Bike Tour Kagoshima

Bike Tour Kagoshima

Bike Tour Kagoshima: After spending some great days in Nagasaki soaking the culture in I continued my way down south. I would have to take a ferry ride from Mogi to Amakusa. It was a short ride on a tiny ferry with a few people on board and they did a great job of tying down the bike to stability. Safety is always the priority in Japan, a characteristic that was similar to the US.

Amakusa would grant me with some of the warmest memories with its people and the terrain. I was lucky enough to sleep over two homes back to back nights and interact with the people of Japan in a deep way and be treated with hospitality that I could have never imagined, but was dreaming of experiencing like the veteran cyclists would talk about in their journals while they toured around the world.

Amakusa was home to many wild dolphins and I jumped on the opportunity to go dolphin watching.

From Amakusa I had to take another ferry and land in Nagashima Island. This island had some hardcore hills that came with some stunning coastal views.

Bike Tour Kagoshima: Darma

Bike Tour Kagoshima
Darma’s Cabin

In the pouring rain, I go into a restaurant and run into an old friendly man who spoke good English. His name was Darma. He lived in the US for about ten years where he was a professional motorcycle racer until he had a career ending injury that brought him back to Japan. Now he raised pigs and lived in a cabin on top of a mountain that he built himself. He had just gotten electricity in there in demand of his girlfriend. The cabin was good enough to live in but it was unbelievably messy. After few drinks of sake and chatting, I spent a night there but didn’t sleep too well partly because he told me how he kills the pigs with multiple hits with the hammer to the head, the fact that there was no way in hell I would be able to escape out of this house on my own since the cabin was located in the middle of a thick jungle with no road. I think it was just all in my head and that had seen one too many hollywood movies. The highlight of the night in his cabin was a photo that was in his house. It was a close up of a naked lady in her mid thirties and a very old man doing a headstand in the background who was also naked. It turned out that she was Darma’s girlfriend who was an artist. The way Darma casually handed me this photo and introduced me to his girlfriend and who I ended up talking to on the phone for a minute was a very awkward situation. Darma was a very laid back and friendly guy and I was so grateful that I had met him and was able to chat in English after so many days in Japan with communication barrier.

 

Bike Tour Kagoshima
In the morning Darma drove me down the mountain halfway where it was paved.

Bike Tour Kagoshima: Dolphins

Bike Tour KagoshimaAfter the pouring rain, this day was the most beautiful day ever and I was going dolphin watching, I couldn’t ask for more. I was impressed with the number of the dolphins living in this part of Amakusa. I must have seen at least thirty to forty swimming in packs.

 

 

 

Bike Tour Kagoshima

I swear I saw for the first time in my life, an erected male genitalia of a bottle-nose dolphin on this day. I’ve only read about how the dolphins worked in groups to subdue a female dolphin when mating and here I had witnessed it multiple times where there would be two males keeping a female dolphin in between while another male dolphin did his instinctive magic.

 

 

Bike Tour Kagoshima
Coastal views were picturesque everywhere especially from the cliffs and hills. It had some similar topography with Jeju Island.

 

Bike Tour Kagoshima
Here I would for the first time go snorkeling and saw quite a bit of marine life and the water was just warm enough.

 

Bike Tour Kagoshima
Ramen time

 

Bike Tour Kagoshima
The very south end of Amakusa island where I believe a famous movie was shot.

 

Bike Tour Kagoshima
Every ferry ride, the crew made sure the bike was tied down with rope and wooden blocks were placed under the tires to keep it from rolling.

 

Bike Tour Kagoshima
Time for rice harvest.

 

Bike Tour Kagoshima
Surfers came here and a few were pretty impressive. The waves were just big enough and were nearly perfect waves for surfing.

 

Bike Tour Kagoshima
I enjoyed the sunset here with a kitty cat that hung around me.

 

Bike Tour Kagoshima
The pretty days were over, and this would be the first typhoon I would be faced with. And when there were winds, it was a guarantee that it would be headwind for me. There would be many more typhoons to come that tested my character.

 

Bike Tour Kagoshima
Another day of pouring rain from the typhoon, I would take shelter at an elementary school after having no luck finding a place that had some cover from the rain. This five inch centipede popped out of one of my shoes as I was shaking it off for dust in the morning just before I put it on. I would without a doubt shake my shoes off every morning.

 

Bike Tour Kagoshima
Bike Tour Kagoshima

Completely soaked in sweat from climbing a 80 degree hill, or at least it felt like it, I reached Kagoshima and the Sakurajima volcanic mountain was visible. Here I was taking some photos of the great volcanic mountain and noticed that it was starting to erupt as I was snapping away. At the time, I didn’t know whether I was supposed to evacuate since this was the first time seeing an actual eruption. Later, I would learn that it erupted on a daily basis. Japan had full of surprises when it came to natural phenomenons.

 

Bike Tour Kagoshima
Matjip (맛집). Famous restaurant I found on Naver

 

This is a guest blog post by Dae Choi
Wednesday October 9, 2013, 194 km (121 miles) – Total so far: 577 km (359 miles)
2013.10/06-09 Nagasaki to Kagoshima: Japanese Hospitality in Amakusa

 

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