Oct 09 2012

Mamamia Utsunomiya

Pagoda at Nikko

Pagoda at Nikko

The leg from Mt. Shirane to Nakanojo (52 km/32 miles) is almost a constant downhill track which is of course a lot of fun. I’m pausing in Utsonomiya for three days as I’d like to see the tomb in Nikko which is about 40 km away from my host in Utsunomiya. There is only one Couchsurfing host in Nikko and as the mausoleum of Nikko is an UNESCO World heritage he receives up to 20 requests a day during the main season. Even though it’s autumn/fall and I sent my request more than a month in advance I wasn’t lucky and he was already booked out. My host says” this is perfect, as I haven’t had any ideas what to do with you. We can go there with my car!” I don’t have anything against it as Nikko is not directly on my route and I’d have lost at least two days. On top of it it saves me a night in a hostel.

On the leg from Koriyama to Fukushima a quite young Japanese cyclist overtakes me on his quite antique seeming bicycle. Nothing too special but an elephantine rucksack on his back makes me perplexed. After he read the sign on my trailer he asks me doubtfully if I was really on my way from Fukuoka to Sapporo with my bicycle. I answer – as I always do – with a simple: „yes“. „With that?“ he asks pointing to my trailer. Once again I’m answering with a simple: „yes“. And the usual Sugooooi (wow / unbelievable / awesome) is his answer. I ask where he’s going. He answers: „Aomori“ (in the north of Japans main island Honshu over 400 km away from here). Now I’m the one who’s looking incredulously at him: “with that?“, pointing on his bicycle. My question is answered with a simple: „yes“. I saved a lot of money when I bought my bicycle but there are obviously people who have even less demands than me.

respect for this guy with this bicycle!

respect for this guy with this bicycle!

Special thanks to: Mattew Hahn, U.S.A. (text revision); Katsutoshi Horie, Japan; Chris DeHaan, Canada; Hubertus Neidhart from Webspace Provider Network for excellent web page hosting services; Lilith Pendzich

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