So it’s been two days since our last update and yes, we are still biking and yes, we survived the typhoon that hit Japan! If you weren’t already worrying about us after hearing about it on the news, Typhoon Lion Rock (or Typhoon 10 as the Japanese have called it because it is the record tenth typhoon to hit Japan this year) hit landfall around 7pm on Monday night, but we were ready for it. If you saw our video on the “michi no eki,” that is actually where we ended up sleeping that night. Out front. Inside our tent. In gale force winds and rains.
By bungee-ing our tent to some pillars, we at least knew we wouldn’t fly away but were still worried that the walls around us would be ripped off.Needless to say, it was a pretty exciting if not restful night. We weren’t the only ones holed up at the rest stop at least, and made a new friend, Takeo Machiyama (who was on his 30th day of cycling around all of Japan in 4 months, clocking 100km+ days and making us feel very slow and inexperienced in comparison!)
So the typhoon cleared after midnight and we woke up to beautiful weather. We decided to hit the coast instead of going inland, which meant some long distances to travel without a lot of amenities, and also not much in the way of spectacular scenery. But it also meant lots of flat, long stretches with a pretty wide shoulder the majority of the time. We had one 1km tunnel in pitch black which we had to walk our bikes through, but the rest has been relatively easy. We ended up in Ochimanbe which was not made any less depressing by the heavy clouds and eerie feeling. We got out of there pretty quickly and headed to an equally depressing town another 30km along the road with the promise of an onsen that ended up being in the middle of nowhere amidst lots of fields and long winding roads. It was kind of worth getting clean for, but it was a bit strange being in a place that had very few foreigners through ever. We got a lot of strange looks and averted eyes, which never feels great when you are naked and just trying to soak in the bath.
It was so dark and so late by the time we got out of there that our options were to sleep in a field swarming with mosquitoes, try and find a park (which we ended up failing at) or make do and sleep in a bus shelter. Uh huh. That’s right. We slept in a bus shelter. It was a very nice one mind you, with cedar walls, that comforting smell of a sauna, a long bench to set up the mats on, room for our bikes and sliding doors that closed us in safely. We are still getting used to that unnerving feeling of sleeping in a very public place and all the paranoia that comes with that.
We had a relaxing afternoon yesterday spent washing our clothes, singing and playing ukulele and catching up with our family via FaceTime using the amazing wifi connection you can access here. So today it is on to the peninsula and another rest stop tonight! Stay tuned for more pictures and videos to come!
Musician, teacher, traveller. Currently on a year-long journey around the world. Bronwyn is one of the founders of onlyamazingdays.com.