Start: 12:15 / Arrival: 17:45
Distance: 40km / Gained height 200 hm
Weather is so unstable and unpredictable here – just starting of and see how it will evolve is the way to go. Today was in this respect a somehow unlucky day.
First everything looked okay – although being quite hangover from yesterday’s karaoke. But then fizzy rain evolved into some heavy downpour, so we stopped at a convenience store waiting for it to stop. After almost 2.5hrs we gave up and cycled to through serious rainfall, with oncoming trucks ignoring us while overtaking, so we had to stop at the outermost passage of the roads shoulder. Not nice.
After 40km we gave up, clothes getting wet despite of rain gear and fenders.
Tobi found then some nice and cheap dorm, so checked in and were greeted by some nice and curious host.
The dorm was so rural, it sind even had showers, so we went to the very old-school public bath just below it. Those baths are called Sento and are quite typical to rural Minshukus. Gender seperated, looking like straight from the 60s, had a good time at the various hot baths – “flavoured” by local konbu algae. Relaxing in hot green water, we recovered from the rain.
After a quick beer from the convenience store we picked up our fresh clothes from the laundry (quite an adventure with the japanese washing machines) and went to a ramen bar run by the owner of the dorm.
Had an spicy curry ramen and while that talked to the curiously chef. He was quite surprised and impressed, that a german cyclist knows about Enka music and Yumi Arai. Himself being a passionate photographer focused on Hokkaido wildlife, loving nature, we soon found something to talk about beside music.
Actually I intended to go early to bed, but at the lobby it was quite lively. Got to know two students, Hiroya and Lisa (yes, that’s an japanese name as well) and had good talks. Lisa didn’t speak so much english,but gave me some nice tipps on japanese music. So kind.
Went out for some small mini-fireworks and talked to Hiroyo a little bit more. Got some really interesting insights on japanese culture. Both of them were there at Urakawa for a so called “working holiday” – some programme from the government to bring young people to dying rural towns with a high age average.
Think this is something we could learn from….
Finally went to bed later than intended, but lucky to have a dry and warm space to take shelter.