Tokyo to Tsuchiura – Saturday 25 May

Think Japan … think rice paddies …

It has a Saturday feel about … minutes away a nice coffee shop breakfast near the station, it’s 7.30am there is hustle and bustle around as people are in a hurry … to catch a train? Get to work? Who knows but it’s lively … this is Tokyo.

Komoot has us out of the city without going through the centre. It’s already 26°C, the road is easier today than the footpath – the suburbs are clean and neat – everyone is out and about on their bikes; families – 1 adult with 2 kids front and back on one bike – it works well here; aged folk just enjoying the sunny day; middle aged school kids on their way to sport with their sports equipment bag over their shoulders. Komoot likes the suburbs and little lanes, so do I – you get a real feel for the place.

Then as we go further out we travel along several river levees – cloudless skies, a running track; looks like a pop-up golf course; baseball and softball diamonds everywhere with players in action; soccer pitches and many lycra lads on their roadies. I love travelling on Saturdays it’s always entertaining along a river bed to stop and watch a baseball game for a while.

Before we know it the temperature has risen to 37°C a few stops to refill water bottles. A break from suburbia and a very large plain before us as we ride over a long bridge and below rice paddies galore. More towns and agricultural areas before we reach Tsuchiura at the northern end of Lake Kasumigaura, the second largest lake in Japan.

Check into the hotel for 2 nights … we grab a few drinks and ride along a lakeside cycle path, find a bench and enjoy the serenity as the sun starts to set.

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