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, 28 March 2020

Rain & onsen 雨の日に温泉

Bicycle: 30,2 km
Route: To Itami airport and back
Total riding time: 2:05 h 
Total ascent: 67 m 
Average speed: 14.5 km/h
Weather: a few drops or rain, more rain and real rain, 9 C


In the morning some shopping in a nearby supermarket, where I bought enough should the government in Kansai region decide to put a lockdown, to survive for about 3-4 days. And more crucially I got toilet paper. A rarity right now due to Covid-19. (Apparently in Europe it is impossible to get right now and also in Tokyo it was not a common sight... but in Osaka there is no immediate shortage. A bit less than usual, but no shortage. The only shortage here seem to be face masks... but still all Japanese seem to have a stock somewhere hidden as most of the people on the streets are walking around with masks. 

This isn't all toilet paper. I only bought 8 rolls. I swear!

With the coronavirus pandemic I decided to do only local rides, starting and finishing from my doorsteps. For today I had decided to try this route https://www.strava.com/routes/11610963, however I started quite late in the afternoon (maybe around 15:00) so it was clearly impossible to do the entire route. But I still wanted to go out cycling a bit and the river part looked nice, so that's what I did. Cycling up the Ina river without a specific goal in mind, except a soak in an onsen at the end.

Ina River is one of the typical Japanese rivers. Highly damed and totally unnatural. This one, for most of the part I cycled, flowing through a industrial neighbourhood.

So this was probably the "nicest" it gets:


There were some sakura along the way, but still not in full bloom. And actually where I shot this picture there was a very strange, sweetish, chemical odour. This combined with the rain, cold weather made that not even Japanese were coming out to do hanami picnics.


When I came up to Itami airport (which is still operating, although for sure at a much reduced intensity than normally), it started to rain more, so I threw the red cape over me and started my descend through the rain back to Osaka and my onsen. In which I happily soaked for the next hour or so, had dinner and was happy again.


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