Sunday, October 26, 2014

Shimanami, a heavenly road over the sea

If you want to go to the best road for cycling, I recommend you to go to SHIMANAMI KAIDO. The road has a cycling lane all the way from Onomichi to Imabari of about 70km. Each wonderful bridge has a bikeway.

You can meet wonderful scenary you've never seen on the road.

Route: Sunrise Itoyama (hotel)→ Oshima Island (via Miyakubo path)→ Hakata Island → Omishima Island → Ikuchijima Island→ Innoshima Island→ Ikuchijima Island → Omisihma Island Bus Stop
Distance: 84km
Maximum difference of an elevation: 143m
Average % of inclination: total-0.1% ascent3% descent2.9%
Gained elevation: ascent408m descent478m

Kurushima Strait Bridge(length 4105m)
The bridge connects Oshima Island and Shikoku.

Ship Builder in Oshima.

Observing Tomari Village in Oshima Island.

An arch of Omishima Bridge watching from Taura Pass at Oshima Island.

Hakata Bridge (length 325m)
Oshima Bridge (suspension bridge, length 840m)

Omishima Bridge (Arch Bridge, length 328m)

Koune Bridge connecting Ikuchijima and Koune Island. Length 205m.

Tatara Bridge (Cable-stayed bridge, length 1,480m)
The longest cable-stayed bridge in Japan and the fifth in the world.

Ikuchi Bridge (Cable-stayed bridge, length 790m)
It is connecting Innoshima and Ikuchijima.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Nyuto Onsen Hot Spring

Let's go to Japanese secret hot springs with Brompton!

Today Brompton and I went to Nyuto Onsen, one of the most famous hot spring areas for its sophistication. It was a beautiful day.

Course: Tazawa-ko Station→Magoroku Onsen→Kuroyu Onsen→Tsurunoyu Canyon→Tsurunoyu→Tazawa-ko Station

Distance: 42.7km
Maximum Difference in Elevation: 667m
Average angle of inclination: total 0% ascent 5.1% descent 5.1%
Gained elevation: ascent 876m descent 880m

Leveledging advantage of Japan's Super Express Railway System, I went out for a day-trip to Nyuto Onsen where is about 600km away from Tokyo. Because Nyuto Onsen hot springs are located in the elevation of 700 to 800 meter, there were ablaze with autumn tints. If you go, now to go!

When you get a 6:00am Shinkansen (KOMACH) at Tokyo Station, you arrive in Tazawa-ko Station at 8:55am.
Getting off Shinkansen at Tazawa-ko Station and started to ride on Brompton. On the way to Nyuto Onsen hot springs, there was a meadow with a distant view of Mt. Komagatake.
Arrived Nyuto Onsen around 10:30 am. Let's go to one of the secret hot springs.
First one. Magoroku Onsen is the most rustic lodge located off the road near Kuroyu Onsen. It requires a short hike or a Brompton ride to get to and has multiple baths including a large women only outdoor bath.


Brompton can go anywhere even the path is narrow, covered with rocks or very steep. I love to do all of these.

Arrived at Kuroyu Hot Spring soon. Kuroyu is also a rustic lodge but one of the oldest hot springs with more than 300-year history in the Nyuto Onsen area.

Kuroyu offers multiple indoor and outdoor baths including a mixed gender outdoor bath.

I loved wonderful experience of secret hot springs in Magoroku and Kuroyu. Well, let's go to the final destination Tsurunoyu. I do not like a regular paved road. Try hard path to ride with Brompton beyond Tsurunoyu Canyon.

Wow, it is beautiful but a little dangerous route! I carefully step forward. In a sudden I start to listen to murmuring of a stream. The bottom of the valley seems to be very close.

This is the bottom of the path bound for Tsurunoyu. (Tsuru meaning Crane.)

Brompton needs to cross over on the susupension bridge.

Be careful of your steps.

Then Brompton and I need to climed up about 50 meters of an elevation. We reached Tsurunoyu Canyon observatory. From here it takes about 10 minutes by Brompton to Tsurunoyu on an unpaved path.

Brompton and I are getting to Tsurunoyu.

Tsurunoyu is the oldest operating lodge of Nyuto Onsen. Some of its rooms date to the Edo Period (1603-1867) and offer a rustic and authentic stay with a traditional-style fireplace. 

The Tsurunoyu outdoor bath is iconic of the region. It was very crowded on that day but I still assumed that it was a wonderful secret hot spring.

Let's go back to the station to get 16:08 train bound for Tokyo in order to return home.