I think I'm turning Japanese

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by cafe that, Jun 8, 2019.

  1. cafe that

    cafe that Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 20, 2017
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    Florence, SC
    Well, it was time for this guy to leave the US for the first time, so what better place to go than Japan?! It will be fun they said...

    It started with a 4 and a half hour drive to Atlanta in the evening. I had some things going on earlier in town I had to be at, so I arrived in Atlanta a little after 1 a.m. Decided to get a hotel, sleep 4 hours and then go to the Airport in the morning. Getting through sercurity wasn't bad....they weren't exactly appreciative of all the electronics I had in my helmet. I put my GPS, battery banks, etc inside it to make packing better. Once I separated it and they ran everything through the x-ray again, I was fine. Grabbed some breakfast at the airport before the flight. Easy 2 hour flight from Atlanta to Toronto. Landed in Toronto, felt like I haven't eaten anything, so a burger and fries, it was. There were some interesting people that worked in the airport there. Toronto seems like a melting pot of cultures. I would like to visit sometime. Flight from Toronto to Tokyo was 13 hours....13 grueling hours. I was fortunate enough to pay for a window seat on the emergency exit row for some more legroom, but sitting that long is just torture. I can only sleep for about 30 minutes at a time. Watching movies gets boring, playing nintendo switch gets boring. Already not looking forward to the flight back.
    I landed. Finally. Getting through the airport in Tokyo is quite easy. A lot easier than I expected. Got my baggage and headed out. My friend and his girlfriend were there to pick me up. Definitely thankful for them. Saw a TVR in person for the first time on the way out! We took public transport back to their place where I was able to have a much needed shower, then they treated me to a delicious dinner at a nearby restaurant. We had all different kinds of beef and some vegetables. Wagyu beef, cow tongue, sirloin, etc. All of it was very delicious. After dinner, I finally headed to bed. I've been up for entirely too long.
    Woke up at 0520. I'm ready to go. Got up, showered and started walking around Tokyo for about 2 hours. (my buddy is still asleep). Found a place to eat (had some ginger pork thing), then wandered back. We went to a supermarket. Wagyu beef is stupid cheap here. Its about the price of regular crappy beef in the states. The marbling is absolutely beautiful. I'm in love with Wagyu.
    Finally onto some motorcycle stuff! Yay! I lined up my rental in advance with a company in Japan. It was super easy. My buddy went with me to get it (he wasn't sure if they spoke English and wanted to make sure I got there ok). The staff was super friendly and helpful. I have an Africa Twin for the next 5 days. The bike is gorgeous and rides well. So far, I rode it back to my friends place and will head out tomorrow morning for adventures. I must say, it is weird to ride on the opposite side of the road.
    Now for some pictures!

    TVR
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    Part of dinner. The table had a cut out with hot coals and we cooked it there.
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    My friend, Justin and his girlfriend, Momoka.
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    Wagyu in the supermarket
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    And the Africa Twin!
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    #1
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  2. VACommuter

    VACommuter Long timer

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    Welcome!
    #2
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  3. cafe that

    cafe that Adventurer

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    Thank you. I'm planning on leaving Tokyo tomorrow morning and go past Mt Fuji and go around the southern coast towards Kobe. After the first post, we went out and did some shopping, went to Shibuya crossing to see the sights.
    #3
  4. black 8

    black 8 coddiwompling motographer

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    I'm in...

