New bike gets two thumbs up.
New Year’s Eve was an opportunity for us to get out on the bike and explore some of the region outside of the city. A fantastic sunny day, full tank of gas and a loose plan of where we wanted to go.
We decided we would follow the non toll roads as far as we could then jump onto the motorway taking us onto the Tokyo-Wan Aqualine, a 9km tunnel under the sea leading to Umihotaru. What an amazing feat of human engineering. A man made Island base connecting tunnel and bridge leading to Chiba.
We stopped for some lunch and to check out the incredible views back towards Tokyo and out across the sea towards Mt Fuji. There’s a massive carpark with space for buses, campers, motorcycles and cars however the que for cars was extensive. Bikes were waved straight through.
From memory it was about 6 stories high with cafes, restaurants, shops and observation decks. Definitely a highlight for me that I will certainly revisit.
The roads were quite slow with traffic but this wasn’t really a concern. Getting to know the bike, the narrow winding roads, tunnels and wonderful scenery made for extremely enjoyable riding. A bit more riding and we soon came to our intended destination, Nihon-Ji. It's nice to visit these spots that are a little off the beaten track. Not too many tourists as it is remote with little in the way of public transport, so unless you have your own wheels you need to take a tour bus.
Arriving at the car park I was pleasantly surprised to see there were plenty of parks available and a handful of other bikes scattered about. We locked our helmets and carried our Jackets. I was soon regretting that decision as it turned out we were in for a trek to the summit. A total of 700 steps to the top, and although hard work, well worth the effort but it was hot and the heavy bike jackets were certainly not required. Upon reaching the summit we were greeted by fantastic sea views on one side and a birds eye of the motorway network on the other.
The descent was far quicker than the ascent and we enjoyed cold drink before jumping back on the bike for the journey home. Heading back over the bridge the temperature, although still sunny, had dropped significantly and strong wind gusts greeted us making it a little difficult, but credit to my passenger, we made light work of it. I was extremely grateful for the heated handgrips though, and don't think I would ever have a touring bike without them again. I also noticed both myself and passenger, as we became familiar with bike and conditions, were navigating traffic much more smoothly and the pace was a little more up tempo. All in all giving the new beast 10/10. All up our day was about 7hrs, maybe half that time spent on the bike. A pretty good first hit out I'd say.
Just a footnote: I've recently started wearing prescription glasses for reading and now have bi-focals. It was the first time I had used them on the bike so I could read the map/navigation app and was well pleased. Have gone and ordered lightly tinted lenses and a graduated tinted visor and that will make riding here much more pleasant. Really looking forward to getting into a couple of days away when Pania gets some more time off.