Around Biwako in 3 Days

Posted by Mike on July 21, 2016

Biwako, the largest lake in Japan, about 200 km in circumference
Biwako, the largest lake in Japan, about 200 km in circumference

Ever since I drove past Lake Biwa, I've wanted to go back for a longer visit.  It's a massive body of fresh water, the largest lake in Japan, and absolutely beautiful.  The long holiday weekend (Umi no Hi, Ocean day) gave me and the neighbors a good opportunity to visit.  

Riding around Lake Biwa is a popular bicycle trip, clocking in at about 200 km.  Usually, it's done as a 1 or 2 day ride.  We would be starting from Ibaraki, increasing the distance to about 300 km.  So, we gave it a 3 days, carrying all the gear to camp along the way.


Pizza Overnighter

Posted by Mike on July 5, 2016

Erkki and Priya enjoying the easy trip home.
Erkki and Priya enjoying the easy trip home.

After recounting my trip to Sasayama to the neighbors, they decided they wanted to do a similar trip.  Of particular interest was the pizza restaurant I visited on the first day.  Neither Erkki or Priya had a lot of camping experience, so I shortened the trip a bit to make it a little more relaxed and enjoyable. There was still a bunch of climbing on day 1, but day 2 was almost entirely flat or down hill.


Sasayama Overnight

Posted by Mike on June 21, 2016

View from near the campsite.
View from near the campsite.

The goal of this trip was really just to make myself do a self supported overnight trip.  Test out the gear, and confirm that my plans are going to work before going on an extended, several day trip.  A secondary goal was to visit a pizza place a friend of mine recommended.  

The route to Sasayama from Ibaraki goes through the mountains, there are lots of hills.  Below is a map of the entire trip, with some pictures and stuff.


Osaka to Kagoshima

Posted by Mike on April 22, 2016

900 km in 9 days over 3 of the 4 major islands of Japan.
900 km in 9 days over 3 of the 4 major islands of Japan.

This trip started out as a devious plot to get my dad to actually come and visit while I was living in Japan.  See, he hates planes, and getting to Japan without getting on one is difficult.  On the other hand, he loves bike rides, and Japan is a great place to ride a bike.  The plot worked.

Dad’s a high school teacher, so we scheduled the tour around his spring break, March 19 - April 2.  The basic plan was to ride from my house in Ibaraki (near Osaka) to Sakurajima, an active volcano near Kagoshima.  Dad is a big geology nut, so an active volcano would be a big draw.  The Sakura also start blooming in late March/early April, so hopefully by going south we'd find some doing their thing.  Here’s a map of the route I worked out.