Miscellaneous Blog Posts

Tokyo sucks – 2011 summer trip (1)

So, here is the detailed report of the summer tour that went on for about 10 days.

The wedding of my buddy, who I have ridden (MTBs), skied (moguls) and generally ripped together with in Hokkaido, Japan as well as in North America. And this is why I had it in mind to travel to Tokyo on this occasion. There was an annual bike even happening in Sapporo the same day, and I wanted to join the bunnyhop comp at least, but well, screw that.

The ceremony and following parties were awesome. Old friends, new friends, bike lovers and skiers, just a great bunch of people. Um, I kind of missed meeting the bride’s friends and stuff like that, but, oh well, it was an awesome gathering.

Since I was in Tokyo, I’d also visit bike shops I’ve known, and of course visit the new Planet Park in Hachioji, Tokyo, the new skatepark completed this spring that accepts bikes as well. Come to think of it, this is pretty much the fist time for me to ride a full-on concrete park.

…And it started raining the moment I started riding, and the park was closed. I had just had a pre-warm-up run around the park. Well, this set me in this awkward position where, when I visit a concrete park next time, I can’t say I’m a virgin but I can’t say I have an experience either.

As I drove off I couldn’t see well, not because I was crying my eyes off which I was about to, but because the air conditioner in the car was broken. So I kept driving in rain with the windows slightly open. I also tried hard to keep myself happy enough to keep going by eating dinner twice. All because Tokyo sucks.

After staying a night at a road station in Menuma, Saitama, I took advantage and bought some local produce, okras and raspberries, at the farmer’s market there, along with croissants and cafe au lait for breakfast. The veggies were consumed with joy later in Fujimi. The okras were especially great when lightly boiled in the pork intestine stew I had bought the night before at a ramen noodle restaurant (in the amount of 1 kg!).

The roads were not always smooth and easy though, with all the rain and fog. I was driving from Gunma via Lake Shirakaba, and the mountain atmosphere was at least easy to feel. The picture was shot probably around Tateshina, where I found myself in the whiteout situation in summer. It was pretty surprising how little you can see in the dense fog.

Just like this, my lone gypsy caravan reached Fujimi Panorama Resort sometime past midnight just before the weekend. The story continues with more coverage of okras, intestine stew and the event on the following day.