Okayama to Ako – Monday 29 April

Booking.com got it wrong

A wonderful ride this morning – we meandered through back alleys of communities. Some paths were on a levee; we were able to have a birds’ eye view of the lovely gardens and healthy vegie patches; the rural areas with ploughed fields separated by irrigation canals and the river on our other side.

‘This must be Japan’s answer to Venice’, I say.

During our travels this morning we pass by and had to stop by a recycling plant … bikes were stacked in several piles and some were being loaded onto a truck – it blew our minds how many bike must have been there – a bike graveyard :-(.

Following canals for the best part of the morning and passing though the lovely town of Imbe – the hometown of Bizen Pottery – people were walking with maps, the streets were immaculately tidy – and full of galleries and we rode by oblivious of it’s fame.

‘We wouldn’t have seen this without Komoot!’ I say – John agrees.

We head inland to Kamigori near our accommodation and for lunch. We had been expecting rain today around lunchtime and thankful we weren’t far from our digs. Our guesthouse was near a Golf Country Club and no meals included – better stock up at the shops.

It just started to rain as we headed about 7km to our destination. The country club was very attractive with late flowering cherry blossoms even in the wet they look great – as we rode along we were chased by a lady in a golf cart – we weren’t to be there …

long story short – the location of our digs on booking.com was incorrect – we were a 4hr car drive away … a lot of confusion and google translate. The country club staff kindly phoned the guesthouse – we had to cancel … they arranged accommodation at a town 18km away in Ako.

On we go … despite the rain, the ride along the river and weaving through the hills was beautiful – all is good nothing that a shower, washing machine and dryer won’t fix.

We have 2 single rooms – it’s Golden Week – rooms are hard to get. We have stayed in hotels on this trip with small ‘double size’ beds smaller than what we have today but the staff wouldn’t budge … oh well it would be tough wild camping in the rain under a bridge …

Only in Japan …

Trying to get out of a love hotel … there is a money machine at the door no English… a phone in the room. Trying to pay by card – google translate working to the max but credit card won’t accept… okay ring reception … no English on phone … we find a menu in the room … a phone number for reception #9 try that… after several attempts of hang ups we finally get someone at the door and he helps us pay cash … but breakfast is included – okay ‘Western?’ yes please … sit here and it will be 30 minutes … we sit and then the power goes out as we are officially checked out. We sit in darkness – thankfully I found a window which lets some light in and we wait. It was worth the wait.


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