Iwanai to Shakotan – Sunday 2nd June

A tough day in the office … stunning scenery …

A lovely sunny morning and through some rice paddies and great reflections then hugging the coastline.

The far off mountains had scattered snow and the coastline had some very interesting rock formations. The hills and mountains as green as you get. A stunning day of scenery on the bike.

Lots of hills dripping into the sea but the Japanese are masters at building tunnels so our proposed climbing resulted in going through tunnels; 21 in fact – a total of 17.5km of tunnels – the longest was 2560m. The best thing today – we didn’t see a truck … maybe as it’s a Sunday or it’s not a truck route.

Many opportunities for snorkelling, the water is crystal clear and the sea grasses looked like a forest. The sea is calm and a gentle tailwind later in the morning.

We pass many fishing villages – the common theme is aqua/blue roofs – against the trees they look stunning.

One small village had a few restaurants it appeared that their speciality was sea urchins – they were well patronized around lunchtime.

A nice beach attracts families picnicking – a great day for it.

We vear away from the coast inland through the forest and hills and don’t lose sight of more scattered snow. We are staying at a Youth Hostel and are early at 1pm … we venture to the next village of Bikuni on the coast just 7km away … a wonderful 2.3km decent!!!

Wow … that was nice John’

‘Yes, and we have to go up it again!!’

Strangely after a convenience store lunch the return didn’t seem that bad.

The youth hostel is set out in the middle of the bush and very quiet amd calming with the chirping of birds around … serenity!

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