I had a free day yesterday. As I pondered how to spend it, several ideas came to mind. Lounging around home with a book? Photography walks in the city? Then it came to mind that I haven’t ridden around the Miura Penninsula (south of Yokohama) and decided to do so on my Brompton folding bike. The route was approximately 90 km, and the train ride to the start point was two hours, so I needed to get an early start. Which means “rise and shine” at 3:30 am, breakfast, and a 4:30 departure from home. I took the first train of the day – as you can see, there wasn’t a lot of competition for seats.
My route plan:
My first stop was the island of Enoshima, a popular tourist destination. To be honest, the cars on the coast road made for less than pleasant cycling, but the island was quiet at 7:30 am, and views of Mt Fuji were fine. Before departing, I communed with the local beauties.
From Enoshima, I followed the coast road to the Miura Penninsula. Traffic gradually thinned, and by the time I reached Hayama, it was quite rural. There, I had an interesting conversation with an older gentleman:
Man: “are you foreign?”
Me: “basically, yes.”
Man: “where are you from?”
Man: “What’s the name of the restaurant by a waterfall where the waitresses pour coffee from above your head?”
Me: “you mean the Snoqualmie Falls Lodge?”
Man: “yes, that’s the place – I had forgotten what it was called.”
How was this conversation even possible? I lived not too far from the place he was asking about as a child, and here we were in rural Japan. Small world?
Some views of Hayama:
A bit further down the coast I stopped to look at the scenery and met another gregarious gentleman, also wanting to know where I was going on my little bike. The view from here:
Continuing along the coast road, I was lucky to find a HEALTHY SPOT. This was fortunate, as I was getting a bit tired.
From the HEALTHY SPOT the road climbs quite a bit on the way to a large bridge leading to Jogashima Island. This island is the southernmost point on the penninsula, and has a beautiful park well worth a visit. The view from the bridge:
I scrambled down to the rugged coast and enjoyed Lunch No 1 (one is allowed 2 lunches when cycling) on the rocks while gazing out at the sea.
The rest of the island wasn’t much – a bit of industry, and a forlorn tourist zone. Either it was their day off, or most of the shops have gone out of business:
The rest of the day involved a lot of ascents and descents, as well as more pleasant coastal scenery. One historical spot I visited was the park commemorating the arrival of Commodore Perry and his American warships in the 19th century. He was responsible for forcing the shogunate to end its policy of isolation. Though the English on the memorial was quite positive concerning the “visit,” I have heard Japanese friends describe his mission in less friendly terms.
Around 2:00 I began to feel the need for Lunch No. 2, so stopped into Kalika, an Indian restaurant with an outside deck overlooking the ocean. Just the place for a pit stop. As the menu states, it is a Dog In Cafe. Interpret that as you wish.
I arrived at Yokosuka at 5 pm, after riding 90 km. The Brompton is nowhere as fast as my road bikes, and its heavy gearing can make hill climbs a challenge. But it was comfortable and fun for the entire route. And folding up as small as it does, the ride home on the somewhat crowded train was a piece of cake. Me and Brommie at the harbor:
One last look at the sea (and the docked warships) before boarding the train for another 2 hour ride to home. This was one of those days that forces you to repeat (whether you want to or not) the phrase “ain’t life good?”