Cycling Japan – day 65 – Pippu to Biei

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  • Day 65 – Pippu to Biei
  • Distance: 46.1km
  • Ascent / descent: 296m / 211m
  • Weather: warm
  • Accommodation: Riders House Oka, ¥800

The sun wasn’t shining when I woke, but at least it wasn’t raining either! As I was leaving, Nanami came over and handed me a slice of chocolate cake that she’d also made. Her lemon cake was out of this world, so I could only imagine how good the chocolate cake would be! We said goodbye and I rode out of Pippu, a small town and just a dot on the map of Hokkaido, but it had made a big impact on me with the generosity of strangers.

Not long after leaving Pippu, I passed a group of photographers on the side of the road. I stopped and asked them what they were looking at, so one of them showed me an album of photos of a falcon. They invited me to look through their enormous zoom lens and I could see the falcon clearly. I snapped the below shot, keeping in my mind I only have my 18-55mm lens here, it’s in the middle of the photo.

A not very good photo of a falcon

A not very good photo of a falcon

I then joined a cycle path to Asahikawa and passed other people out cycling, walking their dogs, or playing park golf.

A cycle path to Asahikawa

A cycle path to Asahikawa

A cycle path to Asahikawa

A cycle path to Asahikawa

Asahikawa was one of the larger cities that I’ve been in for a while, so I stopped at the Aeon Mall to visit the supermarket and buy some fruit and breakfast. Where else in the world could you leave your bike laden with panniers in a shopping mall carpark and expect it to still be there on your return?

After leaving Asahikawa, I entered the farmland area of Biei.

Old red brick warehouse

Old red brick warehouse

Farmland near Biei

Farmland near Biei

Farmland near Biei

Farmland near Biei

Farmland near Biei

Farmland near Biei

Farmland near Biei

Farmland near Biei

The oak tree is called Seven Stars Tree after the Seven Stars  cigarette company used the tree on its packaging

The oak tree is called Seven Stars Tree after the Seven Stars cigarette company used the tree on its packaging

Farmland near Biei

Farmland near Biei

The town of Biei was quaint and old-looking and had a great tourist information centre next to the station. I went in to see if they could help me with the phone number of the nearby Rider’s House, which they had. I called the Rider’s House, spoke to an old lady, was told it would be ¥800 to stay the night and that I could come straight away.

I followed the signs to Rider’s House Oka and turned up to a farmhouse building on the outskirts of Biei. I knocked and entered the garage and interrupted a man weighing asparagus. He was surprised to see me, obviously the message hadn’t been passed on. He asked me to follow him and took me to a small portable building behind farm machinery where he said they let the women stay. There were two beds inside, a few cobwebs, and a light that didn’t work… I followed him back to the garage and he pointed out where the men usually stayed inside the garage on a small raised area with a table. I asked if I could stay there instead… the portable building would give me nightmares even without having spent the night inside, and he agreed that because no-one else had arrived, that I could sleep where the men usually did. It was in the garage, but it was a roof over my head and there was electricity. During the tour of the outside pit toilet I couldn’t help but notice many large spiders and their even larger spiderwebs. I decided straight away I wouldn’t be drinking anything else for the rest of the day and hoped I wouldn’t have to come out here again!

Word of warning, don’t use a pit toilet in the middle of the night with a headlamp on if you don’t want to see the contents of the pit toilet.

Riders House Oka on the outskirts of Biei

Riders House Oka on the outskirts of Biei

The sleeping area at Rider's House Oka on the outskirts of Biei

The sleeping area at Rider’s House Oka on the outskirts of Biei

Jb65 elevation profile from Garmin Connect

Jb65 elevation profile from Garmin Connect

Jb65 map from Garmin Connect

Jb65 map from Garmin Connect

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