Tsuchiura to Oarai – Monday 27 May

Only for a tour cyclist …

A short 56km ride – it’s still very hot – garmin recorded 27°C to 38°C.

The road out took us through renkon fields and rice paddies. We are off the beaten track and enjoying the agricultural areas a few undulations thrown in thanks Komoot! We cross at the very top of Lake Kasumigaura and see the cycle path associated with the ’round the lake’. We pass by small forests of bamboo and pine with small patches of dappled shade … so nice with the heat.

Lake Hinuma peeps into view as we go up a hill and a typical view of rice paddies.

I can see we are getting close to the sea – the road is wider and then up a small hill … what a lovely sight! Long beaches ahead, a surf club and beach umbrellas and shades; several swimming in the distance.

Our focus is the ferry terminal which was easy to find – it doesn’t open until 4pm however the waiting area is open and airconditioned. There are a few touring bikes there – a young couple from Germany and Austria.

The ferry is huge … is this our first ‘cruise’?

We venture to a supermarket, nice sushi, watermelon and pineapple for lunch.

The Marine Tower is minutes away ¥330 to get a panoramic view … a mother/child toilet and a disabled toilet allows us to have a sponge bath and change into human clothes … feeling much better. It’s 4pm and the ticket office opens – we get the prepaid tickets and wait until 6pm to roll the bikes on.

A wow moment … bike are in the depths of the ferry along with motorcycles, cars and semi-trailers we are on board ushered to our ‘tourist class’ dormitory of 11 futons all stacked in a row, they can be separated by curtains only.

Drop my rack pack and off we go to explore … a kids playroom; casual promenade with table and chairs; restaurant; shops; stage; onsen and sauna (I can’t wait!). The restaurant has a dinner & breakfast combo for ¥2300 – that’s our food sorted.

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