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CJA1701 The Secrets of Japan

Tuesday, June 6, 2017 | Angela / Tobias Wachter | Asia

Day 14 from Nikko back to Tokyo

Our most facinating tour through beautiful Japan is coming to an end today. We are on our way back to Tokyo, the largest city in the world.

Each of the riders on this tour was surprised how many hidden treasures it offers to its visitor and how well everything is organised here. Even in a big city like Tokyo, very much to our surprise, we didn't even need to go through traffic jam. Everything went very smoothly.

I would like to thank all the riders and Adrian very much for their wonderful company, for the good times we had together, and the great rides. And also for your adventurous spirits on our scouting tour here in Japan.

An amazing country which already now I am looking forward to coming back again.

Hope to see you again soon


As soon as you are away from the bigger cities, narrow and winding roads are only waiting to be explored...

Michael is enjoying a strong coffee in one of the typical small family-run Japanese cafés. It usually takes a while until your coffee arrives as each cup is brewed freshly!!

Today's big highlight was Japan's Motegi twin circuit! 

As the name says it has two race courses. The outer one was designed for Indy car races only, whereas the inner ring is mostly used for the Moto GP races nowadays.

Even though there was no big race going on...

... we got the chance to watch some of the smaller class race motorcyclists during their trainings

Racing motorcycles sure is demanding and requires a rest every now and then

Before we left Motegi again, we visited the Honda Collection Hall inside the circuit

Together with us the Shizuoka Harley Chapter was entering the place
It is the finest collection of any type of vehicle or machine, Honda has made from their beginnings till today
From right to left: "In the beginning there was a robot..."
Pia and Peter are admiring the vintage race car.
Ayrton Senna's Formula 1 race car
A last coffee from one of the countless increadible vending machines This one even shows you all the process via a camera
The whole group safely made it to the gas station and to the motorcycle shop in Tokyo.
And Adrian shuttled us to the hotel

Day 13 Rest day in Nikko

Our rest day in Nikko was a mix of sightseeing and riding.

In the morning part of the group went out by bike to visit the famous Toshogu temple
Yes, exactly! Here they are the famous three monkeys: "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil"
An unexpectet sight: the horse inside this small temple is a donation to the temple and does service for two hours.
Today, there were many school classes visiting the temples, too.
It seems to have been their task to ask questions We were having numerous "interviews"
The Tosho-gu shrine is so well-known because it houses the tomb of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate.
Japanese kids don't seem to ve much different than young people from other countries in the world when it comes to sweets
After a loop through the mountains in Nikko vicinity, we returned with the bikes to our hotel and got changed for our visit of the Edo Wonderland
The park showcases the life and culture of the Edo period.

Day 12 from Kusatsu to Nikko

First thing in the morning, before we left the elevated town of Kusatsu, we were passing by the sulfuric spring waters which made the place so famous. With temperatures of 48 °C, the waters coming out of the ground here are the warmest in Japan.

Nice scents in the morning
Today's ride lead us over two dormant volcanoes, and around their crater lakes. First we went over Mt. Haruna, famous for the Japanese cartoon series. Our lunch place was on top of Mt. Akagi, the second volcano
The Japanese like fanciful things
We payed our lunch bills "old-style"
The crater lake has a small peninsula,....
and on it a small temple
Annette has already before been shown how the water ritual works...
... and, of course, she was showing us how it works
Our tonight's hotel offered a fantastic buffet. And it looks like there was some serious Sake tasting, too

Day 10 from Nanao to Hirayu

This morning, our ride led us through a mystery forest on a small and narrow two-ways road. It is quite a relaxing experience riding through Japanese forests. No need to hurry at all

The Himi fishmarket brought different experiences than we thought at first And in the afternoon we followed our paths back in time to the village of Gokayama.

All riders in a meditative formation
At the Himi fish market everything is processed right away like these guys do with the sea weeds
Around the corner you find the fish of the day that was caught in the early morning being packed and sent out to the shops
Herons and other birds are waiting already to snaffle some fish from the place
In the actual market place you get to buy almost everything. From fresh fish to dried fish, and Abalone snail
The big surprise in the end came for one of the Austrian riders.... They were preparing "PALATSCHINKEN"!!! Someone seems to be very happy
(Also another rider in this group was extremely happy, too, about the banana pancakes with ice cream!!! )
Beautiful ride along the river that leads to the villages of Gokayama and Shirakawa
The houses are so famous because of their reed roofs, which are said to look like a Buddhist's hands folded in prayer
The reason for the roofs to be so steep is simply to be able to handle the large amount of snow falling in winter
A rice frog???
Last stop for the day before we got to the hotel....

