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Old 09-13-2013, 06:28 PM   #46
Edmond Dantès OP
The Kanto Pain
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Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Château d'If
Oddometer: 617
Up early for the ride up over the pass above Lake Kussharo and along route 39 into the Daisetuzan National Park area, then up into the mountains to the campsite at Lake Shikaribetsu.

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The mountain pass with Lake Kussharo below.

The clouds! The clouds!

Nice plateau cows. I like what you have done with the place!

The obligatory barn shot:

Routes 39/273 cuts through the canyon of Daisetsuzan.

Didn't expect this when I requested a well ventilated room with an unrestricted view!

Some fun trails around the Daisetsuzan area:

The climb up to Lake Shikaribetsu was the most intense of the trip.
Twisties for miles with thick cloud cover and very poor visibility.

A very remote campsite. 250 yen ($2.50). I woke in the night and couldn't see a thing. I thought I had died. I opened the tent flap and still couldn't see a thing. I can't recall ever experiencing absolute darkness like this before. I reckon it was a combination of no lights for miles around, the very low cloud cover, and being under the pine trees.

Some the footage I took of the riding around Daisestuzan:

Edmond Dantès screwed with this post 09-13-2013 at 06:48 PM
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Old 09-13-2013, 07:11 PM   #47
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Location: North shore of Gitchigumi
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Very Kool.. Nice
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Old 09-14-2013, 05:58 PM   #48
Edmond Dantès OP
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Location: Château d'If
Oddometer: 617
Today: Lake Shikaribetsu to Tomakomai

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Rolling up and stowing away a wet tent feels just plain wrong. Need to get off this mountain range. Get to low land.
The road around Lake Shikaribetsu is barely a car's width, right by the water's edge; strewn with rotting leaves, pine needles and moss. The camber in the road is trying push the bike into the lake. The hills have eyes.
I slowly descend. Passing ski slopes reveal hanging chairs suspended in the mist. The road and the swirling cloud cover is playing tricks with my sense of perception. I can't find the right gear on the bike. It's all gone Pete Tong! I keep feeling the need to stop and check that my luggage is tied on correctly. Riding into corners too quickly. Red eyes in the undergrowth. Do I have enough gasoline? Pear-shaped! Aunt Em!
The road straightens, then zooms out away from me, like the corridor in The Shining. A river. The Styx! The fifth circle of Hell.
No! By the belt of St. Christopher, it's the Saru River. It flows down to the coast and the town of Tomikawa. Go with the flow....
Charon the ferryman... wait it's a smiling gasoline pump attendant... Full tank. Hoto Coffee. Equilibrium! The attendant tells me to come back in the winter, it's -30 then. The reply, "It'll be a cold day in..." Oh well...

The river runs through it. In search of dace...

Follow follow follow follow...

Look for the bare necessities
The simple bare necessities
Forget about your worries and your strife
I mean the bare necessities
Old Mother Nature's recipes
That brings the bare necessities of life

There will be a Rider House

You what center?

After sleeping alone for the last 2 weeks in a tent this sign is a welcoming sight indeed. Let's hope it's the trim of, 'off with your top', and not 'a little off the top'!

Sapporo Beer! Beer, beer, we want more beer, all the lads are cheering: 'Get the f#cking beer in.'

Out here in the fields...

Sally, take my hand, travel south crossland...

Walter Mitty moments like these...

Welcome to the Hotel Tomakomai. A bed! A real bed! Ecstasy!

Fantazia Smiley Face. Happy People. Rave on.
What a trip that day was for real...unreal. :) :) :)

Edmond Dantès screwed with this post 09-14-2013 at 08:58 PM
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Old 09-15-2013, 04:32 PM   #49
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Location: Château d'If
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In the morning I head up to Lake Shikotsu to ride the right bank again. This time I really must remember to turn the GoPro camera on:

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Aye, the right lake, the right side, the ride camera (although positioned a little low), just the wrong day. The port town of Tomakomai rain free. All the clouds had gathered between Mt Fuppushi and Mt Eniwa:

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Old 09-15-2013, 05:40 PM   #50
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Location: Château d'If
Oddometer: 617
The original plan was to ride home from Hokkaido along the Sea of Japan coastline. Unfortunately the four days waiting for the replacement regulator short-circuited that plan.

I elect to take the 19 hour ferry from Tomakomai down to Oarai in Ibraki Precture, departing at 6:45 in the p.m. This way I didn't have to ride the 8 hours from Tomakomai to Hakodate, thus freeing up the day to head up to Lake Shikotsu once again.

Tomakomai Ferry Terminal

Label me 'Oarai Bound'

Hokkaido Tested the metal of British Steel

Suzy Busa. Tourer? Tourer? Tourer?

Do they spray these bikes with dirt proof paint in Milwaukee? It has been lashing it down for the past week and this bike looks as if it has just come on a showroom floor. Actually, come to think of it, I did see a Starbucks in town with an undercover parking section...hmm....

I asked the owner of this Suzuki Djebel if he was carrying a kitchen sink. Lost in translation, my humor went down the plug hole.

All aboard The Sunflower for a skylark

Great stuff Nao (my wife) for booking me into a private cabin. They were up for grabs at half the usual price 15,000 yen axed to 7,500 yen ($75).

I pull all the mattresses down and make a king-sized bed on the floor.

Everything looking shipshape and Bristol fashion above decks.

Looking for my sea legs in the morning

Roll off Ibaraki

Welcome to Oarai.

Party in the city where the heat is on
All night on the beach till the break of dawn
Welcome to Oarai (bienvenido a Oarai)

Ibaraki has the blue skies

South Mito Intersection and home. Mito? Natto? Such a great trip that I am tempted to give 'natto' another try. It's been 5 years since the last attempt.... well, maybe another time.

Thank you to all the wonderful people I met during the trip.
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Old 09-16-2013, 02:36 AM   #51
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Location: Central Australia, desert dweller
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Thankyou, great report.

Central Australia
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Old 09-16-2013, 03:42 AM   #52
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Location: Hakuba Japan
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Having been to Japan 6 or 7 times now snowboarding in Hokkaido and Honshu and falling in love with the place and the people you have inspired me to spend some summer time there touring. THANKS.
Going to Japan? Im there and happy to help.
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Old 09-16-2013, 04:37 AM   #53
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Great RR!

The video clip was so reminiscent of a ride we did around the Tango Peninsular north of Kyoto, and when it wasn't raining, it was 5 degrees C. We know this because they kindly have periodic Temperature signs in the towns, and when it got to 10 it was almost tropical. In a word, M-I-S-E-R-A-B-L-E!

I think you have to be born to it to want to live in a place like that when this is what summer throws up.
We will be in Tokyo for 3 days early November, but apart from taking my daughter to Harajuku on the Sunday morning, no specific plans yet, though various ideas developing. It is her first time, hence Harajuku
Many thanks for your offer! Perhaps take her for a short scoot :)
Don't die wondering..........
SPOT map ->
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Old 09-16-2013, 06:06 AM   #54
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Natto's definitely an acquired taste. I've eaten some interesting things in my life, but could never understand the love for natto. Especially, when served at breakfast...

I really enjoyed the RR. Looking forward to the next one.
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Old 09-16-2013, 09:17 AM   #55
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Great RR! Thanks very much for putting this together. You have a great sense of humor....loved the way you tied in the song lyrics! Have a great Autumn!
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