Uncommon:Stories is an idea: it's adventure, wanderlust, freedom. It's taking your best friend and going exploring, while creating art on the way. We are a stupidly creative, insanely driven bunch of people, with big dreams to explore places, cultures and stories, with an innate attitude towards not taking NO for an answer and real, genuine love for Adventure. With a capital A.
After a handful of hours on the ferry, along with our new traveling companions met in Aomori, we heard a voice coming out of the speakers : “We’re about to land in Hakodate, prepare yourself to leave the ferry”
Woah! We were both speechless for a second there. We had just made our way back to Hokkaido, where the both of us had lived for 2 years each. But this time, we had arrived on our own forces, and on a bike!
Arriving to Niigata came with a real lot of excitement: we had finally made it to the other side of Japan, crossed the Japanese alps and we were damn ready to enjoy the city for a couple of rest days. Too bad, thought, that all of that enthusiasm hit a brick wall straight away: long story short, there’s nothing to do in Niigata. NOTHING at all.
We reached the centre of the city around sunset and we went through our usual we-made-it-back-to-civilization routine : hot springs, coin laundry, food and looking for a place to pitch the tent. It was pissing rain, it was late, it’s was dark. As in : real dark. So we just decided to completely rely on google maps and blindly followed a strangely curvy road until we found a square literally the size of our tend under a tree, and stopped there, completely disregarding the fact that there was a peacock in a cage, literally a few steps form us.
After spending 6 days in Tokyo, doing everything a tourist wouldn’t do, (and unwillingly avoiding every single thing a tourist WOULD do) we jumped back on our specializedTricross bikes and started cycling towards the Japanese alps and the city behind them, Niigata.
With little to no surprise, we left Tokyo relatively late and the first day flew by too damn quickly: traffic, street lights, last purchases for the trip and more then 50km before even finding ourselves outside of that urban jungle.
As soon as we reached the first little village outside of the suburbs of Tokyo, we pitched the tent and went to sleep super early.
Ok, where were we?
Ahh, yes, in Atsugi! In the wild suburbs around Tokyo. No seriously, I mean it: WILD. EXTREME. SUBURBS.
Let me just tell you that the diameter of the urban area Tokyo alone is easily over 100 km. So when I say wild suburbs i’m talking about distances that for us Italians could easily represent the next region’s main city. eek.
However, we arrived in Atsugi in the evening and operated following our usual protocol for big cities : a dip in the hot springs, a visit to a coin laundry to wash literally everything we had with us, having a suspiciously long dinner in a restaurant using all their plugs to recharge cameras, computers, mobiles, external batteries while working on photos, blogs and vlogs. And then lastly, pitching the tent in the first excuse for a park we came across and sleep like logs.
In Italy we say that “all the street lead to Rome”. If that’s true, than we can say all the streets lead to Tokyo, in this part of the world.
Right after leaving Nagoya, we started traveling towards Omaezaki, where another of our university ex-classmate was waiting for us.
Kyoto, at last!
Prior to getting to Kyoto, we got a big surprise: Chiara, Federica and Orsola (three former university classmates of ours) got in touch with us and invited us to crash at their place for a night. And who the hell are we to refuse such a thing!? As soon as we arrived there, we threw our sleeping bags on the floor, took a quick shower and went together for a night out in town, eating, drinking and most importantly, reminiscing big time!
The day before reaching Osaka we stopped at Takarazuka.
Why? Why the hell not!
No, seriously, Takarazuka is where the KING lived. Nope, I'm not talking about Elvis, not that KING. I'm talking about Osamu Tezuka, the one and only KING when it comes to Manga.
Right after finishing the Shimanami Kaidō, Japan's longest bicycle route, we reached the little town of Onomichi. Now, it might be little and pretty ignored by most touristic guides but believe me, it's beautiful. Clean, colorful, interesting and filled with smiling people. You can't ask for more from a city!
Wow, It's been a while since the last blog post...
Wait a sec, actually it wasn't so long ago! It's just that so many things happen everyday!
So, after spending the afternoon in the beautiful Miyajima, we rode our Specialized Tricross until sunset, and camped in the suburbs of Hiroshima.
Ok, where were we at?
Yes, of course! Nagasaki.
That’s where I left off with the last blog post!
Once we said our goodbyes to the wonderful people met in Casa Noda, we took our Specialized Tricross and biked all the way to Fukuoka, the second big city of this trip.