Kenta-san's Travel Bookmarks
|Departure from Haneda Airport
|Arrival at Matsuyama Airport
|Get ready and start the ride from the airport!
|Boarding the Mitsu Ferry
|Mitsu Hamayaki for lunch at "Soft Time"
|Stop off for a snack, "Toubai-chan no Grilled Xiaolongbao"
|My friend's bike has a mechanical problem! Rushed to Giant Store Imabari
|Arrival at Imabari Urban Hotel!
|Celebrate at "Hakurakuten" dinner restaurant
DAY 1 is over!
1.5 hour flight from Haneda Airport
Praying for a clear blue sky, we boarded a flight from Tokyo, Haneda to Matsuyama Airport and headed for Shikoku!
Arrival in Shikoku! Prepare for the Ride
Assemble and equip your bicycle at Matsuyama Airport
After receiving their luggage, assemble their bicycle at the "Matsuyama Airport Cycle Station" located outside the airport. To change clothes, there is a dedicated changing room conveniently located next to the baggage claim area.
Go to the information counter in the airport
Travel light by leaving bike bags at the airport.
If you can't carry your bike bag with you, go to the information counter at Matsuyama Airport (right outside the baggage claim exit). If necessary you can have them checked in free of charge until the day of your return flight. Please contact Matsuyama Airport for more information about baggage storage.
A specialty of Matsuyama Airport? Mandarin orange juice on tap
If you come to Ehime, you can't help but drink.
This is Ehime, the sacred land of mandarin oranges. A toast to the start of the ride with the tangerine juice straight out of the faucet!
A simple monument, marking an important heritage
This is Ehime's starting point
Ehime is famous for Pon juice. We visited the former site of the Mitsuhama factory, where the first Pon juice factory was built, and found that a monument still stands there, but it is a very simple stone monument that is quite modest compared to the achievements of the factory...
Short ferry trip to the town of Mitsu
Aboard a small ferry with our bicycles, just for fun
A couple of kilometers from the airport, they will reach the port town of Mitsu. Here, there is a ferry route that has been in operation for 1,600 years, connecting the fishing port of Mitsu to the neighboring town. We could bring their bicycle on the small boat and enjoy a short trip of about 2 minutes (the boat is in a cove, so it would be about 2km by road). Boarding is free.
Gut up with Mitsu Hamayaki
630 yen for an infusion of flour-based power!
Mitsu-hama-yaki, a local food available at "Soft Time," a coffee shop recommended by the ferryman's uncle, is a B-class gourmet dish made of thin, round okonomiyaki-like dough folded into a half-moon shape. It is placed on a griddle and okonomiyaki sauce is coated on the inside and outside of the two folds. It is served on top of soba (or udon) noodles and topped with beef fat. Drizzle mayonnaise over the top and you have an energy-boosting meal. It is said to be the most familiar "Western food" to the people of Mitsuhama.
Toubai-chan no Grilled Xiaolongbao
For the second course to follow the Mitsuhama-yaki go to "Toubai-chan's Baked dumplings" shop located on Prefectural Route 347. The store is a drive-through type for easy access by by car, and in addition to the parcels, there is a wide selection of tapioca drinks and fruit juices. The food tastes great. It is also an attractive place to take a short break with the ocean in front of you.
Finally, the Round-Shikoku trip is in full swing!
But then, moments into our journey, I had a baptism of mechanical trouble.
Our batteries were fully charged, and we were finally riding toward Imabari. As we were riding along Route 196, we heard a strange noise coming from the bicycle of our traveling companion, Tsucchi! Even after greasing the bike, the squeaking noise persisted. We hurriedly searched for a nearby facility and found a Giant Store in front of Imabari Station.
Check your bike carefully before riding!...
Giant Store Imabari
When we brought the bike into the store, it turned out that the cause was a pulley wheel that had run out of grease. Kenta-san's bike was also inspected just to be sure, and he was relieved to hear it was running fine.
Arrive at your first night's lodging!
Imabari Urban Hotel
The first day's lodging, Imabari Urban Hotel, has a bike rack in the lobby. After unloading our luggage, we first showered & washed our clothes (important).
Celebrate the start of your journey with roasted pork and egg rice
We had dinner at a popular Chinese restaurant, Hakurakuten, not far from the hotel. We ordered a simple bowl of local food, roasted pork and egg rice, which consists of homemade roasted pork and a fried egg on top of rice with sweet sauce. It was a popular makana-meshi (rice with fried egg) at a local restaurant in the past, which became a menu item and a local specialty. It was a large portion, but I finished it quickly, partly because I was hungry for a ride! I washed it all down with a beer and it hit the spot exceptionally.