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Travel Blogs from Tokamachi
We woke up early and set off in very wet conditions from Tokyo heading for the main train station. We boarded a Shinkansen a high speed bullet train that went from Tokyo to Nagano. These trains can travel at speeds of 190 mph. Before we knew it we were at Nagano and swapped over to the Electric railway bound for the mountain town of Yudanaka. When we reached Yudanaka our host Mr Yumoto met us and took us back to his ryokan. We quickly off loaded our bags ...
Distance: 48.7 km
Elevation gain: 1,216 metres
Today's ride was epic in many ways - the challenge of riding in thick fog, the beautiful scenery and the rush of descending for almost 20 km. The details are all below.
First, I was treated to a lovely, typical Japanese breakfast at the Spax Hotel in Kusatsu this morning. Looking back from my current ryokan here in Yudanaka, the Spax was a very nice hotel. ...
... strangely quiet with no birds chirping and very few cars, I had a zen moment. I was suffering on the bike but the quiet whirr of the chain and the steady rotation of the wheels and the realization that I was suffering in Japan, one of the world's coolest countries, and actually able to self propel myself around the country as an old geezer, made me appreciate what I was doing. Isn't it great that I get to do this! I guess this is all part of the ebb ...
... t speak to them in a friendly or soothing voice - all of these are signs of aggression to the monkeys). As we were to observe, the monkeys spend most of their time being aggressive and sorting out the pecking order. Fights are numerous and frequent and a bit loud and scary too. When we got to the monkey onsen there were five or six bathing. We watched them for ages, fighting, playing, screaming, paddling, swimming, lounging about. After a while it was time to leave so we walked to ...
... they are all impressed when I say I'm from Germany and show their appreciation with a long guttural "Ooooouuuuuhhh". I also quickly discover what wonderful things are produced here using the local chestnut after treating myself to a purely medicinal eissu krimu. Strengthened, I enter the very old fashioned but nonetheless very nice Hokusai museum with lots of prints from "a 100 views of Mount Fuji", paintings, wooden panels... And I learn that he became famous producing ...
- Swimming pool
- Free parking