81 days remaining (12 days until Hokkaido)

Sam was pointing out how our usual measure of time (days of the week, 9am school start, etc…) has become irrelevant and we more governed by setting sun and weather…well, today was Sunday…and on Sunday our usual wild camping spots (public parks) become a hive of team sports activity…this morning last nights camp site became the middle of a Japanese Mini-Golf course course…the elderly Japanese folk setting up for a days mini-golf (around our tent)…they didn’t seem too fussed by us, but Japanese politeness would’ve kicked in…we did lots of head bopping & bowing & lots of ‘ona gai shi mas’ while frantically striking camp loading bikes…thankfully overnight showers finished (accuracy of these long range weather forecasts are a cycling tourists dream)…Much of today’s cycling taking in sights of Japan @ play on Sunday…football, baseball, gardening, playparks, Sunday drives….on the bikes wind a big feature but mostly good for us…but the blue skies & COLOUR INTENSITY of native tree forested hills… blue skies bringing out brightest of Spring colours…such COLOUR INTENSITY is a rare April treat in Scotland…as much as possible we try enjoy enjoy enjoy…ANECDOTE ALERT: brads rear disk brake BROKE…completely not working…BRAKE & FAILURE should not go together..not good…Brad having a minor panic attack…SERENDIPITY STRIKES a peleton kitted Japanese road cyclists pass (way more polite than your average UK roadies)…we meet up again traffic light…Heidi asks if they know of local bike shop…turns out…one of them worked for SHIMANO (company that makes the brake part)…brake fixed!

CAMP SPOT: while we stood soiling the immaculate lobby of the Hotel, asking about the location of nearby official campsite marked on the map we were told…CLOSED…mmm…familiar story…we investigated and now sleep great free spot closed campsite 10m from crashing waves, completely secluded, looking over water…far far far in the distance… to volcanic shaped mountainous SHIKOKU…and huge bridges spanning km’s of ocean…and huge tankers…and industry.. above us an Osprey fishes…kites…bats…

ABOUT EARTHQUAKES & TSUNAMIS: after the ONSEN at plush hotel we did some un-pressured Internet time planning next few days and finding out more about recent earthquakes in Fukuoka (see day 79, 80, 88 days remaining) and the really badly effected ASO-SAN region (see all days on WWOOF 阿蘇山)…Jirosan posted oline Facebook message saying their family OK…but been silent since…probably busy helping in aftermath…chilling to see pictures of roads & bridges & buildings & people we encountered less than a month ago so badly affected…thank goodness the SENDAI NUCLEAR POWER STATION is unaffected (or… so we are being told…lots of media cynicism in Japan)…like BRAKE & FAILURE so NUCLEAR & SEISMIC should NOT go together…Japan living on top of shifting platonic plates…nuclear power?…The Emperor…clothes?..SO we are quite far North of active region, but taking more note of the many Tsunami Warning information signs (there is a public announcement speaker near our tent…and a steep hill)…as for earthquakes…tents don’t crush (although landslides do)…Tsunami bigger threat…when on bikes outside fine…but for cycling tourists camping CARS (and snakes & giant mini beasties) remain, by far, our greatest threat.
Tomorrow ferry to SHODOSHIMA ISLAND for a couple of nights break from urban Japan before we go deep into what Lonely Planet describes as Japan’s Heartland…we have only two weeks of mainland Japan left…because geographically and historically HOKKAIDO is going to be a whole different country…

SAM DIARY ENTRY: Today, we woke up and where we had camped turned into a pensioner’s golf course. Today we had a million days worth of sun and a million days worth of wind.

  

  
Sam in his element making coffee

  

mmm…

  
Blue skies today

  
Typical back street scene

  
Serendipity Strikes

  
Closed campsites fine by us

  
Ever present signs of living top of shifting platonic plates

  
  
Next few days

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