Bike Tour Beppu to Fukuoka

Bike Tour Beppu to Fukuoka: The finish line and the conclusion.

Bike Tour Beppu to Fukuoka: It was my final ride in Kyushu, Japan. My past six weeks in Kyushu and Okinawa cannot be justified in words. One can only feel, see, and experience it through a power of a bicycle.

In terms of roads in Japan, the conditions were simply superb, immaculate every inch on the road. Downside was that some roads were too narrow for sharing with cars, so it’s best to stay away from major roads and take side roads to avoid traffic.

The drivers here drive with a pair of angel wings on their back. They will never ever honk at you, they would rather crash their car into a tree before they honked at you. I remember perhaps twice where I was honked at because I had made a dumb move on the road that deserved honking and maybe a finger. The drivers in Japan regardless of how big or small their vehicles were, would only overtake me on the road when it was perfectly safe to do so, and would trail me for minutes until it was safe for them to go around me. I can remember on several occasions where I had no clue that a line of cars were trailing for who knows how long, until they thought it was safe to pass. I’ve had lines of ten cars tailgating me without my knowledge since I had earphones on. I would immediately get off the road for them to pass and feel a sense of guilt as all the cars quietly passed by. The driving etiquette in Japan is to pass a drivers test every time they were behind the wheel.

The people of Japan are some of the most wonderful, respectful, sincere, patriotic, and professional.The people who have offered me their houses to sleep, food to eat, beers to drink, all have left a memorable spot. From traveling on a bike, I learned that being hospitable, helpful, supportive, and being friendly to tourists are all very honorable ways of showing national pride and having patriotism in their country. And Japanese people treat their jobs as if the world peace was riding on it. The first experience with a customs officer who scrubbed my sandals with disinfectant cleaned like ebola was all over my sandals and I could endanger Japans with an epidemic if he didn’t clean it well. The severs at the restaurants bowed in 90 degrees as they served me a $5 meal. I would ask a guy for directions and a simple direction would turn into a lecture on how to get to your destination. And I’ve seen a local guy ask for directions and it would easily turn into long conversations. They will inherently go out of their way to help you in every way possible. They treated their profession or even part time jobs so seriously it was almost creepy at times. I mean every convenient store you walk into Korea, you see some college kid on their smart phone and his neck has problems of straightening up from bending down for so long. In Japan, the employees stand erect behind their registers and greet you immediately as you walk in and is almost robotic in the way they work. So sometimes it was too much to take. Also, keeping their country clean I thought was another way to love and respect your own country. I met a guy was kind of lived on the streets carrying a mobile ashtray for his cigarettes. Seven Elevens had recycling bins for every type of trash, and even a bin for plastic bottle caps. These guys knew how to protect their environment and this is definitely something everyone can learn from. Waving your national flag during the Olympics or the World Cup don’t make you a hero. Think again before you throw your goddamn cigarette butt in the ocean knucklehead!

As for the terrain and the environment, riding around Kyushu and Okinawa was a big time boot camp for bike touring. If you survive Japan on a bike, and wish to continue bike touring, you have earned your rights to do so, and is clearly infatuated with the touring on a bike if you still want to continue after riding up endless, hellish hills of Japan. The only flat road I remember in Kyushu was from Minamata to Kumamoto which was like a half day ride. All others were mountains and hills. They would test my character and my soul on every stroke of the pedal, but this is where I fully grasped the bible verse, “you reap what you sow.” Every inch you climb uphill is rewarded with the joy of cool ride downhill. And the harder the climb, the better the view from up top. The vibrant green forests of Japan and rice harvesting season was all nice to see while riding. The oceans were at times very violent due to the typhoons that passed by every week here. But on many occasions, views of the ocean from the hills were picturesque to say the least. Speaking of typhoons, it is definitely a major factor when considering touring in Japan. Okinawa is called a typhoon alley way for a good reason, and the winds and the rain would lock you up in a hostel for many days. Planning is highly recommended when touring in monsoon season.

In the past six weeks, I felt like I’ve seen enough of Japan and I was ready to move onto other countries. I had an unforgettable experience here and would definitely like to ride around the famous Hokkaido Island someday. Only problem is that it is little costly here but camping and finding places to sleep for free was fairly easy. Until next time, sayonara Nihon.

 

