Sunday, 19 February 2017

Day 1042-1060: Tokyo to Geisei, Japan

Gokokuji temple...
I didn't meant to come here... I just, ermmm...just realised I went to the wrong temple with similar name... but its not a wasted trip cos I found out this is one of the few temples which survived world war bombing and earthquake and that I climbed Fuji here... how? Read on....

This way to the''hike''

The start of the ''trek''

First station.... like Mt Fuji, it has different stations too

8th station

Reached the top.... in 5 minutes and like Mt Fuji, there is Fujisan Sengen Shrine here too
I felt like I've cheated but the real Mt Fuji is closed off for climbing in winter... bleah

In comparison with the 3776m real deal, my elevation gain here is.....insignificant!
But it is said that you will gain the same effect climbing this too... hahaha

A stroll to the Bunkyo civic center nearby to get a panoramic view of the city.. unlike elsewhere where they charged a hefty cost, its free to come up here

On a very clear day, you could see Mt Fuji but its very very rare that you'll get this view

Nope... I don't see Mt Fuji too... luckily I already went up close previously

Ameyoko street right next to railway tracks

A kind of fashion that I don't understand

Leaving the shopping streets, there are also food streets between the tracks

Handmade noodle - in progress

Joining the Setsubun / Bean throwing festival here at this shrine (I gathered its actually celebrated all over Japan).... a celebration of the start of spring.. you throw the beans to ward off evil and eat the beans for good fortune

An enactment with children throwing beans at this evil beings

Celebrities / politicians / athletes / sumo wrestlers etc on stage throwing out beans, snacks etc while we try to catch them below... everyone went manic here

More people waiting behind to come forward

Celebrities maybe

Sumo wrestlers


Hey! How did you manage to get so many snacks??? Trust me, its not easy

In between all the pushing, getting hit on the head, I managed to 'catch' some goodies too

 Inside Ankokuden, next to the main hall

 Variety of amulets, protective talisman/charm for you to buy
This is specially for road safety

Tokyo tower

 Tiny noodle 'bar'

Tokyo bay

 A tiny, old and reputable café for coffee lovers and its not your usual café
A tourist came in, wanting to order 2 different cups but was refused because they should not be enjoyed together...while he was served his cuppa and because he left it too long, he was told to drink up when the coffee is at the right temperature...
phew... luckily I behaved...

In the Meiji's shop....These flavours here are discovery of Japan...

Concrete monsters....

 Tokyo railway station
The somewhat westernised interior

oOOooo.... History of kitkat

Fancy flavour... only in Japan

Japanese developed Pink strawberries - 25usd per pack

Its hard to get bored at their train station cos they are always shops, restaurants, supermarket, cafes etc

 sweet making
I didn't buy any but was given a freshly made candy as a taster... it was still warm


 A shop that sells nothing but roasted sweet potatoes... you can smell if from far...
 7 different types to choose from...take it as a treat to myself cos I love sweet potatoes

Parcels delivery

 Gotokuji temple, said to be the original temple of beckoning cat

Can't look at this for too long else the vision gets funny

 Start of plum blossom

 Yoyogi park, nice place for a picnic

 To Meiji shrine

 Barrels of French wine... for peace, for friendship

 Biggest wooden Torii

 Shinto wedding procession going on at Meiji shrine led by 2 priests and 2 maidens of the shrines

A family shot after the procession...

 The wishing box

Omikuji (poem drawing) - no17 fell out from the box and Emperor Meiji's message to me was this

 More wedding processions

 I was just thinking how is it possible to walk properly in this

Crowded shopping streets

~ Now is forever ~

My favourite shop!

 Golden Gai area which will come to life when night falls - the drinking district...there are probably more than 200 tiny bars crammed here

Try to spot Godzilla

See him?

Hanging out at the Izakaya with 50g of black wagyu & cold beer

 The infamous ''Pissed alley'' (in the very old days people just pee wherever here) line with tiny cramped shops but with great atmosphere for you to pull up a stool and enjoy some drinks and yakitori

The ever so busy Shinjuku area

 Touch screen drinks vending machine

On the platform, in between waiting for the subway you can have a bowl of chairs, just slurp up your noodles and go.

With the very cool Pattee family... love how they bond with each other, its really hilarious and chatting with Richard feels like talking to dad :) I'm not telling you what but he's got a cool job! Soon they will be all over the place pursuing their own path so I'm glad I get to meet them all here.  Also Akemi left me a cake before going to work, sweet. After we bid goodbyes, Gabe rode with me to the port and thanks to him I was at the right place on time.
Off on the ferry to Shikoku island!

 The best part of this ferry... soaking here with sea view


 A soon to be fresh graduate in her early twenties on a short trip going round the island
She has toured a fair bit in Japan and last year she did part of Australia for 2months...
now she says this is probably her last tour before she starts work at Montbell (ah my favourite store) and in a couple of years time, she hope to go round the world. Feeling excited for her already.
Meet Yu, my new cycling partner
 Camped in a park in a nearby residential area

Last night we had a brief conversation with a man who lived near where pitched tent and in the morning he came round again to give us this


Yu says she likes rivers so we divert away from the coast and went inland

Female tourers rock!

Shikoku is an island commonly visited by Pilgrims for its pilgrimage of 88 temples and this is one of the shelters you'll find along the route for them to rest... the whole route is about 1200km...

Lunch break outside convenient store

Arriving in Minami


''Onsen'' for your feet

Enjoying free foot bath at road station!

Its Yu's first time sleeping on the bench and obviously I'm the culprit who got her into this... don't think she slept well due to the limited space while I got so comfy that I almost refused to get up 😛


Yu in action!

 Photo credit: Yu

 Tsunami evacuation point

 There the mandarin sat in the middle of the road.... would you pick it up and claim it yours?


 It wasn't the best day for surfing but still there were people out there... surfing on baby waves
they spent more time waiting than surfing

Sneaking up on Marie when she was doing yoga

 So I found an organic tomato farm by chance, near a beach and the host happened to be great cook...
so from the initial 2 days I was supposed to stay, it got extended and extended and extended to many more days...
 Good food + chill out drinks in the evening + good conversations + movies watching after a day of work.... perfect!

 My cosy little corner during my stay at the farm

Photo credit: Masa
Masa, a friend of my brother who happened to be on the island too drove down to my village to say hello... an experienced tourer himself now turned a teacher who hope to bring the ''outside'' world that he has experienced through cycle touring to the children in the country

My family (Tomoya-san our host + 2 lovely 19yo girls from Germany, Marie & Teresa) for the many days I was working there.... Tomoya-san says I brought a good vibe to the house and I should stay as I still enough more than enough time to reach my destination... but the road is calling... Really had a great time here and Tomoya-san is such a superhost... see you next time, hope to visit again someday!

 Back on the road!

 Marie little gift for me before I left the farm together with a sweet note + her contacts if I ever visit Germany again next time

 Married couple rocks


 What's the catch of the day?

 Always circling around me

 Tomoya-san, my previous host, packed me the biggest Onigiri for lunch ever... together with a bag of his organic tomatoes of course... I remembered texting him few days later that my tomatoes have finished and he said I have to go back to get more hahaha

 Lovely grandpa and grandma who came over to have a chat and left with some goodies that they just bought earlier....

 Found a cycle path

 Nevermind that the sun is setting and that I haven't found a place to sleep... lets enjoy this beautiful moment first

Yes I am that lazy... if there isn't a need to set my tent up, I won't... hahaha...its nice to just sit up from my sleeping bag in the morning with a sea view
Good night

1 comment :

  1. Love it! I hope Yu realises her dream to cycle around the world, also!