Day 9 from Fukui/Awara to Nanao

The morning view from our hotel in Awara
The first highlight of our riding day was the visit of the Eiheiji Temple near Fukui
It is a Buddhist temple complex in which, still today, Buddhist monks are being trained and live their lives in absolute harmony with nature
Despite the place being visited by a fair amount of people, it spreads a calm and relaxing atmosphere
Quite a large complex of temple buildings
Like many buildings and places here in Japan, the entrance to our lunch place has a little stream with some fish in it, which again spreads the Japanese feeling of harmony and calmness
You can either sit and eat Japanese style...
... or take the chairs they provide for people like us who are not used so much to sitting on the ground for such a long time
Oioioi.... what's going on in the Japanese newspaper?
The highlight of the afternoon was the ride on the Chirihama Beach Drive, which everybody enjoyed
It was the end of a long school day for the kids who are on their way home
We can already see Nanao in the distance, our tonight's stay

Day 7 from Kyoto to Himeji

On our way back from dinner...

Day 3 from Fujiyoshida to Irago Cape

A Japanese walk in the hotel's beautiful garden in the morning seems to be a perfect start for our riding day through the green mountains
Every tiny little detail in this garden is built to perfection and harmony
The interior of washrooms is a very interesting topic here in Japan But this one we found southwest of the city of Fuji had something totally new and amusing to us: hm.... how would you possibly call this? Maybe a washroom plan???
You want a green tea?
Today's ride was nothing short of spectacufabular!!!! You would never expect to find so many lonesome winding and narrow roads
The colour green is just so predominant everywhere
Tobi, Karl, Annette and David where having a big grin on their faces weaving their bikes through all those twists and curves around the Shizuoka-Hamamatsu mountain area
Missing something...?? Filling up gas can be so relaxing
Our hotel at Irago Cape offers an outstanding buffet
Michael is courageous and is trying out all. But, of course, it is better to ask for advice on what you are getting to eat here, isn't it?

Day 2 from Kawatsu to Fujiyoshida

Well... how can you not feel great opening the "windows", looking at nice sunshine and ...
... this? The only thing unusual for us, maybe is the fact that it gets as bright as daylight already at around 5 am!
Karl, Angela and Tobi - what a wonderful ride!
A totally unusual experience for us Europeans, isn't it Pia?
"Hoto Coffi" out of a vending machine!
As we are using the roads circumnavigating the larger Mount Fuji area, the volcano remains at sight all the time - almost like a travelling companion
It goes without saying that the ride up to Subaru 5th Station was a must-do
Michael enjoys his Multistrada on the Subaru 5th line
Japanese people are extremely polite and friendly. The ladies working in our tour hotel welcome us in their traditional dresses
The hotel surprises us with a very impressive drummer performance after our dinner

Day 1 from Tokyo to Kawatsu

Edelweiss Bike Travel goes Japan! 

With our new tour "The Secrets of Japan", we are discovering another white spot on our map, touring around the world.

What was my first impression when I arrived here in Tokio a couple of days ahead of tour, got only supported by the riders who started out this first tour with us. Even though in this comparatively small country, everything is more compact and more populated, it welcomes us with a surprisingly large and green mountainous area as well. Everything in the daily life of the Japanese people runs very organised and makes travelling by motorcycle an enjoyable experience.

The courageous explorers on their motorcycles are Pia and Peter from Switzerland, Annette and Michael from Germany, Hana and Michael from Israel, Karl from Austria and David from the USA.


This scouting tour has started out of Tokio and so far took us during the past two days along the south coast to the most famous mountain in Japan - the volcano Mount Fuji