    I lived in Gotemba (at the base of Mt Fuji) for two years and looking forward to your posts to rekindle some memories...

    have a great time...
    #4
  5. VACommuter

    VACommuter Long timer

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    Hopefully the forecast improves. Fuji is stunning in good weather. It was pissing on me pretty good this morning as I rode my 1991 AT in to work. Nice Honda museum north of Tokyo, Honda Exhibition Hall at the Twin Ring Motegi racetrack.
    #5
  6. cafe that

    cafe that Adventurer

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    Thanks. Its calling for rain all day. :( I brought rain gear and dry bags, so I should be fine. My GPS isn't working here, either I did something wrong, or can't get the downloaded map of Japan to work. Looks like I'll be navigating via phone GPS. I was able to rent a RAM mount for my phone from the shop. Bad news is that my phone isn't waterproof, so that just adds to the adventure.
    #6
  7. VACommuter

    VACommuter Long timer

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    Post up your route. Inquiring minds and nosey fucks like me want to know what you are up to. If you are a car guy this museum is worth a stop on a rainy day. http://mmj-car.com/english/ Motorcar Museum of Japan. I have one of those rubber otter box cases on my phone and it definitely adds no water protection. I bought one of those mini dry bag things for the phone and that keeps it dry but won't let me keep it on the power cord. I did load open source maps of japan on my Garmin but turns out the maps are in Chinese. Still pouring here in Yokosuka. Nice day for some hot ramen.
    #7
  8. cafe that

    cafe that Adventurer

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    I don't have a set route, so that doesn't help you at all. I have one of those mini dry bags for the phone as well. It is what kept my phone alive today. Fortunately, I have a battery case for it, so I'm able to charge on the go. I'm working on an update post now.
    #8
  9. cafe that

    cafe that Adventurer

    Joined:
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    My day started up with me waking up at 0400. Wide awake and can't go back to sleep. I play around on the internet for a little while and decide to get up, shower and get my stuff together. I get the bike all loaded up and ready. I'm setting off from Tokyo at 0600. It is raining. Fortunately, I picked up some Frogg Toggs before I left the states. They kept me dry. My riding pants and jacket are supposed to be waterproof as well, but I don't want to test them in a foreign country. I have a mini dry bag for my phone, so it goes in that and on the RAM mount. I've got my Sena whispering sweet nothings in my ear as well. Leaving Tokyo is difficult. Even with a GPS, I managed to get it wrong twice. My first ever experience legally lane splitting is in some several kilometer tunnel in Tokyo. I must admit it was terrifying at times. My original plan was to ride around Mt Fugi and enjoy it from afar. Due to the rain, it wasn't visible at all, so I decided to ride up as far as I was allowed. Right outside of Mt Fugi I decided to have breakfast at a place called Jolly Pasta.....yeah, I had spaghetti for breakfast. It was actually pretty good.
    Back to going up Mt Fugi. The further up I went, the colder it was and the harder it rained. Even my pinlock visor was fogging. I managed to make it up safely and was rather disappointed that there was only a gift shop at the top of where I was able to ride to. I purchased a few knick knacks and headed down as quickly as I could as it was rather cold. The road up and down is nothing but switch backs. I did record it on my go-pro. I'll do a video on it eventually. Now, my destination is Kobe. The ride is rather boring. I have discovered that Japanese rest stops are quite a big ordeal. They have whole shopping centers, covered motorcycle parking, and some even have gas stations. My first stop consisted of a sandwich, and second consisted of wings...figured they were a safe bet and I actually knew what I was eating. I did purchase what I thought was salt and vinegar pringles, but they turned out to be shrimp flavored....rather unpleasant.

    It seems like the Japanese put cities on every bit of flat land that exists. The mountains are covered in evergreen trees, but any flat area is packed with buildings.
    About 3 hours out from Kobe, I was at a rest area. Tired of being wet all day, I decide to look at hotels in Kobe. Found a very nice place for $60. Deal. Booked and paid for. By this time, I'm really realizing what I like and dislike about the Africa Twin. The grips are too small, it needs a cruise control and the handlebars need to go up about 2 inches. Other than that, its a great bike. The foot controls are where they should be and everything feels like it should.
    I shower and change and google to find a place to get a good Kobe steak. I find a place and walk there in less than 10 minutes. The marbling on the beef is just unreal. The cook cuts it up and cooks it when I need it. Most of the people in the restaurant speak english as well, so no worries there. The experience was worth it. The beef just melts in your mouth. I headed to a few different bars, but there wasn't anything interesting. I think I'll go to Obama tomorrow.
    Picture time!
    Spaghetti for breakfast!
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    Mt Fugi
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    Chip stair.....I wonder who they coppied?
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    Check out that Marbling!
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    Yum!
    \
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    Part of Kobe:
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    #9
  10. BasicJim

