• Nick

Weekend at Kawaguchiko (Lake Kawaguchi)

Updated: Feb 10

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Last weekend we were fortunate enough to be invited to Kawaguchiko by our friend Susana who works for one of Pania's clients here in Tokyo. She had rented a three bedroom house several hundred meters from the lake and wondered if we might like to join her. It's a beautiful area and we were more than happy to snap up the opportunity to get out of Tokyo for a few days and enjoy one of Japans recreational lake regions.

The original plan was for Pania to travel with Susana in her car, and I would make my own way on the bike, get there first, open up the house and get the heater on. It felt good to be back on the bike and the new exhaust I had installed the week before was churning out the most intoxicating noise. Not surprisingly I did get there first, but the house was totally brand new, in a new subdivision not marked on any maps, and it was dark. It took a little while to find so I had barely got the house open when Pania called, and they were also lost trying to find the location in the dark. I ended up having to go and get them and show them where it was. Chalk one up for men's superior navigation skills.

We were extremely happy with the accommodation. The house was two storied and the layout was not unlike a western townhouse. It was modern and clean with excellent quality furnishings and super comfy beds. Pania had prepared food for dinner and between her and Susana there was enough to feed a small army.

Next morning and we woke up to a cracker autumn day. Time for a quick breakfast then down to the lake to check out the trees changing colour and go for a bit of a stroll along the lakefront before heading home the scenic route. Well that was the plan anyway. We ended up circumnavigating the lake. Over 20km later and loosing light it was decided I'd stay another night and head off early the next day.

Kawaguchiko is a recreational lake and the fishermen were out in force over the weekend. I had ridden around the lake in summer and it was full of Water Skiers, Jet Skiers, Parasailers etc., but was nice to see the winter side, a little less busy but plenty of activity none the less. It would be a great recreational bicycle ride as well being pretty flat with tracks most of the way around, meaning you don't need to spend too much time walking or cycling along the busy road. There's also no shortage of cafes and restaurants to stop and enjoy a coffee and a bite to eat.

That night, we again had ample food and drink. Clearly the girls had planned on a big second night considering I was supposed to be there for one night. The next morning was a clear and crisp 1 deg. We got up early and trudged down to the lake to watch the sunrise and snap a few pics. Then back to the house for a very quick and efficient clean up before heading off in different directions.

The girls had plans to do some sight seeing before heading home, but I had bigger fish to fry. Hakone Skyline and Izu Skyline. Two legendary bucket list roads popular with the local Boy Racers and drifting fraternity. I must say it was hard to keep myself reigned in with police noticeably absent from the area and very light traffic. These roads are Motorcycle Mecca and just how much fun they are is difficult to put to words. I did both roads both ways and can't wait to ride them again. The cherry was the views from the summit. It was slightly overcast so views of Fuji were limited but it was great watching Hang gliders and Para gliders drift by just out of reach. And plenty of Bike Porn to enjoy as like minded riders dropped in for a quick break to enjoy the views and reflect on the amazing riding. I was also lucky enough to latch on to a bunch of riders heading back to Tokyo town at the same time as me. Altogether a fantastic weekend. Below a few snaps and short clips of the days riding.

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