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Published: June 23rd 2019
Onsen Explorer. Day 9 Sunday 23 June. Shimamaki.
A nearly western breakfast which was very well received. Scrambled egg sausage, salad, yogurt, rice, fish soup, croissants and baguettes. The Cockney Rebel couldn’t stop smiling. A good cycling start to the day which started dry with a little occasional blue sky. It was Deborah’s birthday today so we had a celebration with a Japanese birthday card before we set off. Alis had a puncture along the coast road, I think it was the first on this tour. The concrete block sea defenses indicate that this is a really rough seaboard. We could not help but notice that many of the beaches were covered in debris; timber, large ropes, fishing nets buckets and a large variety of plastic were all to be seen, most of which seemed to be from the fishing industry. A massive beach cleanup is required to protect sea life and make the place look better. Additionally there is much dereliction on the coast with many houses and buildings deserted and falling down and old people walking the streets and very few younger ones. Our lunch stop had pizzas on offer for those who were looking for a diet change.
Soon after lunch the sun decided to come out and it felt much warmer so top layers were discarded which was ok until we went through a series of tunnels, including 4 tunnels each of almost 2km in length. As usual, traffic made a loud noise in the tunnel and was very off putting because it is impossible to determine if they are coming from the front or from behind, scary at times. The Ryokan is 5km from the coastal road in a clearing with an onsen with iron amongst other minerals. Worryingly there are signs advising us to beware of bears - oh dear. After a session in the onsen four of us are going into a Ryokan by the coast since there are insufficient rooms. Not as good as the Ryokan - a bit basic but the Sapporo beer is good. The trouble is that Paul has a separate room overlooking the sea and I overlook the vegetable patch. Apart from that another good day at the office - someone has to do it.
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