And suddenly it was there: the last riding day in this fantastic country with all its secrets, friendly people, amazing culture and stunning views. Two weeks of riding with this great group of people was for us a very pleasant experience. Hope to see you all at a next Edelweiss tour!!
Ted and Angela
Already the last rest day of this amazing tour through Japan. A little north of Nikko we settled down for two nights in a very quiet and peaceful hotel. On this restday there was a variety of things to choose from: visiting temples, doing the samurai experience in Edoland, a part of the group did a tour of the Sakė distillery, and a part went on for a half day ride through the valleys around Nikko
Around 6 pm everyone gathered again in the lobby for a beer and a chat and we concluded our day with again a nice buffet.
Preparing for the last riding day tomorrow back to our hotel in Tokyo!!
With an overall smell of sulfur in our noses, we left the village of Kusatsu to ride a beautiful route today through the mountain area towards the city of Nikko , where we will spend two nights. Although rain was prediced the whole day, we had the luck that untill lunch it stayed dry. With two very nice coffeestops and a fast lunch (mostly curry and beef enthousiasts ...) we ended this riding day earley enough to spent some time in the 'onsen", the well known wellness areas of the hotel. A nice gathering in the hotel lobby and a fantastic buffet dinner ( with beef!) concluded the day
After a hilarious night in the karaoke bar of our amazing hotel (thanks everybody for joining and singing along in the Edelweiss choir !) at the Noto peninsula, we took off in two groups this morning in southeastern direction. At the first coffee stop we visited the fishmarket in Himi, a genuine fishing place with amzing views. Then a piece of expressway to avoid the dense city traffic and after that, we drove along the Shogawa river in the valley with the same name to pass several Unesco World Heritage sites. In this valley we can see a lot of traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses, some of them over 250 years old.
In one of those nice small places with about 10 houses, we had a cosy lunch and the chance to see some of those interesting houses
Following the river again and after a loop over the south, we headed in eastern direction to enter the city of Takayama, to get some relaxing traditonal "Onsen" bathing
Very interesting and nice day we had today! . Our highlight of the day was the Eiheiji temple which is still a gradiotional monestary for about 250 monks and nuns of the Soto Zen buddhist religion. Hidden in a mountain area with its beautiful maintained builidings it gave us immediately a 'Zen" feeling.
After our Japanes lunch (always served very quickly!) we were headed for the coastline to ride a couple of miles over the Chirihama Nagisa beachdrive way.
Everybody enjoyed this very much to drive up and down a couple of times along the seashore. Even a big touristbus was spotted at the beachway
Very nice and hilarious end of this riding day!
A bit earlier than normal we left our beautiful hotel in Kyoto and hit the road towards one of the most interesting and imrpressing landmarks of Japan: the Himeji castle. First group took off to do a full riding day with a part going through mountain roads, group two went straight to Himeji to spend more time to see the castle and its surroundings. The coffee stop in the morning was at a very nice and tiny place full of automotive things, collected by the very friendly owner and his wife. And not to forget: also very good coffee! Accompanied by a piece of green tea cake offered by Rainer and Gaby, we enjoyed the tiny terrace and coffee shop
After that we went to the hotel in himeji to change our riding gear for more comfortable walking clothes and enjoyed the rest of the afternoon in the Himeji Castle and its wonderful gardens
Another secret of Japan revealed to us!
After a good nicht sleep in our awesome hotel, it is time to explore a bit of Kyoto. This former capital until 1868 is known as one of the most beautiful cities of Japan with a lot of historic and cultural things to see.
Some of our group went out exploring themselves, others went together with the tourguides with the old train to a bamboo forest, where also a house of a former Japanese actor was opened for visiting including its beautiful gardens.
Then the majority of the group payed a visit to the Golden Temple, which was a perfect example of the architecture of old Japan including the fantastic gardens around
Then the group spread out more on themselves and the day was concluded with a geisha show downtown
Fantastic city with fascinating people!
A great riding day today under a blue sky with tremendous curves and mountain roads. One group took a bit heavier route in the mountains, second group the more easier and swerving one. Riding over the Ryujin - Koya skyline was quite and experience, including the last part to find our way through town and expressways into Kyoto!
A stop in the afternoon in the Buddhist community of Mount Koya is also one of Japans most magical destinations. The whole are is full of temples and monasteries
All together another wonderful riding day in this fascinating place
Under a beautiful clear an sunny sky, we went out in the early morning for a hilarious fotosession for he group picture. After all was done, the two groups headed off for a last round around Mount Fuji and headed southwest through a fantastic mountain road with great opportunities for everybody to practice their cornering skills. And that complete with fantastic views over the green tea fields, made it an unforgetable morning. In the afternoon through a huge amount of traffic lights in Hamamatsu we reached the coastline again and headed wesst towards our hilltop hotel in Irako with a splendid view over the ocean. Again a iconic day in this great tour of Japan
What a fantastic riding we had today! Suiperb riding weather all day long, amazing views and awesome curves and sweepers! It seems like we are in motorcycle vacation paradise.
Today main goal was Mount Fuji itself. We climbed up on an amzing road up to 2400 meter which is as high you can get with a vehicle.
And after a long day ride as an extra reward, an amazing hotel at the foot of Mount Fuji and at the same time at a beautiful lake. What else to wish for?.....ah yes: a nice bootbeer in the Japanese garden. !!
The first day started with a very nice breakfast in the start hotel and after our local tourguides and drivers Rita and Take picked up all our luggage we walked up to the motorcycles who were already waiting for us, shiny and eager to go!
After saddled up, we took off in southern direction to get out of the huge capital TOkyo towards a bit quieter areas....we thought! But unfortunately a lot of local people thought the same and enjoyed their sunday at the beachside . After our first coffeestop we rode into a bit more quiet areas: in the natural parks around mount `fuji and more south
Beautiful first riding day and a fantastic traditional `Japanes dinner concluded this beautiful day
And so we are suddenly in the middle of a complete different culture! Arrived in one of the biggest metropoles in the world: Tokyo, Japan!
While preparing for the second Secrets of Japan tour in a row, we are expecting 25 customers on 15 bikes. Temperature is good, mood is good, weather forecast is good: All set for a new motorcycle adventure in the land of the rising sun