Kenta-san's Travel Bookmarks
|8:30||Meet up with support rider "Saito-san"|
|9:00||Receive bicycles at Giant Store Kochi & visit morning market|
|13:30||Nabeyaki Ramen at Susaki City Roadside Station|
|14:30||Stopover at Awa Station|
|15:00||Kure Taisho Town Market|
|15:30||Rest at "Kaze Kobo" and reflect on the trip.|
|16:30||Arrive at the inn "Kuroshio Honjin"|
DAY 7 is over!
Meet up with today's support riders!
Local rider Saito-san
We met our support rider Saito-san, who would be our guide for the day, in front of the Giant Store Kochi. Hearing that he has a lot of experience as a guide raises our expectations!
Received a fully restored bike
Giant Store Kochi again
Received the bike cleaned up like new. The sprockets, frame and brakes were cleaned, and the rear wheel of the bike was replaced with a new tire. The chain, which had taken the rain for days, was greased and the pedals and gearshift were light and smooth. Overnight, the bike suddenly felt much easier to ride. We recommend that you have store maintenance done once or twice during your trip, as it will give you a sense of security for the rest of the ride.
Update equipment together
Tsucchi also purchased a light and gloves that were damaged during the ride while Kenta-san toured the store.
Bustling morning market with local foods
Sunday Market in Tosa
At Saito-san's suggestion, we visited a local morning market. Every Sunday from 6:00 a.m. to about 3:00 p.m., the streets of Kochi are filled with rare and unusual agricultural products, foodstuffs, and souvenirs from the suburbs, making it fun just to walk around.
Taste the famous drink in west Japan
Try the "Hiyashi-ame" drink at the morning market. It is a summer drink made by dissolving water candy in hot water, adding ginger, and chilling it. It is said to be a common and familiar drink in Kansai, Chugoku, and Shikoku regions, but I had never seen it in Kanto, so it was a rare treat.
Interesting bread as breakfast
Next, we tasted the "Hat Bread." This unique sweet pastry has the sweet "edge" of the "sweet boule" commonly found in convenience stores, but is much wider. It is the perfect way to replenish energy before a ride.
Greetings to the statue of Ryoma Sakamoto
Accompanied by a snickering Tsucchi, who for some reason repeatedly calls Ryoma Sakamoto "paisen" (= senior colleague/ student etc.), we rode about 14 km to Katsurahama Beach. We took a commemorative photo in front of a large bronze statue of Ryoma Sakamoto.
Continuous eating of local food
On the way from Katsurahama to Susaki, we took an ice cream break when we found a mobile ice cream shop selling "iceclin," another Kochi specialty. It is between ice cream and shaved ice, and is more refreshing than it looks. The cheapness of the ice cream is delicious and tastes like candy.
Visit to the industrial hub of Kochi, lined with giant trees
Upon entering Susaki City, Mr. Saito guided us to a lumberyard, a place he recommended. The site was filled with the strong aroma of wood, and the 10-meter-high piles of lumber (probably Japanese cedar) were quite impressive. In Kochi, where 89% of the prefectural land is covered with forests, wood resources are one of the local industries. There are several other lumberyards where lumber is auctioned off for shipment. Although not a sightseeing spot, it was a good opportunity to see an interesting scene.
Local gourmet nabeyaki ramen for lunch
Roadside Station "Kawausono-sato Susaki
Deciding to eat local gourmet food in Kochi for lunch, We went to the famous "Mayumi no Mise," but it was closed today. After getting myself together, We went to a roadside station and ordered Nabeyaki Ramen. Since it is nabeyaki, it is served hot. This dish is especially appreciated during winter rides.
Lawson, where the honorary manager is Shinjo-kun
Lawson Susaki Kawauso no Sato
Visiting Lawson, where the Susaki City character Shinjo-kun, winner of the 2016 "Yuru-chara Grand Prix" (=City or local mascot competition), sits on the roof of the store. Susaki City was the last place where the Japanese otter, an extinct species, was found. Shinjo-kun, who combines the town's local delicacy nabeyaki ramen, is the honorary manager of this Lawson store.
A small station in a great location
Awa Station on the Dosan Line
I visited a station in Kochi Prefecture after receiving word of mouth that it had a good location comparable to Shimonada Station, a popular photo spot in Ehime Prefecture. The station was under renovation and had a fence up, but the view from the station building in front of the Pacific Ocean was very nice. There was a love bench, so I took a couple of shots.
Visiting a fish market rooted in the community
Kure Taisho Town Market
From Awa Station, drive 6.5 km to Kure Taisho-machi Market. I heard that skipjack and other seasonal fish are landed from the nearby port, and that you can also enjoy fruits and local food. The market closes at 2:30 p.m., so it was quiet when we went there, but the 100-meter-long shopping street is lined with several small stores, indicating that the market is still active.
Take a break at a cafe and reflect on today's ride
We took our last break at a cafe in "Nakasato," a roadside station near today's lodgings. Saito-san and I parted ways here, so we reflected on today's ride. He introduced us to the places near the course, and of course, led us through almost the entire itinerary of the day. No matter how carefully you plan your rides, it is always nice to have a local guide you on the roads you are unfamiliar with. It was a day that made me realize that I could enjoy the ride and the scenery more than usual, and for that I am very grateful.
Strike down today's inn!