Bike Tour Beppu to Fukuoka
This massive tree was beloved and coming in contact while praying was the way to make your wishes come true. Earthing at its best.
Bike Tour Beppu to Fukuoka
Bike Tour Beppu to Fukuoka
Bike Tour Beppu to Fukuoka
I was riding and I see this truck driver standing on the sidewalk with his trailer truck parked right on the single lane road and he was holding out a bag and looked like he wanted to handed it to me. I pull up and give my greetings. We chatted for a little bit and he was back on the road. He just wanted to show support for what I was doing.
Bike Tour Beppu to Fukuoka
Bag of bread and iced tea. This type of generosity is energizing and morale boosting. Another point for the Nihonjins.
Bike Tour Beppu to Fukuoka
First glimpse of Japanese military. Saluting while its national flag is being raised.
Bike Tour Beppu to Fukuoka
Almost near finish line. The feeling of completion, end of the journey.
Bike Tour Beppu to Fukuoka
Back to where I started, except I’m dressed a lot warmer now than when I started six weeks ago.
Bike Tour Beppu to Fukuoka
Fukuoka station. The parking lot was filled with taxis waiting to pick up passengers.
Bike Tour Beppu to Fukuoka
Seafood restaurant, the fish here were kept in well maintained aquarium.
Bike Tour Beppu to Fukuoka
Famous ramen restaurant. I give it a 8.5
Bike Tour Beppu to Fukuoka
My favorite ramen spot in Japan. It is by far the most popular restaurant I’ve seen here, and selling a bowl of noodles for three dollars with $1 noodle refill, there’s a wait every time. And yes it’s some good ramen.
Bike Tour Beppu to Fukuoka
In the beginning I was very lost and foreign to the system here since you have to buy a meal ticket from the vending machine and wait for a seat to open up.
Bike Tour Beppu to Fukuoka
His sign on the cardboard box reads, “New York.” You know I gave him some yens.
Bike Tour Beppu to Fukuoka
Poster found inside a bar.
Bike Tour Beppu to Fukuoka
The Japanese version of tent restaurants. There was a strip along the river with tons of people drinking and eating away in every tent.
Bike Tour Beppu to Fukuoka
Fukuoka was very brightly lit during the night with ton of locals and travelers filling up the streets. Rivers always give some balance and peace to cities.
Bike Tour Beppu to Fukuoka
Prayer memos hung at the temple.
Bike Tour Beppu to Fukuoka
Not sure what this means in a temple.
Bike Tour Beppu to Fukuoka
The best sightseeing activity I did in Fukuoka. Asahi beer factory in Fukuoka is a must go spot. Free of charge, with a guide, they take you around the factory and show the beer making process in depth. The beer boxes and cans racing through the conveyor belts was fascinating to see with my own eyes. The idea of Conveyor belt sushi restaurants derived from these beer factories by some smart Japanese guy. I was on the Korean guided tour with four other beer loving ladies from Korea. The Japanese guy spoke very good Korean surprisingly.
Bike Tour Beppu to Fukuoka
Beer at below freezing temperature. I can say that I’ve tried it. Beerlicious. Definitely the beers here tasted significantly tastier and rich. By now, I was in love with the Japanese beer, especially for their signature hops flavor in their beers. Japanese beers are now on my top lists of beers.
Bike Tour Beppu to Fukuoka
You see the sip marks on the glass. It wasn’t a myth when beer commercials showed these mysterious lines. It’s true when the beer is high quality. We were allowed two glasses of beer here and since one of the ladies gave me her extra glass, I was able to leave the factory with a slight buzz. The highlight of the trip was that when they asked me how I got to the factory, I told him I was on a bike. Then, they told me I wasn’t allowed to do the tour since I’m driving. So, I told them I would walk home, which I was not planning on doing at all. However, at the end of the tour when I was little red from the beers, they came with a lock and wanted to lock my bike up with their own locks to prevent me from taking the bike. I knew then that they were not messing around when they said I couldn’t take my bike. I had no choice but to leave my bike for a day, and take the bus back into town.
Bike Tour Beppu to Fukuoka
Kids, you must try this at home. The guide poured a perfect glass to the rim, then with a small sip left in the can, he was able to balance in on the edge of the can.
Bike Tour Beppu to Fukuoka
This bicycle shop had anything and everything for bikes. I would go on a shopping spree. Topeak Turbo pump with gauge-$25 (Too much work to inflate tires, ground pump is a must.) Topeak survivor tool- $30 (Very compact and many variety of tools for bicycle repairing)
Bike Tour Beppu to Fukuoka
Found this Korean guesthouse for $20. It was brand new and pretty empty. I did notice a few gamblers from Busan that was blowing their money away at Pacinkos here. There was another guy who had originally came with his girlfriend but got into a real big fight and the girl went back to Korea without him. He and I shared a few beers on one night and I felt pretty bad for him being in that situation. Don’t mess with Korean girls or they’ll make you pay.
Bike Tour Beppu to Fukuoka
Bike Tour Beppu to Fukuoka
A reggae bar I went to one night and met a English teacher teaching in Tokyo and a magician who was like a freelancer. He showed us many cool magic tricks and gave us good entertainment.
Bike Tour Beppu to Fukuoka
Bike Tour Beppu to Fukuoka
Bike Tour Beppu to Fukuoka
Bike Tour Beppu to Fukuoka
A lot of restaurants in Fukuoka, you had to choose your dish from a vending machine and give to the server.
Bike Tour Beppu to Fukuoka
At this famous ramen spot, I didn’t even make any eye contact with anyone. Personal tables were curtained off so you only saw your noodles and nothing else. It was as if I was in solitary confinement with a personal chef. Too systematic for me. The noodles were okay. Give a 8.
Bike Tour Beppu to Fukuoka
Fukuoka subway station. Similar to Korea, seemed a bit more modernized and complicated.
Bike Tour Beppu to Fukuoka
This is a guest blog post by Dae Choi
Thursday October 3, 2013
160 km (99 miles) – Total so far: 383 km (238 miles)
2013/11/15-11/17: Beppu to Fukuoka: The finish line and the conclusion.

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