Cycling Japan – day 3 – Cape Sata to Kamikawa campsite

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  • Day 3 – Cape Sata to Kamikawa campsite
  • Distance: 38.8km
  • Ascent / descent: 488m / 483m
  • Weather: sunny and warm
  • Accommodation: Kamikawa free campsite opposite Kinko nishiko-no-sato Michi-no-eki
Morning view from my tent

Morning view from my tent

I woke up this morning to the sound of the birds and the sea and the sun was shining. My tent was wet so I decided I would wait for it to dry before leaving. There was a new tent next to me but I hadn’t heard them come in. It seems like everyone had the same idea of sleeping in because no-one had moved by 7:30am! The wind picked up and the tent dried quick and the person in the tent next to me was a young Japanese guy called Kokeru-san who has been cycling around Japan from his hometown in Aichi Prefecture since February. He had 10 months to explore Japan! It made me happy to hear that even though he was a cyclist and had been on the road for a couple of months already, he also spent a lot of yesterday pushing the bike uphill!

This is Kakeru-san who's been travelling around Japan by bicycle since February 10th!

This is Kakeru-san who’s been travelling around Japan by bicycle since February 10th!

I ate the mandarins that I was given at the small shop yesterday for breakfast and set off quite late allowing myself a short day to let my body (especially knees) ease into this trip.

Free mandarins for breakfast from the lovely shop owner I met yesterday

I knew I had some big hills that I had crossed yesterday but one of them took at least half an hour of pushing the bike up! I passed fields and fields of old terraced rice fields that were being used for growing vegetables and there were lots of workers out harvesting potatoes. I stopped heaps to chat, take photos and just enjoy the scenery.

Local houses, sea and volcano views

Local houses, sea and volcano views

I finally settled on a name for the bike: Momiji – this means maple leaf in Japanese and although it’s spring right now and the cherry blossoms are in bloom there are still heaps of brown maple leaves which is the colour of the bike… And leaves are lightweight.

Kaimon-dake and momiji (the name of my bike)... I might've got a little carried away with pictures of this volcano!

Kaimon-dake and momiji (the name of my bike)… I might’ve got a little carried away with pictures of this volcano!

Nice road

Nice road

Beware of animals... I'm not sure what this is?

Beware of animals… I’m not sure what this is?

Sata manhole cover

Sata manhole cover

Route 269

Route 269

A falling down traditional house

A falling down traditional house (these always remind me of walking in Portugal and seeing all the crumbling buildings)

Daikon radish for sale

Daikon radish for sale

I just liked this hand painted post office sign

I just liked this hand painted post office sign

Tatekami shokudo restaurant

Tatekami shokudo restaurant (where I had dinner on my first night – it was dark so I couldn’t take a photo at the time)

Kaimon-dake and momiji

Kaimon-dake and momiji

Farmers harvesting potatoes

Farmers harvesting potatoes

A local farmer

A local farmer

Fresh produce for sale with an honesty box

Fresh produce for sale with an honesty box

Kaimon-dake

I’m not sure who this dude is?

I passed through the small town with the Acoop and bought some sushi to have for lunch further down the road at Ohama beach.

When I got to Nejime I tried unsuccessfully to connect to wifi at family mart and Lawson which was odd because the day before I had no problem connecting to the Lawson wifi. My map showed there was a rider’s house nearby (cheap accommodation for bikers and cyclists) so I popped by to drop off my map book which I had decided was too big and heavy to continue carrying! The owner thought it would definitely come in handy for someone passing through 🙂

Kaimon-dake

Kaimon-dake

Kaimon-dake

A distant view of Sakurajima volcano in Kagoshima

A distant view of Sakurajima volcano in Kagoshima

I continued on a bit further and it was about 4pm when I came to the campsite opposite the michi no eki – it was blowing a gale and I didn’t fancy the idea of pitching my tent but after speaking with the staff at the michi no eki it seemed like this was as good as it would get even if I was to continue. I bought dinner there, was able to join wifi very briefly before it stopped working and while eating my dinner there, my bike fell over in the strong wind. I picked it back up and noticed that one of the spokes? on the front mudguard had broken off which meant the mudguard now rested on the wheel… not good! I walked it back to the campground, pitched my tent and hoped it wouldn’t fly away and while the sun was setting I was desperately trying to fix my mudguard… in the end I used a lot of gorilla tape to try and tape the spoke back on so lets see how well this works!

About 9pm the wind died down and I slept very well until I woke at 2am with frozen legs and toes! I put my wet weather pants on as an extra layer, went to the toilet and took photos of the moon and stars then got back in the tent and realised I probably should’ve walked to the vending machine to get a can of hot coffee to throw in my sleeping bag to keep me warm but I just couldn’t face getting out again!

Kamikawa campground at sunset

These wooden cut-outs were positioned along the beach where I camped at Kamikawa campground

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Sunset at Kamikawa campground

Sunset at Kamikawa campground

Sunset at Kamikawa campground

Moonrise at Kamikawa campground

Moonrise at Kamikawa campground

JB3 – elevation profile from Garmin connect

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