The most expensive inn of the trip. Pulled by the anticipation and the name of the inn (Honjin= shoguns command group during "The age of war"), we began to roleplay a cheesy samurai period drama. The inn was luxurious, with a black-painted lobby overlooking the Pacific Ocean and a large open-air bath.
Is it stingy or bold?
Today's laundry drying in the Pacific Ocean sea breeze
There was no washing machine at the inn, but the luxurious indoor bath was attached, so we washed our clothes by hand and hung us out to dry on the veranda overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Could this feeling of self-sufficiency be the best part of a man's trip?
Places we stopped this time
Giant Store Kochi
Sunday Market in Tosa
Ice cream truck
Kawauso no Sato Susaki
Lawson Suzaki Kawausonosato store
Anwa Station on the Dosan Line
Kure Taisho Town Market
Where we stayed
View Ride Courses
About the Day 7 route
From Kochi City, drive south to Route 14, then turn east. Turn around at Katsurahama and ride along the coast to Awa. From Awa, turn onto Route 56, pass through Tosa Kure, and reach the destination at an inn facing Kure Bay.
Distance traveled: 74 km
Elevation Gain: 500m
Travel time: 7 hours and 30 minutes
Weather: fine, sometimes cloudy
Today's side-trip video
Here's what happened on the other days!
Matsuyama City - Imabari City Area
Distance travelled: 50km
Day 1 begins with the start of the ride, moving and assembling. After praying for a successful trip at Matsuyama Airport, we set off for Imabari. We enjoyed a nice ride while enjoying local recommendations and B-class gourmet food at a restaurant overlooking the sea, but then we ran into a bike store due to mechanical trouble. Fortunately, it was not a big problem, and we were able to inspect the bike before the long-distance ride started in earnest, so it turned out to be a good first day.
Imabari City - Kannonji Area
Distance travelled: 103km
Finally, the full day of riding begins in the morning. We'll be touring the manufacturing process of Imabari towels, now a global brand, and taking in the sights of giant old coin sand paintings, while also going on a gastronomic expedition of ramen, melon dessert, and coffee, plus a surprise meeting with a fan, and lots of fun!
Kannonji - Takamatsu Area
Distance travelled: 83km
Kagawa and Takamatsu are a treasure trove of famous sightseeing spots and gourmet foods, such as Mount Kompira, the Great Seto Bridge, and udon noodles. We changed from cleats to sandals, climbed 1,300 steps to visit the shrine, and rode to get udon for breakfast and lunch. It was a day of riding in Shikoku!
Takamatsu - Tokushima area
Distance travelled: 96km
Day 4 with the first support rider of this trip, "Carson-kun". Despite the rainy season finally baptizing the day, the riders will head through the Takamatsu-Tokushima area at cruising speed, enjoying exquisite granola, a sumptuous seafood lunch, fashionable sweets, Tokushima ramen, and more.
Tokushima - Shishikui Area
Distance travelled: 96km
Before we left, I found something wrong with my tires and had to ride the entire day with a time bomb. In addition, rain was forecast, and we thought it was going to be a hard day, but we were lucky to have a great lunch, good road conditions, and the rain held off! We arrived at a guest house with a private beach and toasted our good fortune.
Shishikui - Kochi Area
Distance travelled: 124km
Finally, the trip is about to turn around. We hit Route 55 and headed for Kochi via the UNESCO-designated Geopark Cape Muroto. The 124-km ride, the longest of the 11-day itinerary, was underway. We rode along the coast in fine weather, but a bulge in the rear tire had been a source of concern since yesterday. We finally made it to the bike store and were relieved!
Kochi City - Tosa-Kure area
Distance travelled: 74km
We will continue to ride around in the second half of the day with our well-maintained bicycles in great shape. Today's support rider, Saito-san, provided us with a perfect local guide, and we were able to enjoy not only Katsurahama Beach, but also Kochi's largest morning market, a tour of powerful local industries, and a run-through of local delicacies.
Tosakure - Nakamura Area
Distance travelled: 116km
Today's ride is down the Shimanto River, the longest first-class river in Shikoku. We will ride to a sunken bridge surrounded by mountains and clear water with a break for shiitake mushrooms and a cafe overlooking the Shimanto River! The weather, pleasant route, and spectacular views all combine to make this Shikoku trip the best yet!
Nakamura - Otsuki City Area
Distance travelled: 112km
We finally have three days left on our trip. Today, we will change our itinerary completely and head for Kashiwa Island, which has received a lot of recommendations. When we get there, the sea is unbelievably beautiful! We were satisfied with the sudden change in our itinerary and marveled at the unfathomable charms of Shikoku, which we might not be able to fully explore in a single trip around the island.
Otsuki City - Uwajima City Area
Distance travelled: 62km
Kenta-san has finally reached the end of his trip and returned to Ehime, the prefecture of his departure. Today was the second shortest daily itinerary, but he had plenty of time to enjoy Uwajima's specialties for lunch and dinner, and almost bought a piece of bonito at a roadside station he stopped at along the way. It was a day to get in shape for the last leg of the ride.
Uwajima City - Matsuyama City Area
Distance travelled: 106km
The last leg of our 11-day cycling tour is finally over. After a hill climb at the beginning of the ride, passing a roadside station that boasts the largest selection of ancient creatures and orange juice in Japan, and an emotive unmanned train station, we finally reached the goal! After getting out of the saddle, we will continue to enjoy Matsuyama City without any worries.
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