods and a crystal blue lake, were incredibly beautiful.

Osorezan is somewhat hard to reach, on the very tip of Shimokita peninsula, but it is definitely worth a journey.

From a bicycle ride perspective, I think the best part was between Oma and Ohata, because the road runs along the coast and there isn't too much traffic. There is some up-and-down before reaching Ohata, but it's kind of okay.
The ride between Mutsu and Noheji and on to Shichinohe was also okay in those parts where I had a street alternative to the main road, and actually there were some. Specially in the part from Noheji to Shichinohe I had for most part very quiet country side roads. There aren't any spectacular sights there, just Aomori countryside.

Regarding gear, I have finally used my shoes. Two days in a row! And I started using my bicycle shorts (instead of the skirt). I still feel however that the skirt is much better as it is cotton, while the bicycle shorts are made from some synthetic material that sounds like "rash-rash" which each step I take. It's okay thought while cycling.

With the outlook of a very rainy Saturday (7/Oct = Day 16) and some general tiredness, I opted to continue for Lake Tazawako and its onsen. And from here, probably on to Akita and Yamagata.

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