Aspects of bicycle touring in Japan By Bill Macher

Who Is This Guy Bill?

And other odds and ends....

BillWhat kind of writing about Japan does not include a castle? Well, here I am at Hirosaki Jo, one of the last original castles in Japan (Many of the others are replicas, rebuilt after being destroyed for various reasons, including fires that resulted from lightning strikes. This photo was taken after days of riding in the rain in Hokkaido and Northern Honshu.

If you like wood, you will love the structure and construction of the Japanese Castle. A tremendous contrast to the stone castles of Europe, for sure. Japanese castles have a kind of warmth about least for this hobbyist woodworker. Do try to visit one or two; they are well worth the modest entrance fee. One of my favorites is Matsumoto Jo (castle), a must see in my book! If you are touring in the area of Matsumoto, do spend an hour and tour this castle. You will not regret it! Himeji also has a must see castle...

As a brief introduction, let me just say that I lived in Japan in the 70's, that both my children were born there, and that I met my wife (who is Japanese) on the Trans-Siberian Railroad in '69, heading towards Europe. So I guess I am not a youngster anymore...I just act and feel like one!

bicycleI would be remiss if I did not introduce you to my touring long wheelbase Arvon touring bike. So here she is...And by the way, her brother just arrived and will be going with to Japan me this year. The new one is also an Arvon, but with S & S couplers, and simple blue paint, so I can be less concerned with paint damage as I tour. And I will also be able to pack the bike in a shorter box. A 50 inch wheelbase makes for a long shipping box.

I hope the following short introductions to aspects of bicycle touring in Japan will be of some interest and help to fellow bicycle tourists that are thinking about seeing, feeling and enjoying the "Japanese experience." Touring in Japan is unique and special.

When you bicycle tour in Japan I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, and plan to in the future. If all goes according to plan, '98 will mark my second tour in Japan.

Please have a look at the following topics for information on the joy of bicycle touring in Japan:

Enjoy your ride!

Bill Macher...A smiling bicycle commuter, and occasional bicycle tourist...whose family has grown deep roots in his home town of Pittsburgh, Pa, USA

uploaded:08, 11, 2005

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