Itoigawa to Hakuba – Thursday 16 May

A huge Japanese delicious breakfast prepared by the guesthouse, would it weigh me down or give me the energy for the continuous climbing today.

A welcome tailwind as we left the coast and headed inland – scattered snow covered mountains before us … we were a little tentative yet excited.

Lovely scenery, rice paddies, the raging river and the alps.

Before we knew it a tunnel, in our favour a lot of tunnel roadworks so traffic controllers are directing traffic one direction only … I’m sure they were keeping a eye on us through their two-ways.

Running on adrenaline with the thundering sound of the trucks, the river is equally thundering.

We seem to be in tunnels more than the open road … one tunnel was 5.777km … scary stuff. I’m thankful for the drivers.

Between the tunnels we have amazing views of the mountains, waterfalls and river.

Our day is somewhat a surprise as I had imagined a lot more climbing – the tunnels took that away.

We are staying in a nice tree change … very wooded area … a 10 minute walk to the start of a ski lift. As it is off season most places/restaurants are closed but we venture to the ski lift area … beautiful views. A pinch yourself moment.

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