Kyoto to Hikone – Mon 6 May

Heaven on wheels …

We have survived Golden Week and today is hump day.  We arrived here 6 weeks ago and have another six weeks left.

Monday morning … the streets are quiet at 9am as we leave … we even manage to cycle on the road.

Early hill climb as we exit Kyoto to get us over the escarpment; more shrine and temple directional signs … a series of tunnels to knock off the top – the longest tunnel so far 1312m thankfully it was a dual carriage-way and another tunnel for oncoming traffic. However, the noise still scares the bejesus out of me.

It was an ‘Alice down the rabbit hole moment’ out of the tunnel and there was Lake Biwa … wow!!!

‘This is like Lake Konstanz (Bodensee), John!’

[A google search – Bodensee 536 sq km; Lake Biwa 670.4 sq km.]

We stop to get bearings as there is a couple of roads ahead … a car stops by and tells us we can’t go ahead as it is not for bikes. Decision made – down towards the lake we go … we had left Komoot some time ago through the hills … but now we are on course.

There is no cyclepath along the lake here … it is reserved for lakeside housing and apartments; however we see the lake and follow the main road until we cross the lake at a southern bridge.

The bridge has a steady incline and midway a viewing platform … what a magnificent lake.

The other side is a cyclepath … no stopping or starting for the next 60km – so nice to be out of the city and on a dedicated cyclepath.

We come across a car yard Auto Veloce … John just couldn’t decide on a colour.

We hugged the coast with views of the lake and hills as a backdrop on our left and hills ahead and on our right. Lovely riding,  the grassed areas are enjoyed by picnickers and recreational fishing, a few little marinas and a campground that is quite empty … it is the official last day of Golden Week, I’m sure it was buzzing here a few days ago.

We have a respite from the coast and head a little inland where again we are in awe at the landscape … kms if rice paddies in all stages … the farmers are in force ploughing and planting before we head back to the coast.

Rain is expected this evening – the threatening clouds offer interesting views of the hills.

The rain has started – dinner at a Nepalese Restaurant run by some lovely people just 100m away.

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