Kenta-san's Travel Bookmarks
|8:30||Departure from Guest House|
|9:00||Akamizu Observation Plaza|
|9:30||Breakfast at Bread Booth 8|
|11:15||Viewing the crater of Sakurajima at Kurokami River|
|11:30||Kurokami Buried Torii|
|12:15||Lunch at Mommy's Cafe|
|14:00||Rest at "Kurozu Honpo Kakuida"|
|14:50||Meet up with student support riders|
|15:30||Goal at Hotel Kyocera!|
DAY 3 is over!
65km to get to the finish line!
The morning of the last day of Kin-ichi
Once again I managed to bring the fair weather with me, so I was in my element on the final day of the ride, with not a cloud in the sky. Yesterday's ride was plagued by knee trouble, and for a moment I wondered whether I should skip the Sakurajima round trip and take the route to the finish, but I knew I couldn't miss Sakurajima in Kagoshima. We set a goal of 65km for the remainder of the ride, and got fired up to complete the Kin-ichi.
A large number of dump trucks pass by
National Route 224
Departing from the guesthouse, we rode counterclockwise around Sakurajima along Route 224. The road was so busy with dump trucks that one might have thought there was a race going on. In fact, these dump trucks are used to carry away large amounts of volcanic ash and mudslides every day so that eruptions and rains do not block the flow into the rivers. This was a glimpse into the unique situation of a land living in harmony with an active volcano.
Portrait of a Scream
Akamizu Observation Plaza
After riding about 7km from the guesthouse, we took a short break at the Akamizu Observation Plaza located on the west side of the island. At the entrance is a monument, "Portrait of a Scream," commemorating the all-night concert by Kagoshima-born singer Tsuyoshi Nagabuchi. Receiving the strong passion and energy of the statue, I became fired up to complete the Kin-ichi route.
Breakfast under the blue sky
Bread Booth 8
About 5km further from the Red Water Observation Plaza, we stopped by Bread Booth 8 for breakfast, where more than 70 kinds of breads are lined up from morning. Moreover, the store's mother bakes all these breads by herself. The "Choco Rajima," a mischievous bread named after Sakurajima, "Magma Bread," among other breads make it hard to decide what to eat. We had breakfast in the harbor parking lot across the street from the store. The most popular croissant is slightly sweet and I could eat as many as I want. I will definitely repeat my visit to Sakurajima!
Kirishima-Kagoshima route visible beyond the rare flat course
Sakurajima Port Kurokami Line
Prefectural Road 25, also known as Sakurajima Port Kurokami Line, on the west side of Sakurajima, is an unusually flat route around Sakurajima (no strain on the knees, thank goodness!). On the other side of the river, we can see Route 10, which we took from Kirishima to Kagoshima City on the first day, and we finally realize that we are at the end of the Kin-ichi.
View of the crater of Sakurajima
Sadly, the flat course ends, and from here the slope continues with an 8-10% incline, but we managed to make it up the hill by increasing our cadence in lighter gears. The Kurokami River at the top of the hill is the "Mizunashi River," which normally has no water and flows only when it rains. This is the last viewing spot of Sakurajima at Kin-ichi. We proceeded with our eyes firmly fixed on it.
So proud of his kei-camping setup
Wandering kei-car-camping father
While taking pictures along the Kurokami River, we met a father traveling around Kagoshima in a mini-camping car (commonly known as a "kei-can" (=kei camp)). When we asked him to show us the inside of his beloved car, "Katatsumuri-go," he told us that the inside of the car was laid out flat on a wooden plank, and that a futon could be laid on the floor. It has curtains, so there is no need for an accommodation, and it looks quite comfortable. The car was ferried all the way from the Kanto region to Kyushu, and is now traveling freely all over Kyushu. Although this is a different category from bicycle travel, we had a great time exchanging information on carefully selected equipment with other expert travelers.
You can feel the enormity of the eruption
Kurokami Buried Torii
The Kurokami Buried Torii, located about 1km from Kurokami River, is a tourist attraction that conveys the energy of the eruption. 2m of the 3m high torii gate was buried in the ground by volcanic ash from the great eruption of Sakurajima in 1914. According to the information display next to the torii, the large amount of lava that flowed out from the eruption buried the Seto Strait between the Okuma Peninsula and Sakurajima, making the two islands connected to the land.
A cheerful cafe that will blow away your fatigue
Finally, after completing the Sakurajima round trip, we set a course for Kirishima. Today's lunch was at "Mommy's Cafe," which had received several word-of-mouth reviews. Lunch was "vegetable and fruit juice" and "hamburger steak curry. The seasonal vegetables from Kagoshima are beautifully colored and come with a fried egg, much more luxurious than a simple hamburger steak curry! By the time we stopped by, the temperature was over 20 degrees Celsius, so the juice, chilled like a smoothie, was even more refreshing. We were very satisfied with all the delicious food, but most of all, we were energized by the cheerful energy of the famous owner, "Mammy-san," who encouraged us to go the extra mile until we reached Kin-ichi.
Signing the bike rack
Bike rack at Mommy's Cafe
The day we visited Mommy's Cafe happened to be the day the bike rack was installed at the store, and Kenta-san was the first user of the rack. He was allowed to sign his autograph to commemorate the occasion.
Kagoshima's famous "black vinegar"
Kurozu Honpo Kakuida
As a slightly different kind of aid, we stopped at a brewery that makes black vinegar, which is said to be effective against fatigue. The site has a unique landscape of "jar fields" lined with approximately 20,000 fermenting jars. The store, which is attached to the pot field, offers vinegar tasting, which is a bit of a challenge for Kenta, who is not fond of sour food. At Tsucchi's suggestion, he tried a variety of vinegar tastings, including raw fruit black vinegar made from blueberries and apples. At "Japan's first black vinegar restaurant," which "connects food and health," they also offer creative dishes using organic vegetables from their own vegetable garden and black vinegar "Kakuida."
High school support riders join the journey!
One rider was dashing up the hill at the 10km goal, and when he came up behind Kenta-san, he started to run right alongside him. When we spoke to him at a traffic light, he turned out to be a video viewer of Kenta-san's. A high school student, Ukyo Arimura is a cyclist who started riding road bikes a year ago and has become completely fascinated with the sport. He was riding his usual training route when he noticed Kenta-san and started to chase after him. Since we were going to be there, we decided to ride with the young traveler until we reached the goal.
Kin-ichi-san's 260-km journey also finishes
The three of us arrived at the "Hotel Kyocera" where we started two days ago to finish Kin-Ichi. There were no injuries or accidents, and I managed to finish the trip before the knee pain I had been having since the first day got worse. Although there was heavy traffic only along Route 10 from Kirishima City to Kagoshima City on the first day, there were few cars on the Oosumi Peninsula side from the second day, and the course was flat and easy to ride. We said goodbye to Mr. Arimura here, and after taking a hot spring bath at the hotel, we packed our gear for the night flight. We took a jumbo cab to Kagoshima Airport and caught the last flight to Tokyo, Haneda at 20:30. Sakurajima, which was visible from the plane, was a mountain that sometimes looked calm and at other times rugged, depending on the location, angle, and light. It was a three-day trip in which we fully enjoyed Sakurajima, the central element of Kinko Bay.