7. But the bike ride was not over yet

Mt.Kaimondake - a perfect scene at the end of a perfect bike riding day.

Being forewarned we might not be able to ride to Cape Sata, we extended the bike ride, crossing Kagoshima Bay by ferry to Ibusuki, riding around Mount Kaimondake to Chiran - sleeping in a beautiful park that might have been a Kamikaze pilots' airfield - and visiting the disturbing museum to the hapless young pilots. The following day we arrived in Kagoshima city.

This additional 150 kilometre bike ride was a fitting encore and finale. High above the southern ocean we felt we had arrived at southern Japan.

We paused at the tiny railway station Nishi Oyama, the most southern railway station in Japan, beneficially located at the edge of a field of tea plants and overlooked by Kaimondake. (Near the start of our bike ride we had pedalled past Japan's most northern station near Wakkanai.)

As if on cue, we arrived in Kagoshima city to join the flamboyant Ohara autumn festival. City streets were closed for the colourful parades and we easily fell in with a group of costumed telecommunication workers who insisted we participated in draining their sake bottles. What better welcome could we have wished for at the conclusion of a 71-day bike ride of almost 4000 kilometres?

[6. Khushu, here we come:] [8. Postscript]

uploaded:27, 06, 2008