- Day 17 – Kobe to Kyoto
- Distance: 82.2km
- Ascent / descent: 339m / 381m
- Weather: overcast then rainy
- Accommodation: Piece Hostel Kyoto, ¥5000 private room
I was up just before 7am and packing my panniers so that I could leave when Lachlan did at 7:30am. He was a terrific host and I had a great night’s sleep. He also made real coffee and it was a nice start to the day 🙂
Looking at the map, it looked like it would be a great day following rivers almost the whole way to Kyoto….
Not long after leaving Kobe I passed another Cycle Base Asahi and popped in to see if they sold clear lens cycling glasses – I have sunglasses but lately it’s been really overcast and my glasses are too dark, but if I don’t wear them I end up with countless small bugs in my eyes! They did have glasses but they were expensive so the staff told me about a glasses shop about 500m back the way I had already come. Of course I didn’t want to go backwards, but they were quite insistent… so I did! And I ended up buying a weird looking pair of clear glasses for ¥1200 which I didn’t realise until wearing them on my bike that I can’t really see out of my peripheral or downwards with them on!
Before long I reached the river path and Komoot told me I had 8km which was very exciting because usually I have to make a turn every 200-300m! HOWEVER, what could have been a lovely riverside path was ruined with barriers every few hundred meters to stop scooters and or cyclists going too fast because the barriers meant you had to dismount the bike and push it through. Or in my case meant a nightmare of trying to navigate my panniers through barriers that were too narrow for my pannier-laden bike! I was already tired and grumpy and didn’t think my mood could get any worse, but it did… with every barrier! I physically had to lift my bike every single time or back track up and down the sloping hill. And then it started raining! If you look closely at the below picture, the man on the bike is slowly edging through a metal barrier – but my bike didn’t fit 😦
It started raining quite heavily on the outskirts of Kyoto and I still hadn’t booked a room for the night so I went to Kyoto station to try and pick up wifi and booked a room at Piece Hostel Kyoto near the station (I stayed here in 2013 after the Shikoku pilgrimage too and loved it). The problem is because Golden Week starts tomorrow, nothing is available for 2 nights in a row, so I can only stay tonight.
I was totally soaked from the rain and cold when I checked in, so I had a nice hot shower then went out for a big bowl of pasta in Kyoto station. Back at the hostel I sampled some sake and had a good long chat with one of the staff members who had cycled around Japan a few years ago, thanks for the tips! My mood had definitely lifted, but boy was I grumpy today!