|The small tower of plates emptied by four voracious teenagers. Takehiro's family took us to a "conveyor belt" sushi restaurant where the boys ordered single plates of items on a touch screen. Then, within minutes, their request appeared table side on a conveyor belt that shot out from the unseen kitchen.|
Thursday, June 28, 2018
Sampson, Markos and Tarn are buckled down to their final school projects. We are stationed at a riverside campsite where the excellent wifi from the nearby visitor centre is accessible round the clock. The our location – a town named Okutama. Here hikers and bikers from Tokyo take the train for weekend adventures. Large groups of expeditioners arrive with each train, get their gear adjusted and head off into the hills, clearing the plaza for the next group. We plan our “Stoney Ridge” hike to start Monday, when the trails will be clear and the hut at the top empty. We have observed that many Japanese get out on weekends, and these are good times to avoid popular sites.
We are feeling the beginning of our last days in Japan. Who knows when each of us will get to return? We all are lingering in the present and wanting to make the most of our days here. Ahead...a cycle into the urban area surrounding Tokyo. Final exams supervised by new friends Joan and Rich, storage of our gear, sightseeing in Tokyo for two days and finally, taking a bus to the airport and boarding a flight to the last leg of our trip: Vancouver to Calgary.
Monday, June 18, 2018
|One of the giant infrastructure roads lifting us up on a dedicated bike lane to one of the bridges connecting the islands of the cycle route.|
|Ojizo-samas, commonly wearing red bibs. This shrine we passed as we rode up the Iya Valley, an incredible gorge leading to a not so incredible "vine" bridge/tourist trap.|
|Markos on top of these giant cement coast line controllers gives them some scale. How do they move these things here? We saw a huge metal mold for creating them withing 1/2 Km, so at least they didn't have to be moved that far. Maybe they were made in place? In Japan we are constantly aware of our placement in relation to sea level. Tsunami signage of evacuation locations and placards indicating how many meters you are above sea level are common place along the roadside.|