Kashihara to Kyoto- Sat 4 May

‘What a great morning for a ride’ says John as we leave the rather eclectic guesthouse. Having said that, it had a great common area where we chatted with 2 Japanese guys last night and met an Aussie and UK couple.

It’s 8am and we do the ‘through the quiet one car lanes thing’ in the villages – I don’t know where Komoot gets these routes from but I like them. Leaving the village we see a baseball pitch, players getting ready for the first game of the day … great memories of the T-Ball season as a coach pass my mind …

We are now on a cyclepath high on a levee following a small river, we spend the next 55kms parellel to the main road but far enough away not to hear traffic; no stop/start at traffic lights and no Lawsons, 7/11 or Family Marts. It’s just us and many many other cyclists – a lot of roadies in lycra out there today all enjoying the peaceful countryside. The hills are shades of green and yellow.

The small river is a little underwhelming with a few catchments if litter. Then we see a patch of rocks laden with turtles basking in the sun, a little further on a baby turtle is on the path, we return it to the water.

A tall netted area approaches – a baseball stadium? ‘No, I think it is a golf driving range’, says John, and sure enough a 3 tiered driving range.

The path continues and the river widens – a baseball game is underway on the riverbank – time to watch a few digs. A little further on is a soccer match.

Komoot is doing a great job today as we are directed across a long bridge away from the peaceful cyclepath – Kyoto is getting closer as the highways and byways emerge before us – now that is spaghetti! We are even directed to do loops and turns … ugh! We get through unscathed thanks to Komoot.

The last 5-10km is always a drag … just waiting to get there with the stop/start at lights – how many Lawsons stores can you count – a new one under construction, ‘They are making too much money’, I say.

We arrive at our Guesthouse – check in is 4pm – we are early so do the paperwork and return an hour later, it’s quite hot and we are thankful for a shower and washing machine for ¥100. Drying lines are on the roof.

There is trouble with storing our bikes – we’re not happy to have them in a motor bike parking at a park about 500m away … we strike a compromise and squeeze them at the back of the Guesthouse as long as we carry them through the narrow corridor … the tyres may get the carpet dirty. I did suggest our room – that didn’t go down well.

We were a little daring and went on a bus to the Gion area for dinner, we stepped back in time as we walked up a street with traditional old wooden houses, we also saw many girl/ladies dressed in traditional costume tonight in the streets.


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