Cycling across Japan – day 9 – Michi-no-Eki Yayoi to Usuki

Cycling Japan day 9

  • Day 9 – Michi-no-eki Yayoi to Usuki
  • Distance: 36.6km
  • Weather: sunny and warm
  • Accommodation: Usukiya guesthouse, Usuki ¥2,500

I had a restless night sleep with people walking past the tent from around 3:30am. At 4:30am I decided I may as well get up so I packed up and moved over to the 7-Eleven where they had a sitting area inside and wifi (but nowhere to plug anything in). I had breakfast and decided to head towards Usuki for a short day and to visit the nearby Buddhist statues that are a National Treasure.

Breakfast at 7-11 at 5.57am!

Breakfast at 7-11 at 5.57am! (Coffee, apple juice, a salmon rice ball and hotcakes)

Komoot was a joy to follow again with its turn by turn instructions, however, it had decided that the most direct way to Usuki was the best (I checked Strava later and it wanted me to take a much longer but flatter route). So sure enough I was pushing the bike uphill again! The backroads it had me on were fantastic and much more interesting than the main road but I also had a very long tunnel with no footpath and as I peddled with adrenalin as fast as I could, I had quite a buildup of traffic behind me when I finally reached the other side. 

My handlebar set up with the GoPro and clamp, iPhone, trip computer, bell and mirror

My handlebar set up with the GoPro and clamp, iPhone, trip computer, bell and mirror

Tunnel time

Tunnel time

Komoot LOVES taking me off the beaten path!

Komoot LOVES taking me off the beaten path!

Arriving in Usuki just before 11am, I dropped my bags off at Nomin Cafe (I had reserved a room at the guesthouse owned by the cafe while in the 7-Eleven this morning). I stayed here for a delicious healthy lunch, then went to the tourist office and picked up a map of the area.

A delicious lunch at Nomin Cafe, Usuki

A delicious lunch at Nomin Cafe, Usuki

Nomin Cafe, Usuki

Nomin Cafe, Usuki

A soy sauce shop in Usuki

A soy sauce shop in Usuki

A soy sauce shop in Usuki

The Buddhist sculptures were a 5km bike ride away and the bike felt great without any luggage on it! I spent a couple of hours at the sculptures and really enjoyed the ambience, the wildflowers and the field of bright pink shiba-zakura flowers that were at their prime.

Barley in the fields

Barley in the fields

Selfie in my bike mirrow

Selfie in my bike mirrow

Stamps at the Sekibutsu Buddhist statues outside of Usuki

Stamps at the Sekibutsu Buddhist statues outside of Usuki

Sekibutsu Buddhist statues outside of Usuki

Sekibutsu Buddhist statues outside of Usuki

Sekibutsu Buddhist statues outside of UsukiSekibutsu Buddhist statues outside of UsukiSekibutsu Buddhist statues outside of UsukiSekibutsu Buddhist statues outside of UsukiSekibutsu Buddhist statues outside of Usuki

Sekibutsu Buddhist statues outside of Usuki

Sekibutsu Buddhist statues outside of Usuki

Momiji (maple leaves) and bamboo

Momiji (maple leaves) and bamboo

I liked this sign, especially as it was up a flight of stairs to this shrine!

I liked this sign, especially as it was up a flight of stairs to this shrine!

'Iris Japonica' (fringed iris)

‘Iris Japonica’ (fringed iris)

'Iris Japonica' (fringed iris)

Sekibutsu Buddhist statues outside of Usuki

Sekibutsu Buddhist statues outside of Usuki

Sekibutsu Buddhist statues outside of Usuki

Sekibutsu Buddhist statues outside of Usuki

'Shiba-zakura' (moss phlox)

‘Shiba-zakura’ (moss phlox)

A golden Buddha

A golden Buddha

Back in Usuki I checked into the beautiful guesthouse and had a tatami room to myself. I did some washing, aired out the tent and my wet weather clothes and then went for dinner to an Izakaya called Yufu. I was sat between two men at a counter and the elderly man on my left suggested I have the specialty of the restaurant, the Yufu Yaki – a grilled chicken dish – it was delicious! He left and I got chatting with the man on my right and we swapped various dishes (he didn’t want the pickles which I was happy to have and I didn’t want the liver which he was happy to accept!). He left and paid the bill for both of us before I even had a chance to thank him!

Usuki-ya guesthouse

Usuki-ya guesthouse

My room at the beautiful Usuki-ya guesthouse

My room at the beautiful Usuki-ya guesthouse

The kitchen at Usuki-ya guesthouse

The kitchen at Usuki-ya guesthouse

Yufu-yaki grilled chicken set at Yufu Izakaya in Usuki

Yufu-yaki grilled chicken set at Yufu Izakaya in Usuki

Soon after arriving back at the guesthouse a man in bike leathers turned up, Mori-san. I was sat on my laptop (still) trying to make a plan and he asked if I wanted a beer. I politely declined but he didn’t want to drink alone so I had a beer with him and we ended up chatting late into the night! The universe is obviously telling me that I don’t need a plan but I do need social interaction! It was wonderful to have the company.

Jb9 - elevation profile from Garmin connect

Jb9 – elevation profile from Garmin connect

Jb9 - google map from Garmin Connect

Jb9 – google map from Garmin Connect

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4 responses to “Cycling across Japan – day 9 – Michi-no-Eki Yayoi to Usuki

  1. Love the pics. Are they off your phone or another camera? Perhaps share in a blog , but no return email necessary. This is your trip!! Enjoying all photos; they are breathtaking and absolutely crisp. Komoot was a terrific tip the other day, and my husband just purchased the App for his bike rides and I will add to my phone when I head over to the trek Portugal. Safe travels Kat! You are introducing us to a beautiful part of the world, and it sounds as if the citizens are every bit as lovely and welcoming.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Sally,
      Thanks for your lovely comments 🙂 The pictures are taken with my Fujifilm X-T2 and 16-55m lens – it’s heavy but I couldn’t not bring it! Komoot and I have recently developed a love-hate relationship (more often than not I hear “You have left the tour, take a look at the map!”) but I wouldn’t be where I am now without it! The people here are so wonderfully kind, friendly and generous with hat it really is a joy travelling here.

      Like

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