Cycling Japan – day 19 – Kyoto to Lake Biwa

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Day 19 – Kyoto to Lake Biwa

  • Distance: 88.9km
  • Ascent / descent: 423m / 363m
  • Weather: overcast and cool 
  • Accommodation: camped by Lake Biwa

It was noisy in the dorm room this morning, someone’s actual bleeping alarm went off at 6am and I’m sure woke up the whole room before they turned it off! There was then a lot of chatter so it was a forced early morning (when I would have preferred a sleep in!)

I left Kyoto later than planned at 11am (I got sucked into the vortex of wifi and blog stuff!) Kyoto was insanely busy with people and traffic (Golden Week has now officially started) so I was happy when I finally got out. I had two small hills to cross, although I had to push the bike up the second one!

I finally reached Lake Biwa and it was my first time to ever see it. The traffic was busy on the west side of the lake and it was built up with shops, but after I crossed a bridge to the east side, a cycle path began, the terrain became a lot more rural and it was quite an enjoyable ride with lots of cyclists out enjoying the day. Komoot took me off the river cycle path and through rice paddies quite often but it was a really good day cycling.

My first time to Lake Biwa

My first time to Lake Biwa

Fishing

Fishing

Cycle path

Cycle path

Rice paddy reflections on this overcast day

Rice paddy reflections on this overcast day

GoPro selfie in the middle of fields

GoPro selfie in the middle of fields

Lake Biwa

Lake Biwa

I took a short detour to visit Hikone castle but it was closing as I arrived so I wasn’t allowed in 😦

Hikone Castle - I was too late to enter!

Hikone Castle – I was too late to enter!

Hikone Castle - I was too late to enter!

I hadn’t really eaten anything substantial all day and was hoping to get to the Michi-no-eki before it closed at 6pm but because of my detour to the (closed!) castle, I didn’t arrive there until 5:55pm and all they had left were donuts and mochi (exactly the food I have in my handlebar bag but didn’t want for dinner!)

The staff told me I could camp at the Michi-no-eki because the campground opposite was closed. However I needed to continue a further kilometre to the 7-Eleven for food anyway and when I got there, I noticed tents in the park opposite. I asked some of the campers if anyone could camp there and they said yes, so that meant I had a lakeside spot 🙂 I watched a gorgeous sunset while eating dinner but as soon as the sun went down it became crazy cold, so I went back to the 7-Eleven and bought some hand warmers (which I’ve stuck to my feet and back) and I’m in my tent wearing every item of clothing that I’m carrying – 5 layers on top, three on bottom and three pairs of socks. Why did I not bring my winter sleeping bag? This is becoming a problem!

Sunset on Lake Biwa

Sunset on Lake Biwa

Sunset on Lake Biwa

Camping at sunset on Lake Biwa

Camping at sunset on Lake Biwa

It's really cold at night and I made a BIG mistake bringing my summer sleeping bag! These are hand warmers I've taped under my feet!

It’s really cold at night and I made a BIG mistake bringing my summer sleeping bag! These are hand warmers I’ve taped under my feet!

Jb19 - elevation profile from Garmin connect

Jb19 – elevation profile from Garmin connect

Jb19 - google map from Garmin Connect

Jb19 – google map from Garmin Connect

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