Tokyo is a vibrant but very well organised city. Like everywhere else in Japan, nothing hectic is to be experienced here in Tokyo
Tokyo's fascinating skyline
Well, there are no Sumo fights at the moment anymore but It was one of my goals to see such a Sumo fighter. Instead of a tournament I got the chance to visit one of their trainings. You bet, this was a very interesting experience as well
Another big topic for non-Japanese people travelling the country is food. How would you know what to order on a menu that you are not able to read?
Well, the Japanese have a solution for everything, it seems
A more noble way to dine in Japan
Japanese Sunday afternoon activities along the shore line
Our first highlight was the flowing ride on Mazda Turnpike and the Izu Skyline. And, of course, on a Sunday afternoon as nice as this one was, it became very obvious that the Japanese are extremely avid motorcyclists
Peter, Tobi and Karl are busy with their "Benzingespräch"
First impressive view of Mt. Fuji
The afternoon took us back to the coastal regions where we would reach our hotel for the night. But before, we visited Mount Oruno a long dormant volcano. Each year the grass gets burned down so that it grows back very green. The whole mountain is covered by grass.
The gondola ride up to the volcano's rim walk was a fun thing to do
Karl was the sporty guy of the day and took the 20 minutes walk along the volcano's rim
We spent the whole evening Japanese style... Dressed in a typical kimono, David "invited" Adrian and Karl to feed the koi carps
The entrance to our dinner room
And also dinner was Japanese style. Sushi, rice, soup and more of this delicious food
Nicely presented by this Japanese Lady who did an outstanding job in giving us a fantastic first encounter with the Japanese cuisine.
Annette and David...
... same as Hana and Michael were having a great time this evening!
Thank you Adrian for explaining the menu so patiently to us
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Add a comment Rate this post
Friday, June 9, 2017 at 14:48

Thanks for the photos, i've already booked the 2018 tour and was waiting for the reviews on the 2017 to see if i'd made the right choice..I have.
Pia und Peter
Friday, June 2, 2017 at 13:03

Danke Angela für die umsichtige und gut organisierte Scout-Tour in Japan! Es war super! Auch ein Dankeschön an Adrian.

Pia und Peter
Eva Köfler
Sunday, May 28, 2017 at 19:47

Hey you all

Amazing blog... amazing pictures

Curves and sushi :-P

@angela- i like those selfies

Cheers eva
Angela de Haan
Tuesday, May 30, 2017 at 13:38

Konichiwa Eva

Ganz liebe Grüße aus den japanischen Alpen und bis bald!!!


Laurens Corijn
Sunday, May 28, 2017 at 10:37

This looks like a very nice tour and group, thanks for sharing!
Angela de Haan
Tuesday, May 30, 2017 at 13:40

Hi Laurens,

Thanks! That is very kind!

See you soon,

Ted Goslinga
Saturday, May 27, 2017 at 18:33

Hi Angela,
Great blog, seems like an awesome tour. Have fun, will see you in about two weeks in the good old Alps again!
Angela de Haan
Sunday, May 28, 2017 at 00:00

Good morning Ted

Thanks! I hope I will manage driving on the right side again by then

Friday, May 26, 2017 at 10:11

Hallo Angela,
super Blog. Wünsche Euch noch ne gute Zeit in Japan.
LG Claudia
Angela de Haan
Sunday, May 28, 2017 at 00:03

Hallo Claudia,

Danke! Japan ist sensationell grün und landschaftlich sehr schön! Macht sehr viel Spaß hier!

Ganz liebe Grüße nach Hause,
Nick Lassman
Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 22:43

Hi Angie. It's amazing where you pop up. After a great Andalusia Tour (2015), then running into you in Havana (2016) and your stop over last summer in Chamonix (Grand Alps tour) - you're everywhere!

So, this week it's Japan and even though I've just finished a superb Alps & Lakes tour, I'm still envious. Enjoy, enjoy...
Angela de Haan
Sunday, May 28, 2017 at 00:06

Hi Nick,

)) my travel circles are extending more and more it seems I bet you would love Japan, too! And I am curious where on this planet we will meet again It is always a pleasure seeing you again on tours.

All the best for you,
Manuel Marabese
Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 19:30

Il looks like a fascinating tour!!!
Say hello to Karl, I wish him a good time!!
Sunday, May 28, 2017 at 00:52

Lieber Manuel,
danke fuer deine lieben Gruesse. Japanreise ist schoener und interessanter als gedacht. Motorradland, da kein Radar oder Polizei.
Wuensche dir alles Gute und ein Wiedersehen bei einer Tour
Angela de Haan
Sunday, May 28, 2017 at 00:07

Hi Manuel,

Karl says hello back to you! We are having a fantastic time and enjoying every day!

Greetings from Himeji,
Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 08:11

I like your blog, Angela! Seems to be a very entertaining tour. Enjoy and say hello to everybody in the group!
Angela de Haan
Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 16:15

Thanks Albert!

Yes, we certainly are having a very good time here on tour.
My special thank you to you for making it possible that I finally got to try raw fish Seriously, I do like it very much! Japan is a stunningly beautiful country and the Onsens are just unbeatable!!!



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