    BasicJim Adventurer Supporter

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    :lurk
    #10
  11. cafe that

    cafe that Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Rode nearly 8 and a half hours yesterday. 613 kilometers. I'm going to make it an easy day. Its calling for rain pretty much all day today as well. Obama is only about 2 and a half hours away. I just need to get out of this bed.

    [​IMG] by
    #11
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  12. cafe that

    cafe that Adventurer

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    Ended up going from Kobe to Fukui today. Slow day getting started. Had a hotel breakfast which consisted of mystery meat, mystery sausage, french fries, pineapple, orange slices and a croissant.
    My plan was to make it to Obama and figure out a place to stay. I'm not sure where it was, but at a rest stop, there was a thing about a waterfall nearby. I decided to go and check it out. It was more of a place where monks used to train. They said that the water there is so cold it can break watermelons.....I tried said water, it reminded me of any mountain water in the states. Cold and tastes great. Fortunately, the rain held off all day, so riding was good. The highs were in the high 60's today. I made my way to a traditional ryoken with an onsen outside of Obama somewhere. I was excited to try it out, but upon arriving there, there were no cars or people around. It was in a small village of nothing but rice fields...maybe a few hundred people lived there tops? The Ryoken doors automatically opened, so I went inside, it was dark with nobody around. I gave a few "sumimasen"s (literal translation is "excuse me"), but nothing. I waited around for a hour and a half to see if anyone would show up, but nobody did, so I continued on. I found a hotel in Fukui that has an Onsen, so I booked it and headed that way. An hour later, I was there and checked in. I was handed a paper with the Onsen rules and wifi password and such....I'm out of luck. No tattoos allowed. They have a small sticker you can put on them to cover them, but that wont work for me. I dropped of my stuff in my room and headed out to find dinner. Within walking distance was a place called "Vesta". I had some beef with veggies and fried potato wedges. Pretty good stuff.

    Tomorrow, I think I'll check out some castles. There is one nearby here, and one in Kanazawa. Not sure where I'll end up tomorrow evening. No real goals in mind.

    Picture time:
    At the monk training/holy place:
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    More:

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    People put coins in these boxes that are in front of the statues.
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    I'm going to be a monk when I grow up.
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    The Ryoken that I tried to stay at.
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    At an overlook:
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    Found some cool old Maseratis in Fukui

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    No tattoos or Drunks allowed!!!...Onsen rules...
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    Dinner tonight:
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    #12
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  13. cafe that

    cafe that Adventurer

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    I'm looking at going to several Castles today. There is one nearby and one more about an hour away. Currently doing some laundry in the hotel. I have to go into the spa area in order to do it, but so far I've avoided any issues in being in there due to my tattoos. Everything in there is curtained off, so I duck in, go to the laundry area which is curtained off, figured out how to start it, waited until the person I heard in the other room left, then high tailed it out of there back to my room. I'm not trying to offend anyone, just trying to do my laundry. :D Breakfast starts in about 30 minutes, so I'll mission impossible style swap my clothes to the dryer, then make it down to breakfast....where tattoos are allowed, dammit.
    #13
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  14. VACommuter

    VACommuter Long timer

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    Be careful because sometimes the Onsens will shift from male to female and back depending on time and day. My wife is a castle, temple, and shrine freak. After the third one they all kind of look alike, but its worth a trip.
    #14
  15. cafe that

    cafe that Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Florence, SC
    I made it back yesterday morning at about 0600. I will update with more pictures and posts throughout the week. Unfortunately, I have to work now and catch up on things around the house....and the jetlag is real right now.
    #15
    BasicJim likes this.