Page 4 of Pennyfarthing Travel Blog Posts

Asia » Japan June 25th 2019

Onsen Explorer. Day 10. Goshiki Onsen. The forecast was good today and we awoke to a bright sunny sky. Our accommodation was a little third rate with scruffy toilets and rooms. The toilet window had not been cleaned since the Shogun visited in 1678. Smoking was allowed and the rooms stank. Whilst the rest of the group ate a superior western breakfast of bacon and egg with fresh croissants Paul and I had guess what? Fish, followed by fish, followed by fish soup, followed by seaweed on rice, not forgetting the squid - delicious. After breakfast I went into the small harbour and watched little bent ladies and men gutting fish. A prize morning photograph was a kite sat on a pole which stayed long enough to get a good shot with the light in the ... read more
Fish gutting.

Asia » Japan » Hokkaido 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 ... read more
Shinto Shrine.
Squid boat

Asia » Japan » Hokkaido June 23rd 2019

Onsen Explorer Day 8 Kenichi Onsen. Yakumo. Hokkaido. Several travellers this morning were not yet ready for another Japanese breakfast and the convenience store across the road had an increase in business and a potential shortage of sandwiches for the locals at lunchtime. Northwards we cycled along the coast all day starting with an overcast sky which turned to rain at tea break. We huddled under a tarpaulin and donned our wet gear. Someone who is a proper tourist even donned a cape which saved him from a drowning by lunchtime. Lunch was at Asashi where there is a replica Dutch 17th century trading ship built in 1988 and is now s museum. The early birds ate pork curry and rice until the rice ran out and the later ones had fish noodles or sandwiches and ... read more
Ayu giving Japanese lessons.
Out for the count

Asia » Japan » Hokkaido » Nakashibetsu June 21st 2019

Onsen Explorer. Day 7. Hokkaido. Well, my washing was dry after a broken sleep caused by a bony pillow and a nameless person who chose to go bar chasing in the night and coming back flicking switches to make our room resemble a lighthouse on the Outer Hebrides. Away at 9am for a 20 minute walk to the station for our train to Aomori and the connection to the Shinkansen train to Kikonai in Hokkaido. What a sleek machine this is, and so smoothly gliding along in luxurious splendour. The weather is favouring us again, setting out at 8am in 19 degrees and getting hotter. Ken was waiting for us at Kikonai Station, where we donned our cycling clothes for another day in the saddle. The weather was significantly cooler on Hokkaido so jackets on for ... read more
The blazing saddles twins.

Asia » Japan » Aomori June 20th 2019

Onsen Explorer. Day 6. Hirosaki, Aomori. 20 June 2019. A great start in the outside onsen before breakfast and then out into the warmest start yet. I am also now getting used to the thin futon beds and slept well last night, partly thanks to a softer pillow not filled with stones. Travelling along the coast was very interesting with the view changing around every corner. Tea break was on a peninsula with a lighthouse close by and a shop selling mostly fish and smelly creatures. After lunch we were introduced to Wasa the famous Sherpa Inu hunting dog which had been found abandoned on the car park where we had lunch. Following this we headed inland and climbed at a steady gradient for 15km before dropping down through the apple orchards where we saw people ... read more
Squid hung out to dry.
Tsunami warning.
Squid fishing boat.

Asia » Japan June 19th 2019

Onsen Explorer. Day 5. Furofushi. Aomori. Japan. What a delight on this tour to have such wonderful Japanese meals with such a variety of seafood and veg. We don’t always know what we are eating but sometimes it is better not to know and taste it with your tongue and not your eyes. The Sake wine is very good too. Would you like some more Vicar? Don’t be silly. That is yesterday’s dinner out of the way. Now for the excitement. We were in bed at 9.15 only to be woken at 22.22 by my mobile phone screeching a siren and shouting in Japanese. Almost immediately the bed started to shake from side to side for about 30 seconds followed by loud shouting on the tannoy speakers outside. Apparently there had been an undersea 6.8 earthquake ... read more
Woodpecker street furniture.
Tennis Olympian. .

Asia » Japan » Aomori June 18th 2019

Onsen Explorer Day 4. Fujisato. What a change from yesterday. Blue sky and 20 degrees with a warm wind. Breakfast at a great Ryokan at 7 for 8am start on a nice short downhill run into pleasant farmland. There were a variety of crops in small plots to larger farms. Fennel seemed very popular along with potatoes, cabbayand other vegetables. Rice was the main crop and we did see a rice combine harvester in action which unfortunately was partly hidden from view by the tall crop so I was unable to photograph it working. There were many smallholders tending their crops with hand tools and small powered cultivators. You will be upset if I did not observe the manhole covers so I have a couple for you today. One depicting the Shiba-Inu dog, which has a ... read more

Asia » Japan » Aomori June 17th 2019

Onsen Explorer. Day 3. Monday 17 June. Sakura Onsen It was raining when we arrived yesterday and it lashed it down all night. Things are looking bad for today. It has been decided to take the local bus at 9.20 to iutfirst break stop in the valley at Ishinoto. Despite this bad news we had a good stay at the Ryokan with the relaxing onsen an amazing meal last night and a good Japtbreakfsst this morning. These Ryokans are certainly not 5 star hotels but traditional hostels with wooden structures, flimsy sliding doors and fibre or paper walls with tatami mats on the floor of the rooms. During the evening meal someone comes along and makes up your bed of a thin futon on the floor with a bean bag pillow and a nice duvet. Sleep ... read more
Manhole cover. No 1
Liv on the summit.

Asia June 16th 2019

Onsen Explorer 2. Saturday 15 June 2019 Everyone is now traveling to Tokyo, or in Tokyo to begin our cycling tour tomorrow at the Sukayu Onsen near Aomori. I hope they like the rotten egg smell of the sulphur springs at the Ryokan. Meanwhile I am in Tokyo awaiting their arrival, where it has rained all day, as predicted. The forecast is good for the next four days at least. The tour which has just ended has had two weeks of glorious weather, so we are hoping for a repeat of that. Sunday. 16 June. Sukayu Onsen. A nice sunny and warm day In Tokyo. Everyone has arrived in Tokyo and flown up to Aomori where it has started to rain and does so all day. After a a bus ride to the station and a ... read more
The Karate Kids.
Lunch time.

Asia » Japan » Tokyo June 14th 2019

Onsen Explorer Day 14. Tokyo-Friday Today a visit to Asakusa and the large and busy Senso-Ji Temple. The road down to the temple was something else, lined with wooden stalls selling everything any tourist could ever want. I didn’t say ’need’ you note. Very touristy of course but very interesting. There were many Japanese girls dressed in Kimonos, which I found were available for hire at 2000 JPY (£14). Many were posing for photos whilst most were just enjoying being dressed up. The socks were split at the big toe so that flip flops, or wooden clogs called Getas, could be worn. The western people stood out as more plump than the locals but even here in the city the girls are looking better fed than the country ones, who look rather undernourished. On our way ... read more
Incense burning

Tot: 2.268s; Tpl: 0.032s; cc: 11; qc: 65; dbt: 0.0301s; 2; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.4mb